Fan Favorite Friday Flashback: “The Rocketeer” (1991)

Movie poster credit: Disney

Released on June 21, 1991, Disney’s The Rocketeer came from the creative minds of Danny Bilson & Paul De Meo, the people behind CBS’ The Flash, ABC’s short-lived 1992 summer series Human TargetViper (NBC, 1994; 1996-99, syndication), and The Sentinel (1996-99, UPN).

Based on the graphic novel by Dave Stevens, the film starred Billy Campbell, Oscar winner Jennifer Connelly, former James Bond Timothy Dalton, Paul Sorvino, and Alan Arkin.

Set in 1938 Los Angeles, The Rocketeer followed the dashing adventure of handsome test pilot Cliff Secord (Campbell), as he and his mechanic friend Peevy (Arkin) found a jet pack that was designed and developed by Howard Hughes (Terry O’Quinn).

Soon, everyone wants it: from the government to the mob and Neville Sinclair (Dalton), a Clark Gable-like movie star who’s really a Nazi spy. When Cliff’s actress girlfriend Jenny (Connelly) gets caught in the middle, it is up to Cliff to blast off as The Rocketeer. 

Though it didn’t fly well and take off at the box office, The Rocketeer still maintains a devoted following over the years. Its director Joe Johnston, found Marvel success with 2011’s Captain AmericaThe First Avenger with Chris Evans as the titular patriotic superhero. 

The Rocketeer had all the ingredients of a summer blockbuster and the amazing potential to set up a franchise. It definitely had “pulp hero” all over it because the film is a reminder of why we love going to the movies – especially on Saturday and Sunday afternoons. It is because we want to see the good guys save the day and get the girl.

So, if you love Captain America, then you will really love The Rocketeer

video by Disney

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