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Howard the Duck
Howard the Duck
Actors: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, Ed Gale, Chip Zien
Director: Willard Huyck
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Cult Movies
PG     2009     1hr 50min

One of the most talked-about movies of all time, Howard the Duck, lands on DVD for the first time ever in an all-new Special Edition! From executive producer George Lucas and the pages of Marvel Comics comes this unbelieva...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Lea Thompson, Jeffrey Jones, Tim Robbins, Ed Gale, Chip Zien
Director: Willard Huyck
Creators: Willard Huyck, George Lucas, Gloria Katz, Ian Bryce, Robert Latham Brown, Steve Gerber
Genres: Comedy, Kids & Family, Cult Movies
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Family Films, Cult Movies
Studio: Universal Studios
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 03/10/2009
Original Release Date: 01/01/1986
Theatrical Release Date: 01/01/1986
Release Year: 2009
Run Time: 1hr 50min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
Edition: Special Edition
MPAA Rating: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish

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Member Movie Reviews

Jade K. (Jade4142)
Reviewed on 3/2/2013...
I have bought many copies of this movie since it came out on DVD and many more when it was on VHS. I worked with the elderly for a long time, and I treated them to Howard for their TV rooms in nursing homes and senior centers. I had the pleasure of returning often to those facilities and I got nothing but love for sharing that movie with them.

It didn't matter to them where Howard originated, nor did they expect him to measure up to Star Wars. They were just happy with Howard. He made them howl with laughter, and that's a gift when you're 85 and everything hurts. He didn't make them think or reach their hearts or do anything particularly profound. He just made them laugh.

In some nursing homes, they watched this movie so often, they were able to sing the theme song without the movie playing. I think my favorite experience with this movie was in a local nursing home. I stopped in to visit with social worker and I heard the song. Her eyes twinkled and she said, "Come see."

They were walking four abreast down the main hall, and there were twelve of them. None of them walked fast and none of them walked easily, but that didn't keep them from clapping and stamping their feet and singing the theme song. They had a ball, and I felt like I'd shared something wonderful.

I left other movies with them, but I never saw elderly people laugh so hard or have so much fun as when they watched Howard.

I discovered Howard the Duck when my son brought it home; it had been a door prize at a party he'd gone to. We'd never seen it before, so we made popcorn and got out the bottled water and slipped it into the VCR. He laughed so hard at some points, like when Howard comes boiling up out of the garbage can, the defender of maidenhood short and be-feathered!

I did not laugh so hard. I chuckled a few a times and I smiled a few times. Howard did not particularly engage me.

But he made my son forget his asthma and just laugh himself silly. He made scores of elderly people howl with laughter. I really can't ask much more a movie than that it entertain. And Howard does that job well for the young and the old.

It is possible to take this movie entirely too seriously. It's just fun stuff.
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.
Jerome G. from LA CRESCENTA, CA
Reviewed on 5/6/2011...
One of the all-time losers at the box-office, but Lea Thompson (Back to the Future)
jumping around in her undies is great fun. This adaptation is more for adults that like B movies. Kids may like it. I still wonder why Lucas had to make this film...Can't say I liked the story or the guy in the ducksuit.
2 of 3 member(s) found this review helpful.
Michael G. (mgmirkin) from PORTLAND, OR
Reviewed on 2/19/2009...
Adapted from a comic book, this is a combination "grown up" movie (various adult themes and references you probably wouldn't get away with in a kids' movie these days), wrapped in the packaging of a kids' movie.

It's kitschy, campy, and VERY 80's. Wow is it 80's. If you want to preview it go to, if you love its nostalgia then pick this up, for sure. It's comedic, with a dash of sci-fi, and did I mention 80's kitsch? Yowsa!

One of my favorite childhood movies (must've watched it in the theater 10 times with my dad)... I'm sure we paid the theater's mortgage that month. I'm mildly ecstatic that they're finally giving it a DVD treatment!
4 of 4 member(s) found this review helpful.

Movie Reviews

Just to counter all the negative reviews...the Duck is what
S. Granger | Los Angeles, California United States | 08/02/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I understand why someone who is looking for a great film would be disappointed. Howard the Duck is no Saving Private Ryan or English Patient. Thankfully not all films are or we'd be really bored. What Howard The Duck IS is entertaining. It's a guy in a duck what? It's pretty funny and refreshingly enjoyable to watch. It is a well made if you look at it on that level then it's a lot of fun. And it's not helpful to compare the film which is aimed at a young audience to the comic which was very adult. Two different things entirely...really, if there were enough fans of the comic (and I'm one) then there would be a new, adult version of Howard. I don't see that happening. So enjoy the film for what it is. I hope the DVD does it justice."
The 80's film that all is required to hate, apparently, but
David J. Brown | 03/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This is a review for the 2009 American dvd special edition release.

This is one of the most well known, whether you've seen it or not, films of all time. 23 Years ago George Lucas was one of the hottest producer/writer/directors in Hollywood thanks to his involvement with the original Star Wars trilogy and Indiana Jones. Everything he touched turned to gold. He started his own sound and effects companies that revolutionised the business and the method in which films are made, and he still does that today. Then came the infamous Howard The Duck. Even when it was announced some were unsure why Lucas would gravitate to such an offbeat concept(originally an equally offbeat and satirical Marvel comic). Then, the reports of the budget and reshoots(which thanks to this edition, you find out was due to the limitations of the original Howard puppet) had the skeptics reeling even more. Every writer would make sure to note the huge budget of the film, as if it was relevant to anyone at all. I notice some reviewers here on Amazon seem to use how much a film cost to deride it or how much it made to champion it, as if that says anything about the film itself. Independence Day was and is a terrible film but it made a tons of money when it was released. The true test of a good film or a film that trancends is time.

It's been over twenty years since Howard The Duck graced the silver screen and became one of the biggest and, apparently, most expenssive flops of all time. Everyone seems to know this movie. New generations who watched it on cable don't know a damn thing about the film's reviews or status back in the 80's and just take it for what it is: an extremely silly, farcical, goofy, sci-fi,fish out of water comedy, action adventure, horror movie. I saw this when I was really young and even at that young age I still knew something of what a flop this flick was, that's how hardcore the criticism was. Hell, there was an episode of Tiny Toon Adventures that had characters on the boxes in a video store coming to life, and one of them used the Howard The Duck video cassette as a bomb to stop an enemy(GET IT?!?!? HA!HA!)

Well, I still dont' get why this film was hated so much. I kind of get that it wasn't easily stuffed into convenient packaging. Was it a kids film? No, not really. It contains too much sexual humor, and innuendo to be. Was it a comedy? Yes, but it had some sincere and scary moments. Was it for an adult audience? Sort of. It was for anyone, but it seemed as though it would only appeal to those who feel like they're on the fringe of the norms in society. They can relate to its take no prisoners, anything goes approach to filmmaking and storytelling. That's the ticket. That's why it's a cult film now. An acquired taste produced to be a huge hit, but ended up only appealing to a small few.

The dvd itself is beautiful. The transfer is pristine. Surprisingly, the old-school effects hold up to the digital transfer. Phill Tippet's stop motion monsters at the end still look cool and the digital clean up doesn't make them look as arcane as one might expect. I've always thought John Barry's score was great. It still is. This film's score is one of the most memorable and creative, but due to the film's reputation it never got the kudos it deserves. In one scene there's broad comedy and puns, and then a sweet scene between Howard and Lea Thompson, followed by the awkwardness of a romance between a duck and a human, which is all scored appropriately and it works. There are two new featurettes on the disc. One is a retrospective doc, running about a half hour, about the making of the film and its development. We get the whole creative team of writer director Willard Huyck, writer/producer Gloria Katz(the writing team behind American Grafitti and Indiana Jones and the Temple Of Doom), actors Leah Thomson, Ed Gale(Howard), and Jeffrey Jones. I think it's sooo cool that they all participated in this and weren't afraid to openly say that they liked the film. There's a second featurette about the reaction to the film, it's reviews and box-office receipts. This one is fun too and it incorporates all those interview in previous featurette. Finally, we get the usual trailers and EPK materials from the film's original release.

I got this disc for 12 bucks. If you like or love this film then it's a must. If you're mildly interested or you love alternative cinema then it's a must as well. If you are still a hater from back in the day, then why the hell would you be reading this anyway?

PS: Rewatching the film yesterday, I really started missing the stop-motion effects that all but disappeared back in the mid 90's. The effects are so good, detailed, weighty, and other-worldly that I just smiled through the whole end sequence. Sure, CGI has it's place for a lot of things it does great or brilliantly(Benjamin Button, Gladiator etc.) but when it comes to creature or monsters or aliens does it look any more real in CGI? I don't know. I always know when I'm looking at something that's fully CGI and I know it's not really there. I felt the same way about old school effects. Gollum from the Lord of the Rings trilogy came closest in that regard,but that's about it. Just something to ponder if you will...."
Howard deserves another look!
Scott Zygutis | Antioch, California United States | 05/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"First of all, you have to remember that this is a sci-fi comedy based on a comic book! It was never meant to stand up against George Lucas' other sci-fi giant "Star Wars". Sure, the story line is preposterous. A science experiment gone awry, transports to Earth a lone "person" from a semi parallel universe where the predominant species are ducks. Is that harder to believe than a high-school kid who gets bitten by a radioactive spider and starts to grow silk glands, spin webs and climb straight up vertical walls? No, and yet "Spiderman" was one of the biggest hits of the year, and was slated for a sequel before it even hit the theaters.Yes, "Howard" is filled with "predictable, cheap one-liners." ("Howard, duck!" "And proud of it!") Look at any Mel Brooks or old Bob Hope film. What are they full of? Predictable, cheap one-liners, yet they are some of the funniest movies ever made.And what about the acting? Well, I feel that the then pretty much unknown Tim Robbins' portrayal of the nerdy lab assistant was suburb. He actually made the geek that much more believable. Jeffery Jones as the scientist whose body is taken over by the monster alien is absolutely perfect in the restaurant scene. ("She took my eggs!") And what can I say about the lovely Lea Thompson, except she is wonderfully fresh, and even does a fantastic job with her own singing.All in all, you have to ignore the turkey critics on this one and see for yourself. If you give it the chance it deserves, Howard the Duck will make you laugh and cry at the same time, and that is a sign of true comedy genius!"