Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Rollercoaster of Guttenberg Fun

We are making our way through the Guttenberg backlog, people.  It's very exciting.  And what better way to spend a Sunday night than with our good friend Steve?

It's another of the early dramatic films in Steve's career - the 1977 film Rollercoaster!

This film was released in the same year as Something for Joey and The Chicken Chronicles, but unlike those films which feature Steve in major roles, this one is pretty light on the Guttenberg action.

I was actually getting pretty worried about this film, as I was about an hour and 20 minutes into it and still hadn't spotted our buddy Steve.  Could I have possibly missed him?  It seems impossible, for one as highly attuned to the presence of Guttenberg as I.  But then he appeared like a breath of fresh amusement park air, admirably delivering his one line.  "Sorry sir, I had to get the key."  Like poetry, it was.

Well, not really.  He's not even in the credits, but he is absolutely in the film.  He's on screen for about 20 seconds, and has one line.  He also has fabulously fluffy 70s hair, which I found delightful.

The film's a thriller, starring George Segal (who I really only know from Just Shoot Me) as a safety inspector who gets drawn into the web of a bomber who is targeting amusement parks. It's actually a reasonably good thriller - probably not the type of film you'd go out of your way to see, but if it was on TV on a Sunday afternoon when you were lying hungover on the couch, aimlessly flipping through the channels, you'd easily stop and watch it.  There's also the added bonus of a 14 year old Helen Hunt playing Segal's daughter. Who doesn't love seeing celebs when they were kids?

It also feels kind of like a historical document.  In the future, it could be used in a history class called "What The 70s Were Like". People use payphones!  They drive without wearing seatbelts! They win cartons of cigarettes at amusement park games!  They wear comically large ties!  They use something called "hot combs" on their hair!  They drive super boxy, huge cars!  They have relaxed conversations with their ex-wives about being sure to lock the door when her boyfriend stays over!  They wear inappropriate suits when staking out amusement parks!  They have to track people down at airports and hotels because they don't have mobile phones!  They smoke all the time!

It was a fun trip to the 70s, and I did enjoy it.  There was one thing that did puzzle me, though.  There are a few scenes with people on roller coasters who do this sort of synchronised clapping as they go up the first incline on the ride.  Did people really do that?  Do they still do that?  Have I been missing out on an essential part of rollercoaster fun by not clapping up a storm?

Anyway, this is an enjoyable film.  And it's really made me want to buy some cotton candy.  Man, that stuff is good.

Title: Rollercoaster

Steve Guttenberg Films Still To Be Collected: 17

Purchased: By my aweseome friend Mandy for my birthday.  Like 3 years ago.  Really, I am getting on watching these, I swear. 

Cost: N/A

Seeing a practically teenaged Guttenberg with huge 70s hair: Priceless