Advertisement

Movie Mom

Movie Mom

“Sneakers” Rediscovered

posted by Nell Minow

I have fond memories of the neglected gem Sneakers, with Robert Redford as the leader of a ragtag group of quirky geniuses, written and directed by Phil Alden Robinson, who wrote “Field of Dreams.”  This has some of the same off-beat idealism and some endearing performances by Dan Aykroyd, Mary McDonnell, Sidney Poitier, David Strathairn, and the late River Phoenix.  Reading Slate Magazine’s 20th anniversary appreciation is pure pleasure.

Advertisement

YouTube Preview Image

“[I]t’s action-packed without being too violent, and smart without taking itself too seriously,” says John Swansburg.  It’s a little bit “Mission: Impossible” (the TV series about the ragtag group of quirky geniuses, not the movie series about Tom Cruise and stunts), a little bit “Kukla, Fran, and Ollie” (an oddball assortment who become an adorably dysfunctionally functional family) and a little bit “Our Gang” with Mary McDonnell as Darla.

Advertisement

More important, as Swansburg and his colleagues point out, is is sharply, even surprisingly prescient.

Though much of its technology looks hopelessly dated 20 years on—motion sensors! voice activation! pleated pants!—the movie was spot-on in its prediction of how a computer-connected world would change the nature, and wages, of power. As Cosmo tells Marty: “It’s not about who has the most bullets, it’s about who controls the information: What we see and hear, how we work, what we think. It’s all about the information.”

I enjoyed all of the commentary, especially the recollections of making the movie by co-star Stephen Tobolowsky (best remembered as the obnoxious insurance salesman from “Groundhog Day”).  But the most fun was this story about how the movie inspired a uniform badge for a real-life US spy office.

  • http://AddaURLtothiscomment Chris D

    Sneakers is one of my most favorite movies. One of my favorite scenes is toward the end with River Phoenix trying to hit on the special agent. The cameo of the government agent is perfectly cast as well.

    Thanks for writing about this.

    Chris.

    • Nell Minow

      That’s one of my favorites, too! I hope the Slate article encourages people to rediscover this great film.

  • Pingback: “Sneakers” Rediscovered « Christian Media Monitor

Previous Posts

Tonight on PBS: A Capitol Fourth with Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, and KC and the Sunshine Band
[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5IQqWgdF1z0[/youtube] Tune in tonight to watch A Capitol Fourth on PBS, featuring Barry Manilow, Hunter Hayes, KC and the Sunshine Band, Alabama, and Lang Lang, and hosted by Bradley Whitford. And ...

posted 12:00:57pm Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

Marvin Gaye Sings the Star Spangled Banner
Happy 4th of July! [vimeo]https://vimeo.com/34606761[/vimeo] ...

posted 8:38:56am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

The Declaration of Independence -- Happy 4th of July!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETroXvRFoKY ...

posted 7:00:25am Jul. 04, 2015 | read full post »

For the 4th of July: Singing Founding Fathers in "1776"
Happy Independence Day!  Every year, I recommend the rousing musical about the Declaration of Independence. "1776" makes the Founding Fathers vivid, human, and interesting characters, and is so involving that you almost forget that you already ...

posted 8:00:01am Jul. 03, 2015 | read full post »

Sesame Street's Maria Says Goodbye
Sonia Manzano has announced that she is leaving Sesame Street after 44 years.  She was 22 years old when she auditioned for the brand new series that would revolutionize children's programming. She became Maria, one of the first Latina ...

posted 1:20:21pm Jul. 02, 2015 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.