Location: Bartos Screening Room
Dir. Steven Spielberg. 1989, 122 mins. 35mm. Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, John Goodman, Audrey Hepburn. Spielberg’s most underappreciated film is a heartfelt ode to 1940s Hollywood moviemaking, equal parts screwball romance, action spectacular, and tear-jerking ghost story. Dreyfuss and Hunter have marvelous chemistry as, respectively, a doomed forest-fire-fighting pilot and his air-traffic-controller girlfriend; after he dies in an accident, he returns to haunt her and help her find love again. In remaking a favorite film of his youth, Victor Fleming’s A Guy Named Joe, Spielberg creates something that is both a throwback—like a combination of Hawks’s Only Angels Have Wings and Mankiewicz’s The Ghost and Mrs. Muir—and wholly his own, a rapturous and funny vision of the afterlife right here on earth.