Richard dreyfuss plays a daredevil pilot who dies after saving the life of his buddy while fighting a runaway forest fire. Holly hunter is the girl he leaves behind until he comes back as a guardian angel to a beginner pil... more »ot. Studio: Uni Dist Corp. (mca) Release Date: 10/24/2006 Starring: Richard Dreyfus Holly Hunter Run time: 123 minutes Rating: Pg Director: Steven Spielberg« less
Sharon F. (Shar) from HIALEAH, FL Reviewed on 10/24/2021...
Loved this movie! Great actors, great love story, and great writing. Put this one on your "to watch" list.
Tess G. from ROSE HILL, KS Reviewed on 3/10/2012...
One of the great, "classic" movies of my generation. I own this one & it's one you can watch over & over again without getting old. The characters are charming, the direction, brilliant, and the acting, wonderful. A tear-jerker & a comedy that will leave you feeling good! They don't make movies like this anymore...
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Rick W. from AUSTIN, MN Reviewed on 10/3/2008...
This is one of my all time favorites. It has everything; comedy, music, romance, action etc..... The three major actors were at their best.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
email@example.com | Atlanta, GA | 10/04/2002
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Richard Dreyfuss is a pilot, and kind of a wild card when it comes to his fire fighter flying. This concerns the people around him, girlfriend Holly Hunter and best friend John Goodman, but Dreyfuss shruggs it off because this is what he does. Finally Hunter convinces him he should take a job in Flat Rock, Colorado training pilots to do what he does. Unfortunately he never makes it to Flat Rock, at least not in the flesh. Not trying to give too much away, Dreyfuss comes back as a sort of guardian angel, forced to deal with two things: his love for Hunter and his duty to a young pilot she falls for.Always is a well made picture. From Spielberg we expect nothing less, though I think his name hinders this film**. The cinematography and the score are excellent as in all his films, as are the action sequences involving the planes. However, the acting is the strongest part of this film. This is the kind of role Dreyfuss shines in. His fusion of wit and sincere emotion is wonderfull and he delivers some difficult monologues which would seem trite is lesser hands. Holly Hunter and John Goodman are excellent as the people dealing with his loss. Also Audrey Hepburn makes her final screen appearance in two scenes as an angel (how fitting). **I have this theory about Always. It was almost universally panned by critics, but I think the criticism is directed more at Spielberg than at the film. Certainly Spielberg has made better pictures, and perhaps this film was made on a grander scale than it needed to be, but I think if any other director had done this film it would not have received so much scrutiny. But, I also believe in the hands of a lesser director this movie would not be as good. Always combines action, humor, genuine sorrow, and happiness , and it combines them well, which is no small achievement. Spielberg made a good film, let it go."
ALWAYS--An Unfairly Maligned Movie
Erik North | San Gabriel, CA USA | 03/17/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A loose reworking of Victor Fleming's 1943 World War II drama A GUY NAMED JOE, ALWAYS has to rank as perhaps director Steven Spielberg's most unfairly maligned movie. Even though it has a very old-fashioned feel updated to the late 1980s, this is still a fine movie done with real poignancy. This is nowhere near the bottom of the Spielberg canon; that dubious distinction belongs to "1941" and HOOK.Richard Dreyfuss stars as Pete, a dare-devil aerial firefighter with a penchant for taking a lot of unneccesary chances in his line of work. As much "fun" as he has, he is worrying not only his partner Al (John Goodman), but also his one true love Dorinda (Holly Hunter). After much pressure, including Hunter's threat to leave him, he agrees to settle down and become an instructor for up-and-coming flyers in Colorado after one last mission. But on that mission, in the process of saving Goodman when his plane catches fire, Dreyfuss loses his life when his aircraft explodes. Goodman is horrified, and Hunter devastated.In heaven (or a burned-out section of forest), Dreyfuss is met by a guardian angel (Audrey Hepburn, in her final role). He comes back to earth as a spirit, to help a rookie fire-fighter (Brad Johnson) learn the tricks of the trade. Johnson does this and more; unfortunately, he also falls head over heels for Hunter, and Dreyfuss feels the pain of having to watch this, not being able to let go. But Hepburn gives him very good counsel, and he is redeemed by saving Hunter from a fiery death in a flight through a nightmarish firestorm.One of Spielberg's most touching movies, ALWAYS was unfairly castigated by critics as being heavy-handed and manipulative. I, however, am extremely cynical of such critics who only analyze certain films and don't really FEEL anything. This is a film of pure emotions, ranging from comedy, both dark and slapstick, to tear-jerking drama to a suspense and terror-laden climax. The cinematography and the special effects are typical for Spielberg--convincing and top notch. Spielberg, however, wisely, does not stint on the drama. Dreyfuss and Hunter are excellent, as are Goodman and Hepburn. Johnson, often heavily trashed, does a fairly good job with his role, complete with his John Wayne imitation (specifically borrowing a line from John Ford's THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE).A typically fine score by John Williams, which presages his work for Spielberg's controversial 2001 sci-fi drama A.I.: ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE, tops off ALWAYS, one of the most misunderstood movies of recent times. For poignant romantic drama, this is an essential movie, a true must-see."
Some souls burn brightly even after death.
Anthony Hinde | Sydney, Australia | 05/22/2000
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Let's face it, there's damned few chances in life to root for the dead guy. And when the deceased is a fire fighting hero, a pilot and Richard Dreyfuss, you know your have to love him. But before I become too premature, let's lay the groundwork. Actually that term is only half correct for "Always", as a lot of the action takes place in the air. You see we are dealing with airborne smokeys, fire fliers who pilot Air Tankers and dump thousands of gallons of water on forest fires for little pay, even less public recognition and no future.
So there's no prizes for guessing the outcome when we are introduced to one of the more reckless pilots, Pete Sandich, who is in a non-committal relationship with a beautiful Radio operator back at base, Dorinda Durston, played by Holly Hunter. But before the inevitable, tragic accident, we are treated to some quite romantic scenes. The best of which involves Pete gifting his love with a stunning white cocktail dress. The timing could have been better as she then has to dance with every roughneck fire-stomper in the base.
Pete's best friend, the improbably named Al Yackey, is played by John Goodman. He actually has the best role in the film and whilst he does offer much comic relief, there is much more meat on the character's bones than just humour. In fact he is an integral part in putting all the pieces back together following Pete's death.
Interestingly, the story doesn't really take off until Pete is ashes to ashes. You see the afterlife is not all cheese and biscuits, laying back on fluffy clouds. There's work to do, inspiring the living to be the best they can be, or at least to stop being such losers. Pete gets some on the job training from an angelic supervisor called Hap, (Audry Hepburn), and is then pushed out into the world to assist a wayward member of Gods great flock.
This particular sheep is called Ted Baker and he gets one of the best descriptions in any film when Dorinder claims he is not her type, (too much twisted steel and sex appeal). You see, it's Teds destiny to be with Dorinda and hers to be with him. Unfortunately, Pete doesn't work that out for some time because he is too busy trying to be a part of Dorinda's life.
There's a lot of room for emotional moments in this film, so don't forget the tissues. I love the whole idea of the film. It's great to watch Richard Dreyfuss weave his magic with a touching script. And John Goodman is the perfect buddy for, first Pete and then Dorina. In the end we have to forgive Ted for wanting to take Pete's girl. It is hard because we can see Pete is still desperately in love with her. But when he turns the corner and starts pulling for Ted, we can't help but follow."
An underrated classic
Erik North | 06/02/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I really enjoy this movie. The cast was fabulous. This was Audrey Hepburn's last appearance on the big screen as well, in a role as "Hap", the angel who Pete (Richard Dreyfuss) first encounters after dying from his plane exploding.Holly Hunter shines as Dorinda, Pete's girlfriend, who tries to come to terms with Pete dying. John Goodman is also funny and loveable as Al, one of the pilot trainers.I was really disappointed when "Ghost" (although Ghost is a good movie in and of itself too) came out a little while later, because it seemed to have stolen many themes from "Always", such as male lead having problems saying "I love you", male lead being able to have an influence on surviving loved ones after dying, lead female being able to be told eventually "I love you by lead male. Ghost seemed to get more of the rave reviews and sentimental following than Always, because it was a "sexier" movie. acted by "handsomer" actors. Always was told more like a fairy tale. Anyway, I digress.I found this movie to be magical and I really enjoyed it."