Lively, entertaining reviews of, and essays on, old and newer films and everything relating to them, written by professional author William Schoell.

Monday, April 14, 2008


THE STRONGEST MAN IN THE WORLD (1975). Director: Vincent McEveety.

Even a host of veteran comics and character actors can't save this Disney comedy that takes a workable premise -- a super-strength formula increases a rivalry between two cereal companies -- and beats it into the ground. Student Dexter Riley (Kurt Russell) is the first one to inadvertently ingest the formula, but the Dean (Joe Flynn) demonstrates its efficacy to a cereal board presided over by no less than Eve Arden. Phil Silvers plays the head of the rival cereal company. It all leads to a weight-lifting competition which will supposedly prove which cereal is the best. Fritz Feld is a board member, Kathleen Freeman plays a cop, Mary Treen is the dean's secretary, and Cesar Romero is a hired crook -- all of them (and Silvers) deserved a better script. Flatly directed by McEveety. A few amusing bits but not enough to sustain a feature. Michael McGreevey is the kid who supposedly invented the formula.

Verdict: A waste of a great cast.

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