*batteries not included
Release year: 1987
Director: Matthew Robbins
Screenwriter: Mick Garris, Brad Bird, Brent Maddock, S.S. Wilson
Starring: Hume Cronyn, Jessica Tandy, Frank McRae, Elizabeth Peña, Michael Carmine, Dennis Boutsikaris, Tom Alredge, Doris Belack
Ratings: 1 Saturn Award: Best Actress (Jessica Tandy)
As the tenants of an apartment block is forced out so it can be demolished and make room for new buildings a group fights to stay. But when the developers hire a local gang to get rid of them, the tenants need a miracle to get to stay, but then one night Faye Riley (Jessica Tandy) leaves the window open.
Originally intended to be featured in the TV-series Amazing Stories, executive producer Steven Spielberg (Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 1977) liked it so much he decided it deserved becoming a feature film. The result is one of the warmest and most endearing Sci-Fi movies of the 1980s. Like another Sci-Fi classic of that decade, the leads are rarely seen seniors, in this case in form of two great ones: Cronyn (The Postman Always Rings Twice, 1946) and his real life wife Tandy (Driving Miss Daisy, 1989). The touching story of a loving man tending to his senile wife is a nice detail and brings a very human side to the fantastical story of unexpected aid from another planet. Tandy is exceptional, convincing as a woman struggling with loosing her memory and herself and received acknowledge for her role but Cronyn is equally good as the man dealing with his wife’s issues. There are strong support from both Peña (Jacob’s Ladder, 1990) and Boutsikaris (W., 2008) but the strongest impact from the supports comes from an endearing performance by McRae (The Last Action Hero, 1993). Off course the special effects can’t compare to the amazing effects today’s audience is spoiled with, but considering the age of the movie they are exceptional and, most importantly, has plenty of aw-power with their cuter-than-cute designs. This is a movie that will leave many nostalgic and most touched and cheerful making it an undying classic for the ages and for all ages.
The building that housed Hume Cronyn’s lunch counter was a unique old building that was the only one on the block. Twenty-five years earlier it was used for the Judy Holliday musical Bells Are Ringing (1960)..
Picture copyrights: UIP