The Rock­e­teer

Walt Dis­ney Home Video, 1999. DVD, 108 min­utes, rated PG. $14.99.

Air & Space Smithsonian - - Reviews & Previews -

SET DUR­ING THE 1930S, The Rock­e­teer’s un­am­bigu­ous hero Cliff (Billy Camp­bell) is an air­rac­ing pi­lot who’s lucky enough to date Jenny, a hot fledg­ling ac­tress (pre-os­car-win­ning Jen­nifer Con­nelly), and pal around with crusty but lov­able me­chanic side­kick Peevy (Alan Arkin). He and Peevy stum­ble onto a topse­cret jet­pack, which Cliff learns to fly by adding the req­ui­site cus­tom-built suit and pseu­do­nym, all while be­ing chased by gang­sters, the FBI, and Nazis.

The film, re­leased in 1991, por­trays more el­e­gance than the De­pres­sion era had. Ev­ery­thing is bright, col­or­ful, and shiny. Coun­try roads bil­low clean dust, and when Howard Hughes in­evitably shows up, he’s per­fectly sane.

Will Cliff beat the Nazis, gang­sters, and the FBI? Will he res­cue Jenny, keep the top-se­cret jet­pack, and re­tain his su­per-se­cret true iden­tity? Will movie lovers re­live the sim­pler times of Satur­day mati­nees and he­roes like Flash Gor­don? To learn the an­swer to these and many other ques­tions, cue up The Rock­e­teer!

SPACE/SMITHSONIANPHIL SCOTT IS A FRE­QUENT AIR &

CON­TRIB­U­TOR. HE

HAS WRIT­TEN HUN­DREDS OF MAG­A­ZINE

AR­TI­CLES AND SIX BOOKS, IN­CLUD­ING THE

WRONG STUFF: AT­TEMPTS AT FLIGHT BE­FORE

(& AF­TER) THE WRIGHT BROTH­ERS.

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