Read the original 1977 reviews of 'Star Wars'

When George Lucas' "Star Wars" first landed in 1977, some critics were swept away, while others resisted the tide. A sampling:

See Full Article

EXHAUSTING

"'Star Wars' is like getting a box of Cracker Jacks which is all prizes. This is the writer-director George Lucas's own film, subject to no business interference, yet it's a film that's totally uninterested in anything that doesn't connect with the mass audience. There's no breather in the picture, no lyricism; the only attempt at beauty is in the double sunset. It's enjoyable on its own terms, but it's exhausting, too: like taking a pack of kids to the circus. ... It's an epic without a dream." -- Pauline Kael, The New Yorker.

THUMBS UP

"'Star Wars' taps the pulp fantasies buried in our memories, and because it's done so brilliantly, it reactivates old thrills, fears, and exhilarations we thought we'd abandoned when we read our last copy of Amazing Stories." -- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times.

OVERWHELMING BANALITY

"Strip 'Star Wars' of its often striking images and its high-falutin scientific jargon, and you get a story, characters, and dialogue of overwhelming banality, without even a "future" cast to them. Human beings, anthropoids, or robots, you could probably find them all, more or less like, that, in downtown Los Angeles today... O dull new world!" -- John Simon, New York magazine.

WITTY

"'Star Wars' ... is the most elaborate, most expensive, most beautiful movie serial ever made. It's both an apotheosis of 'Flash Gordon' serials and a witty critique that makes associations with a variety of literature that is nothing if not eclectic: 'Quo Vadis?' 'Buck Rogers,' 'Ivanhoe,' 'Superman,' 'The Wizard of Oz,' 'The Gospel According to St. Matthew,' the legend of King Arthur and the knights of the Round Table. ... One of Mr. Lucas's particular achievements is the manner in which he is able to recall the tackiness of the old comic strips and serials he loves without making a movie that is, itself, tacky." -- Vincent Camby, New York Times.

UNEXCEPTIONAL

"The only way that 'Star Wars' could have been interesting was through its visual imagination and special effects. Both are unexceptional. ... I kept looking for an 'edge,' to peer around the corny, solemn comic-book strophes; he was facing them frontally and full. This picture was made for those (particularly males) who carry a portable shrine within them of their adolescence, a chalice of a Self that was Better Then, before the world's affairs or -- in any complex way -- sex intruded." -- Stanley Kauffman, the New Republic.

RIP-ROARING GALLOP

"'Star Wars' is Buck Rogers with a doctoral degree but not a trace of neuroticism or cynicism, a slam-bang, rip-roaring gallop through a distantly future world full of exotic vocabularies, creatures and customs, existing cheek by cowl with the boy and girl next door and a couple of friendly leftovers from the planet of the apes and possibly one from Oz (a Tin Woodman robot who may have got a gold-plating as a graduation present)." -- Charles Champlin, Los Angeles Times.



Advertisements

Latest Entertainment News

  • Demi Lovato to help war-scarred children in Iraq

    Entertainment CTV News
    NEW YORK - Demi Lovato has been named a Global Citizen mental health ambassador at the organization's music festival in New York City's Central Park. The singer who has struggled with mental health issues herself was named Saturday. Source
  • Meghan Markle's ex developing 'splitcom' with royal family ties: report

    Entertainment CBC News
    Meghan Markle, Suits actress and girlfriend of Prince Harry, might have inspired a new sitcom being developed by her ex-husband, a television producer. According to Deadline.com, Trevor Engelson is producing a comedy pilot with a royal connection alongside Modern Family executive producer Danny Zuker. Source
  • Charles Bradley, ‘Screaming Eagle of Soul,’ dead at age 68

    Entertainment CTV News
    Acclaimed soul singer Charles Bradley has died after a lengthy battle with stomach cancer. "It is with a heavy heart that we announce the passing of Charles Bradley," a statement released on Bradley’s official Facebook profile reads. Source
  • Colin Firth takes Italian citizenship after Brexit decision

    Entertainment CTV News
    LONDON - British actor Colin Firth says he has taken Italian citizenship as a "sensible" move amid global political uncertainty. Firth, who is married to environmentalist Livia Giuggioli, says he has become a dual U.K. Source
  • ‘Pure joy’: B.C. man hits the stage for duet with Paul McCartney

    Entertainment CTV News
    A British Columbia man received the chance of a lifetime on Thursday when he performed a duet alongside legendary singer Paul McCartney. Gregg Anderson, a postage clerk from Grand Forks, B.C., sang alongside the former Beatle during the sound check of his Thursday concert at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. Source
  • Daddy Yankee's fans fill 4 trucks of donations for hurricane, earthquake victims

    Entertainment CBC News
    When Daddy Yankee calls, people answer. So when the reggaeton star went on social media to ask fans to help victims of Hurricane Maria in his native Puerto Rico and the earthquake in Mexico, his fans delivered with an avalanche of donations. Source
  • Authorities close in on Kevin Hart's extortioner after uncovering evidence: report

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Authorities are reportedly confident they will catch those responsible for attempting to extort Kevin Hart, after several warranted searches led to officers uncovering vital evidence. The 38-year-old actor was allegedly asked to pay a seven-figure sum to avoid a sex tape being leaked, with the footage allegedly showing the comedian in a compromising situation with a woman other than his pregnant wife Eniko Parrish. Source
  • Shawn Mendes donates $100k to Mexican earthquake relief

    Entertainment CBC News
    Shawn Mendes has launched an online fundraiser to help those affected by the Mexican earthquake just days after he escaped safely from the quake ahead of a planned show in Mexico City, an incident he called "pretty scary. Source
  • 'Underneath is turmoil:' Sarah Gadon on the challenges of Alias Grace

    Entertainment CBC News
    Churchill's saying about a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma? He could have been talking about Grace Marks, the woman at the centre of Alias Grace. There's a lot bubbling under the surface in the new CBC-TV and Netflix miniseries adapted from Margaret Atwood's award-winning novel, inspired by the true story of Grace Marks, a poor Irish immigrant and domestic servant accused and convicted of murder in 19th century Canada. Source
  • 'Nobody wants to talk about death:' Patients' stories inspire play about palliative care

    Entertainment CBC News
    In a small dark room in North End Halifax, an audience sits in a circle, their chairs facing inward as four actors move around them reciting lines. There's no set, no microphones, no costumes. "The words the doctor had used were: 'You have advanced cancer. Source