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1941 (Collector's Edition)
Collector's Edition
Actors: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Treat Williams, Nancy Allen, Tim Matheson
Director: Steven Spielberg
Genres: Comedy, Military & War
PG     1999     1hr 58min

Contains: restored footage not included in original theatrical release and original documentary on the making of 1941 steven spielbergs home movies and behind-the-scenes footage theatrical trailers outtakes and storyboards...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: John Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, Treat Williams, Nancy Allen, Tim Matheson
Director: Steven Spielberg
Creators: Buzz Feitshans, Janet Healy, John Milius, Michael Kahn, Bob Gale, Robert Zemeckis
Genres: Comedy, Military & War
Sub-Genres: Dan Aykroyd, John Belushi, Military & War
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed - Closed-captioned
DVD Release Date: 03/23/1999
Original Release Date: 12/14/1979
Theatrical Release Date: 12/14/1979
Release Year: 1999
Run Time: 1hr 58min
Screens: Color,Widescreen,Letterboxed
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Collector's Edition,Special Edition
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: French, Spanish
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Member Movie Reviews

Brian B. (BravoSierraBravo) from MARYSVILLE, OH
Reviewed on 3/9/2023...
1941 is the sophomore project of legendary director Steven Spielberg. It is loosely based on actual events that took place during the early stages of WWII. While fictionalized and zany, it's a little frightening how close to reality it really hits. General "Vinegar Joe" Stillwell was a real guy, played by Robert Stack - who has an uncanny resemblance to Gen. Stillwell. The general was convinced that the Japanese were going to invade the continental USA, and he actually was responsible for overseeing some of the things that are depicted in the movie.

It is an over-the-top comedy, not campy, but the frantic pacing and an ensemble cast of some of the most talented comedians and actors of the 1970's, coupled with Spielberg's rich filmmaking prowess make it an immersive comedy. It is full of slapstick gags, surprise twists, and hilarious, sophomoric humor. Such as when a kidnapped "Hollis Wood" played by Slim Pickins, runs into a Nazi SS officer played by Christopher Lee, aboard a Japanese Submarine that is off the coast of southern California looking for Hollywood. Check your intellect at the door, lighten up, roll with the jokes, and enjoy the ride. The movie is genuinely entertaining.

Here is a highlight of some of the cast of the film:

Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Christopher Lee, Tim Matheson, Toshirô Mifune, Warren Oates, Robert Stack, Treat Williams, Nancy Allen, John Candy, Eddie Deezen, Slim Pickens, Dub Taylor, Joe Flaherty, Michael McKean, and many, many others.
1 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michel D. (michelann) from WALNUT GROVE, MO
Reviewed on 7/16/2012...
What a fun movie! This is what we used to go to watch on the big screen because there is so much action packed footage (think enormous Ferris wheel rolling off into the Pacific Ocean)! Now that many of us have a big screen in our homes we can enjoy this historic but somewhat convoluted view into the past sitting on our duffs at home.
1941 includes some lengthy interviews with the likes of Steven Spielberg (director) as well as Bob Gale and Bob Zemeckis (co-writers) plus John Milius (co-writer and executive producer). They try to explain the madness that became one of their finest works 1941.
I loved this movie many years ago and now appreciate it even more with a more adult sense of humor. Its hard to see John Belushi without hurting at his loss as he could have had so much more to offer! Treat Williams, Tim Matheson, and Dan Aykroyd are always fun to watch and Robert Stack and Toshiro Mifune show they have much more than just a serious actor inside them! This is a long film at nearly 2 and a half hours but the time flies by believe me!
2 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jeremy G.
Reviewed on 1/4/2011...
classic what more can you say..
1 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michael G. from NEW YORK, NY
Reviewed on 12/6/2008...
Reminesent of Billy Wilder and Its A Mad Mad World. Very funny with Slapstick, stars and satire l wit. 4.5 stars

Movie Reviews

"Animal House" meets "Tora, Tora, Tora!"
Brent A. Anthonisen | Alpharetta, GA, USA | 07/27/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The reverential tone Steven Spielberg has taken lately with World War II as evident in "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan" (in addition to the 1987 boys' adventure "Empire Of The Sun") is nowhere to be found in this largely panned yet outrageously entertaining screwball comedy that would have done Blake Edwards proud.

Based loosely on events that actually occurred stateside during World War II (specifically the sighting of a Japanese submarine off the coast of California and the infamous "zoot suit riots" among day-glo dressed street hoods and servicemen), this movie pays tribute to the paranoia that gripped the West Coast in the days following the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in December 1941. Notoriously overbudget, this film was considered the "Waterworld" of its day, with the obvious difference being that it took itself not the least bit seriously. It was Spielberg's much-expected flop in the wake of "Jaws" and "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind"...but did it deserve to be?

An able cast of comedic talent headlined by the incomparable John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd with up-and-coming SCTV alumnus John Candy and recent "Animal House" veteran Tim Matheson supported ably by character actors Ned Beatty, Robert Stack, Treat Williams, and Lorraine Gary and all-time good ol' boy Slim Pickens on one side...and veteran Hammer Films horror star Christopher Lee slumming with Akira Kurosawa's number-one samurai Toshiro Mifune and the crew of a Japanese submarine with faulty navigational equipment on the other.

It is an all-star cast performing well up to its own high standard in what would be the most unusual twist on war since "Hogan's Heroes"...mainly the notion that this tragedy which brought so much pain and sorrow to the entire world could in fact be something that, in the right hands, could be uproariously funny. Spielberg's fingerprints are of course ubiquitous; the use of children, the collaboration with John Williams, breakaway stuntwork, special effects and well-designed set pieces...but it is the actors that make this movie work, particularly John Belushi who, like Brad Pitt in movies like "Thelma & Louise", "True Romance", and "Snatch" manages to steal completely a movie in which he actually has very little face time. All the actors are encouraged to play to their strengths, and the ability to "pay no attention to that man behind the curtain" (i.e., remember than none of this ever happened and that this is a comedy, not a documentary...Michael Moore, are you listening?) will enable the viewer some deep bellylaughs and some time well-spent viewing the bonus features which attempt to explain just WHY this is one of Spielberg's least understood or appreciated films."
1941...It's A Mad,Mad,Mad War!
Yendor | Gilroy, CA United States | 01/29/2002
(3 out of 5 stars)

"This 1979 WWII comedy spectacle bombed when it first released but its not as bad as its reputation suggests. Steven Spielberg's direction in this movie can be compared to some of the type of direction of today's big budget films (i.e Armageddon). The movie is noteworthy for the fact that it boasts an all-star cast including Tishiro Mifune, Christopher Lee (as a German officer on board the Japanese sub as a guest), stars from SNL, Second City, and stars from tv sitcoms of the 1970's. Also, it's one of the few movies John Belushi did before his untimely death. There are a lot of people screaming, great special effects and stunts, and some outrageous characters. The plot is mainly about a Japanese submarine that is off course, arriving in the L.A. harbor, and causing hysteria among the L.A residences. With that, there are related subplots such as Belushi's Wild Bill Kelso flying an airplane to L.A. and Ned Beatty's Ward Douglas receiving an anti-aircraft gun from the army to be placed on his beachfront backyard. Some standout supporting performances from Bobby Di Cicco as Wally Stephens, an unlisted man whose only joy is to dance in his zoot suit, and Dianne Kay (from TV's EIGHT IS ENOUGH) as his girlfriend. These two (along with Robert Stack as General Stillwell) are the "calm in the hurricane" or the only sane people in this movie. The rest are all too cartoony and over the top. This is the type of movie to watch as background noise if you are doing other things like writing your bills, doing your homework, or surfing the net. You can look up occasionally to catch something for a chuckle or two.
Note: Back in 1979, Dan Ackroyed must have been embarassed by this movie. In movie ads and posters released after this film, his face is removed from the original movie poster and replaced with someone else's face."
"Ahhhhhh, Dumbo"
Jen Martinez | USA | 11/08/1999
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I am sorry to hear that so many people did not like this film. It would have to be one of my all time favorites. Yah, there's a lot of screaming. Yah, there's a lot of running around. Yah, there's a lot of overacting, but this is what makes it so great. No thinking needed. A wonderful sit down-eat a snack-drink a beverage of your choice movie. Don't expect a high quality movie, but do expect a comedy that can leave you laughing. Some great names in there as well."