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

  • George Clooney threatens prosecution over pictures of twins

    Entertainment CTV News
    George Clooney says photographers who captured images of him and his wife, human rights lawyer Amal Clooney, cradling their newborn twins will be "prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law." The pictures published by French magazine Voici were taken at the Clooneys' residence in the Lombardy region of Italy. Source
  • Ontario highway sign goes from James Snow Parkway to Jon Snow Parkway

    Entertainment CTV News
    MILTON, Ont. -- An Ontario highway sign has received the "Game of Thrones" treatment. Motorists travelling on Highway 401 in Milton, Ont., just west of Toronto, on Friday saw the name of the James Snow Parkway exit sign changed to Jon Snow Parkway. Source
  • Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon reunite for TV series

    Entertainment CBC News
    Jennifer Aniston is returning to the small screen for her first regular television role since Friends wrapped in 2004. Aniston is set to star alongside Reese Witherspoon in a series exploring TV morning shows and the New York media scene, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Source
  • Arcade Fire's 'Everything Now' takes aim at the information age and shoots itself in the foot

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    Arcade Fire's fifth album, "Everything Now," cries out against an information age that won't stop cramming inconsequential crud down our throats, ears and optic nerves - which means the popular Canadian rock group has chosen to present a more concise, essential version of itself, right? Source
  • Toronto donors confident iconic collection of Leibovitz photos will be displayed

    Entertainment CTV News
    HALIFAX -- A wealthy Toronto family that donated a multi-million-dollar collection of Annie Leibovitz photographs to a small Halifax art gallery is confident the works will eventually be displayed. But the Mintz family warns that a federal board's refusal to grant the bulk of the collection donated to the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia a certification of cultural significance, which comes with important tax incentives for donors, will harm public galleries and museums. Source
  • What’s new on Netflix Canada, CraveTV in August

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    A monthly look at what’s scheduled to be added to the catalogues of streaming services Netflix Canada and CraveTV in August: TOP PICKS The Netflix series “Marvel’s The Defenders,” which premieres Aug. 18, unites the lead characters from several past superhero shows. Source
  • 'The Emoji Movie' has a zero score on Rotten Tomatoes - critics are eviscerating the film

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    There is perhaps no single emoji to reflect just how savagely film critics are trashing "The Emoji Movie." A succession of skulls and dumpster fires would only begin to suggest the intensity of the verbal carpet-bombing. Reviews began strafing the movie Thursday like drone strikes, one day ahead of the Sony flick's big debut. Source
  • 'We feel your loss as well'; Chester Bennington's widow opens up about singer's death

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    NEW YORK — The widow of late Linkin Park singer Chester Bennington says she’s feeling the love from the rocker’s fans but she’s also feeling the loss. Talinda Bennington said in a statement late Thursday she wants “to let my community and the fans worldwide know that we feel your love. Source
  • Vacation goals: See how your favourite celebs are spending summer

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    There’s only a couple months left until summer is over. If you haven’t already, now would be the perfect time to actually do those things on your bucket-list and cure your FOMO. If anybody knows how to induce serious vacay envy it would be your favourite celebs. Source
  • ‘Big Brother’ blindsides, Peter Kraus’ Bachelorette bombshell and more reality-TV highlights this week

    Entertainment Toronto Sun
    BIG BROTHER The season’s major power couple were ripped apart on Day 23 when Cody Nickson was separated from Jessica Graf following a tense eviction. But the pair’s luck seemed to have completely changed during the start of this week on Big Brother when the construction sales representative re-entered the house following a strenuous battle back competition. Source