Sunday, November 29, 2009
A new low for the History Channel?
I just watched a charming little 1979 war movie, starring Roger Moore, David Niven, Elliot Gould, Tell Savalas, Stefanie Powers, Sonny Bono and Richard Roundtree. Quite the cast. The movie is so-so action flick with Roger Moore doing a cod-German accent, Gould hamming it up, Powers playing a stripper, and everyone having fun.
The question is, what was it doing on the History Channel? It has the historical accuracy of a Grandpa Simpson rant. (Now my story begins in Nineteen-dickety-two. We had to say "dickety" because the Kaiser had stolen the wold "twenty." I chased that rascal to get it back, but gave up after dickety-six miles.)
Nazi super-rockets on a small Greek Island. Only Telly Savalas can save the day, with a little help from some greedy ragtag grifters (a professor, stand-up comedian, stripper, cook, magician, etc.) who end up sacrificing it all for patriotic duty.
Throw in a disco number with the closing credits (Keep Tomorrow For Me by Heatwave) and you have something that was a whole lot of silly fun, but so anti-historical it could have been a right-wing retelling of the Reagan years (the great communicator won the cold war you know).
The History Channel has some utter garbage on it--docos about ghost hunters, Nostrodamus predictions, UFOs, and how the moon landings were faked--but at least the usual lousy fare pretends to be about history. Showing a 1979 comedic war film is a new low. Although I must say, I did enjoy it.