"We're gonna put the Sarge to bed, we're gonna paint the scratches on this tank, and we're gonna forget this night ever happened." – Private Foley (John Candy), 1941
Do what you have to do, Private, but this coming Sunday, March 22, at the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood will definitely be a night to remember, as the American Cinematheque unleashes the digitally restored extended version of Steven Spielberg’s 1941, complete with a spiffy new sound mix and a restoration of the score.
The event, moderated by soundtrack producer and preservationist Mike Matessino (who restored John Williams’ score for a recently released two-disc CD), will feature a panel Q & A with the movie’s co-screenwriter, Bob Gale (who wrote the script with Robert Zemeckis), producer Buzz Feitshans, and actors Tim Matheson (Capt. Loomis Birkhead) and Nancy Allen (Donna Stratton), along with other guests yet to be announced.
To paraphrase the teaser ads leading to the movie’s 1979 release, soon the gigantic Egyptian screen will be bombarded by the most explosive barrage of @#&$ ever filmed! I was exceedingly excited to see the digital restoration on Blu-ray last fall, released as part of Universal’s Steven Spielberg box, but I never even allowed myself to dream that this version would ever be exhibited in such a spectacular fashion as this. It’s a cinema dream come true for everyone, including myself, who has for 30-some years been telling anyone who will listen (and many who refused) that 1941 is a masterpiece, one of Spielberg’s best films and one of the great comedy spectacles of all time. Sunday night the evidence will all be on the screen, and in the delight of the no-doubt packed house.
And remember, Winowski, if you see a big guy lumbering through the lobby decked out in fighter pilot gear, chomping on a mangled cigar butt, check him for stilts.