- Actors: Alan Arkin, Bill Campbell, Jennifer Connelly, Timothy Dalton, Nada Despotovich
- Directors: Hiro Narita, Joe Johnston
- Writers: Danny Bilson, Paul DeMeo, William Dear
- Format: Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
- Language: French
- Subtitles: English
- Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
- Number of discs: 1
- MPAA Rating:
- Studio: Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment
- Release Date: Sept. 3 2002
- Run Time: 108 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 98 customer reviews
- ASIN: 6305428514
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #354 in Movies & TV Shows (See Top 100 in Movies & TV Shows)
The Rocketeer (Bilingual)
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The discovery of a top-secret jetpack hurls test pilot Cliff Secord into a daring adventure of mystery, suspense, and intrigue! Cliff encounters an assortment of ruthless villains, led by a Hollywood screen star who's a secret Nazi spy (Timothy Dalton). With the help of his actress girlfriend, the young pilot battles enormous odds to defeat his foes who are anxious to use the device in an evil plan to rule the world! The dangerous mission transforms the ordinary young man into an extraordinary hero!|The pilots' hangout in the film, the Bulldog Cafe, is based on an actual 1920's Los Angeles restaurant.|Timothy Dalton's character, Neville Sinclair, is loosely based on actor Errol Flynn, who was rumored to be a Nazi spy.|In 1938 a young air racing pilot, Cliff Secord, and his partner, Peevy, discover a secret rocket pack that enables a man to fly. They quickly become entangled in international intrigue in their attempts to keep the device away from Nazi spies and other villains, including Hollywood matinee idol Neville Sinclair. With the help of his actress girlfriend, Cliff, dubbed "The Rocketeer" by the press, embarks on a mission that could alter the course of history and hmake him a true hero.|The movie was based on a comic character created by Dave Stevens.
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After putting the DVD in our player, I was able to select English version through the prompts.
The movie is easily available through retail store and I was pleased to acquire the product as our children enjoyed the plot
My rating: 5 out of 5
To start, the framing has been noticably cropped from its original 2.35:1 Panavision scope aspect ratio. If you are familiar with the original widescreen/letterbox laserdisc that Disney released, you'll find that this DVD sports the exact same composite video transfer with all of its inherent problems intact. No new high definition master was created for this release.
The only thing of merrit is that the ORIGINAL 5.1 surround track was used to encode it to Dolby Digital 5.1 audio. Yup, the packaging is in error. You're in for a treat as the split surround channels are pretty darn active considering it was mixed in the early days of 5.1 digital surround equipped cinemas.
Hopefully, Disney will re-do this DVD in the near future. They created a fresh transfer for The Santa Clause SE, so why not the superior The Rocketeer??
Most notably, it was lifted by Republic Pictures for use in its 1949 serial "King of the Rocketmen". Proving popular there, it was recycled into a flying device for the character "Commando Cody" (not "Commander" Cody, as many people erroneously believe) in the chapterplay "Radar Men From the Moon",on then into "Zombies of the Stratosphere"(with young Leonard Nimoy as an alien baddie) and, lastly, into the tv series "Commando Cody" with Judd Holdren. The famous rocket back pack ,strapped to a hip-length leather jacket and complemented by the metallic, bullet-shaped helmet of the wearer, became a staple of 50s adventurism.
Years later artist Dave Stevens wanted to do a comic book version of the Rocketman/Commando Cody character but Republic wouldn't license it...so Stevens revamped the entire concept and created the Rocketeer instead.Threw in "Bondage Bettie" Page for eye candy (and perilous predicaments), and had himself a winner.
When Disney decided to do the Rocketeer as a live action "pilot" for a proposed series, they made a good decision. They just didn't market it correctly and made too abrupt a decision not to continue with it.
This is a good movie. It could have been better, but it is good nonetheless. My complaints about it are twofold storywise; one, I think they should have left "Bettie" alone and played an inside joke with the audience. They should have had her elaborately TIED UP at some point. The kiddies wouldn't have gotten the joke, but the more "culturally informed" would have gotten a snicker out of it. Secondly, they went with Charles Higham's thoroughly discredited "Errol Flynn was a Nazi spy" humbug and, in so doing, helped continue this unjustified smear.Even calling him "Neville Sinclair" didn't disguise the allusion of the portrayal, nor did Tim Dalton's oh-so-Flynn-like make up job.
Those points aside, this IS a captivating little adventure. The flying scenes are great, and the zeppelin climax is a real winner...as is the cool idea of a Rondo "Creeper" Hatton "goon" achieved via SFX makeup.
This digital transfer is NOT that great, but maybe it'll be re-done sometime in the future. Lets hope so. In the meantime, we have what we have. The movie itself is well worth watching. Enjoyable and endearing. Go with it.
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