HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Come True
Kagemusha
Justine
Poly Styrene: I Am a Cliché
Madchen in Uniform
Fire Will Come
Suspect
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Dementer
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Blush
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
Archenemy
Zappa
Mindwarp
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Greenland
Broil
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Breeder
Stump the Guesser
Sator
Last Warning, The
PVT CHAT
Ascent, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
   
 
  Muppet Movie, The Search For Stardom
Year: 1979
Director: James Frawley
Stars: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, Dave Goelz, Charles Durning, Austin Pendleton, Steve Martin, Mel Brooks, Dom DeLuise, Orson Welles, Elliott Gould, Cloris Leachman, Paul Williams, Madeline Kahn, Carol Kane, Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen
Genre: Musical, ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Statler and Waldorf arrive at a big Hollywood studio to be in the preview audience for the latest production by the Muppets. But this is not a stage show or even a television extravaganza, it's a fully-fledged movie starring the usual cast, all to tell of how the Muppet performers were assembled. Once everyone settles down, and Kermit the Frog (Jim Henson) has tried and failed to give an introductory speech, the movie begins. We first see Kermit singing and playing the banjo in the swamp where he grew up, and he seems content until an agent (Dom DeLuise) rows up to him to tell him he should audition for Hollywood stardom. Kermit is unsure, but the idea is undeniably attractive and soon he has begun his journey...

When The Muppet Movie was initially released, the response was curiously lukewarm, as if the transfer of a big television hit to the silver screen was somehow a betrayal of what made the original so successful. The puppets were much loved in their small screen incarnation, appealling to all ages equally, and the guest stars that lined up to appear with them were an impressive collection. And so it is that the film has guest stars also, only this time they seem to be packing in as many as possible in as short a period as ninety-odd minutes will allow, with some, like Bob Hope or Telly Savalas, receiving barely one line to make their presence felt.

This approach looks as if all these guests were intended to make the film worth seeing, when it's really the Muppets and their special interplay that hold the magic. Taking the form of a road movie, the story features Kermit bumping into the recognised Muppets and having them join him on his pursuit of showbiz. It also features more intricate puppet work than that of the series, with such show-off items as Kermit riding his bicycle or dancing - and we can see his legs while he does. His first port of call is a rough bar whose patrons throw out its owner (James Coburn) and just happens to have a comedian onstage in the shape of Fozzie Bear (Frank Oz).

The corny gags are there in abundance, as when Fozzie defuses his hostile reception in the bar by saying the drinks are on the house, whereupon everyone rushes outside and climbs on the roof to find them. Kermit and his new friend then hit the road in Fozzie's car, but there's a complication: yes, this film has a villain, here Doc Hopper (Charles Durning) who wants the talented Kermit to front his advertising campaign for his frog's legs restaurants. And he's persistent, too, turning from offering suggestions to outright threats to persuade. But Kermit is having none of it, and does his best to evade capture, more intent on following his dream.

And following your dream is the message of the film, although here it's absurdly easy for a bunch of good-natured puppets to be successful; life's what you make it, they say. And so we are treated to the first meeting of Kermit and Gonzo (Dave Goelz), complete with a chicken called Camilla - there may be romantic involvement there - and more importantly the green one's heavily significant encounter with Miss Piggy (Oz again) where she has just won a smalltown beauty pageant and their eyes meet through the crowd. Yet more pop up in unlikely settings - Dr Bunsen and Beaker in a ghost town for example.

The most charming aspect of the Muppets is that they do their best never to let down their friends, even if their best is sometimes none too good - their flaws make them more endearing. Paul Williams and lyricist Kenny Ascher provide some perfectly judged songs, with humorous ones matched by some surprisingly touching, sentimental ones ("The Rainbow Connection" particularly stands out as bringing a lump to the throat for that just-something-in-my-eye moment). And everyone's favourite Muppet should be represented here, from drummer Animal (now giant sized!) to the Swedish Chef, however briefly, so that The Muppet Movie is by no means unlikeable; in fact, it's as cosy and amiably appealling in it own way as the television series was. It was followed by a whole string of similarly-pitched sequels and related productions, on both TV and film.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6148 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
   

 

Last Updated: