Tag Archives: Tim Matheson

The Set of 400: #62 – My Favorite Dead-End Alley Parade

Today! Because as of this moment, they’re on double secret probation –

National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978)

Directed by John Landis (x4)

Starring Tim Matheson (x2), Peter Riegert, John Belushi (x3), Tom Hulce (x2), Stephen Furst (x2), Mark Metcalf, John Vernon, Martha Smith, Karen Allen (x4), Bruce McGill, Donald Sutherland (x6), Verna Bloom, Mary Louise Weller, James Daughton, Doug Kenney, James Widdoes, Sarah Holcomb, Otis Day, Kevin Bacon (x5)

I think I liked the idea of Animal House more than the movie for a long time. Figure, I first saw this as a fairly young kid, and – as has been the case with many comedies of that time and before – I saw the severely edited television version almost exclusively for years. So while I loved the early Saturday Night Live from a pretty young age, I didn’t really get the appeal of Animal House. Come on, even edited to death it doesn’t have much resonance with a very young crowd, let’s face it. I was still watching lots of Police Academy and Look Who’s Talking – kid’s comedies masquerading as adult comedies. Animal House can’t possibly connect until you’re at least approaching high school, right?

Nonetheless, one of the first cassette tapes I remember owning was the Animal House soundtrack, which is a bunch of ’50s and ’60s songs plus that wacky “Animal House” theme, and I listened to it constantly. Sam Cooke’s “What a Wonderful World,” Paul and Paula, “Shama Lama Ding Dong” – I don’t know, even as a kid I was into old music, I guess. Why I would’ve gotten it in the first place, though, I can’t say, because again, it’s not like I watched the movie all that much. The same goes for The Blues Brothers – for the longest time, I considered myself a fan, and would’ve said so to my dumb grade school pals, but I didn’t actually see the film that often.

Hell yeah, cassette-heads!

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The Set of 400: #294 – My Favorite Rolling Ferris Wheel

Today! Because I fought your kind in the Great War, and we kicked the living shit out of you –

1941 (1979)

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Starring John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd (x3), Ned Beatty (x2), Christopher Lee (x4), Tim Matheson, Toshiro Mifune (x2), John Candy (x4), Nancy Allen, Lorraine Gary (x2), Warren Oates, Slim Pickens, Robert Stack, Treat Williams, Murray Hamilton (x3), Elisha Cook Jr., Patti LuPone, Eddie Deezen, Perry Lang, Wendie Jo Sperber, Joe Flaherty, David L. Lander, Michael McKean (x3), Don Calfa, Susan Backlinie, Jerry Hardin, Audrey Landers, Dick Miller (x3), Mickey Rourke

For those of you unfamiliar with this movie – can you believe the above cast got together in ’79 and put on an epic war comedy? And under the direction of the king, Steven Spielberg, following his massive success with Jaws and Close Encounters? Doesn’t it make you want to run out and see what this movie could possibly be?? How have you avoided it all these years? Do it!

And for those of you already familiar with this movie, SHUT UP.

I’m not Titanic-level defensive about 1941, but that’s because most people either didn’t see it or don’t remember it enough to argue about it. And look, I know there is a lot wrong with this movie. It only sort of functions as a comedy – it’s like a less funny It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World with explosions and extended choreographed fistfights – and sort of functions as a war movie. But the premise is solid enough and the cast is terrific that, even though it doesn’t totally deliver, it’s still a pretty entertaining movie. Continue reading

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