1941 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

1941 Reviews

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October 1, 2015
While oftentimes painfully unfunny, it's always a fun time. A forgivable misfire from Spielberg.
September 8, 2015
Blazing right past the ironic satire of Dr. Strangelove and into ridiculous slapstick, this movie is worth the watch if only for it being Spielberg's only pure comedy.
August 28, 2015
This really was not my kind of movie. It is the first and only movie to be directed by Steven Spielberg that I didn't like, so far anyway. Which is surprising, considering all of the great directors the were behind the scenes of this one. Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, John Milus, allegedly Brian DaPalma (uncredited) and of course the director Steven Spielberg. Perhaps the reason that I didn't like it was I was not thinking it was going to be so much of a slapstick comedy. Which is mainly what it is. I believe that this was somewhat of a box office success but it just can't/couldn't live up to his previous successes such as Duel, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind or The Sugarland Express. I will have to give it another chance, eventually.
August 5, 2015
Steven Spielberg's famous cinematic bomb is undeservedly though of as a bad film because it's actually a very funny and very well made comedy. Set in the days following Pearl Harbor, the west coast lives in fear of a second sneak attack from Japan. In that atmosphere, Spielberg has a huge cast of characters ranging from coastal homeowners, to fighter pilots, to generals, to USO dancers, to tank commands and much more. The film is really a big broad comedy in the mold of "It's a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World" and it's really the only time Speilberb made and out and out comedy. Comedy works it's way into most of Spielberg's films, but he's never before or since made anything that was all comedy and never this broad or slapstick. And he does it really well! And how could you go wrong when you have a cast that includes original SNL cast member (Dan Akroyd and John Belushi), several cast members from Robert Zemeckis and Bob Gale's underrated "I Wanna Hold Your Hand" (Nancy Allen, Bobby Di Cicco, Wendie Jo Sperber, Eddie Deezen) classic film stars (Robert Stack, Christopher Lee, Warren Oates, Toshirô Mifune, Elisha Cook Jr., Slim Pickens, Dub Taylor, Lionel Stander), solid actors and famous folks like (Ned Beatty, Murray Hamilton, Tim Matheson, Treat Williams, Lucille Benson, Dianna Kay, Perry Lang, Patti LuPone, Frank McRae, Michael McKean, Don Calfa,Audrey Landers, John Landis, Dick Miller, Mickey Rourke, Penny Marshall) and even a couple cast members from SCTV (John Candy and Joe Flaherty). Some the the things that cracked me up as a kid still crack me up; Warren Oats as Mad Man Maddox ("My got! We've been cut off!), just about everything Belushi does in the film is hilarious, the yelling over the end credits, Eddie Deezen on the ferris wheel is continually funny, but I think the USO fight scene is my favorite. Dianne Kay is one of the stars of this film who I'd kind of forgotten about and who is terrific. I really wish she'd been in more big films, because she has a really winning onscreen presence. William A. Fraker proves the film with some stellar photography and John Williams proves what is one of my favorite scores of his many classic film scores. One note of interesting trivial, I read that the Robert Stack role was originally offered to John Wayne, which would have been amazing. To have someone of that statue and history of heroics in war films would have lent an immense amount of gravitas to the scenes where that character is scolding the numbskulls surrounding him. The Duke reportedly thought this film was disrespectful to the men who died in WWII, though there were many many war comedies long before this one. I'm not sure why Wayne would see this one as any different form a Bob Hope war comedy or even "Mister Roberts." And to be clear about which version I watched, this was the theatrical version, but I do remember liking the extended version even better. I think I'm going to have to buy this one on blu-ray and watch the extended version again. Such a fun film!
July 28, 2015
A disappointing effort from a great director, 1941 is not at all "funny"
½ July 24, 2015
Unfunny and without energy, this lacklustre wartime sketch-show is seriously unworthy of the talent involved.
June 7, 2015
"1941" = "9/11: The Comedy!"

Apparently, Spielberg and Zemeckis think it's hilarious! to have a "comedy" mocking Californians who would understandably be scared after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.

Would Spielberg think that it would also have been hilarious! to have a comedy mocking New Yorkers who were understandably scared after the Muslim attacks of 9/11?

As out of it as Spielberg is, I am guessing so. Many of his fellow Jews ranged from confused to horrified when he used Nazis as cartoon villains in the Indiana Jones movies.

Maybe "Schindler's List" was Spielberg's way of trying to regain credibility among his fellow Jews. But, here with "1941," he's clearly oblivious.
May 17, 2015
I caught this film in the theater when it was 1st released. Yikes, I really thought Speiberg's career was over. Recently, I found a copy of it at the Good Will for a dollar. Watched it again and...hey, I was entertained. I no longer consider1941 filmed excrement.
May 17, 2015
Steven Spielberg should stay far away from gag-filled comedies.
May 11, 2015
I can see Spielberg wanting to get his inner-kid out and make something like a child would with a camera and a big budget but this film is truly a disaster and a mess on all ends. The story's incoherent, the special effects and action are non-stop and boring and Spielberg trying to make a comedy just really isn't funny. Pretty amazing how the tremendous amount of talent involved in this made something that failed on so many levels.
April 4, 2015
Moderately funny film that is worth the time if only for John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd's performances. What I found to be so hypocritical when I read about this film in Wikipedia, was that John Wayne refused to be in it because, as he told Spielberg, the script was "unpatriotic." Coming from Wayne, that's rich. Although he was perfectly fit, he didn't sign up, because he had just started to get bigger roles and was afraid that the pause in big career would set him back. Clark Gable, who was 6 years older, went and was a combat pilot, as did Jimmy Stewart, who was originally classified 4F for not weighing enough for his height, but he did strength training to qualify, was also a combat pilot and eventually rose to be a Brigadier General. Wayne stayed home to make his millions eventually in his career, ironically making "patriotic" movies that gave him an image to which he would never personally live up. Even more ironic is the way men in the armed forces here have always looked up to a man that they are probably unaware never had the courage to go into combat himself.
March 16, 2015
Batshit crazy, 1941 is fucking insane. I can't give it above a 3 because of how messy it is, but dear god is it a fascinating mess. Spielberg directs this bizarre farce where explosions are punchlines. Belushi is classic Belushi and Aykroyd just spouts out technical jargon instead of jokes but it all somehow works. Nearly every line in the film is screamed; scratch that; everything in the movie is screamed. The visuals are screamed, the physical comedy is screamed, etc. 1941 is by no means a great movie, but a thoroughly interesting what-the-fuck movie that I'm still not sure I was laughing with or at, but I'm gleefully leaning towards the former.
February 9, 2015
I love this movie, there are so few war comedies and it's by Spielberg! The cast is fun it's so silly and has so many homages to other movies and the era of the film it's a lot of fun to watch.
February 3, 2015
wow... no la recordaba buena, y no lo es, pero da verguenza ajena con tanta estupidez y actuacion ridicula
February 1, 2015
Aggressively unfunny.
½ January 22, 2015
'1942' is not as bad as history would lead you to believe. It's just not great for a Spielberg film.
January 13, 2015
La verdad es que se nota bastante el humor de Spilberg pero no es muy buena.
½ December 1, 2014
The dummy's right!

Shortly after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, the military forces build up their defenses along the California coastline; specifically, around the Hollywood area. It quickly becomes apparent that the effort is a waste of time and resources and the recommended colonel is about to get his butt chewed up when who should appear, the Japanese in a submarine. Can the military and their band of misfits defend the Hollywood coastline?

"The little bastard aint got shit out of me but my name, rank, and social security number..."

Steven Spielberg, director of Jaws, Duel, ET, Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Color Purple, Jurassic Park, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Saving Private Ryan, and Catch Me if you Can, delivers 1941. The storyline for this picture was just okay and reminded me of an Animal House knock-off. The comedic content was fairly mediocre, the script was just okay, but the cast was well put together and did okay. The cast includes John Belushi, Ned Beatty, Dan Aykroyd, Toshiro Mifune, Treat Williams, and Christopher Lee.

"You got something to be dancing about?"

I came across this on Netflix and was surprised I had never heard or seen it. The cast is awesome and it was fun to watch these characters, but the film was fairly dated and a huge step down from Animal House (similar comedic content). Overall, this is worth watching once, as there are some classic characters/actors in this film, but this has definitely not aged well.


Grade: C
½ November 30, 2014
I think I must have watched the uncut version of this as it was nearly 2 and a half hours long, Which was way too long. I think this film didn't work as it wasn't funny, despite the decent cast of comedians, and the excessive explosions and demolitions were nothing more than a waste of money for me. The whole film was chaotic, messy, and boring.
November 29, 2014
Despite the star studded cast and top notch director, this movie failed to meet all expectation of a solid comedy.
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