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Condorman (Disney 1981, Michael Crawford, Oliver Reed)

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Picture James Bond, slightly geekier and with a winged condor suit. Got it? Then you’re ready for Condorman, a goofy action/comedy from Disney, starring the world’s most unlikely superheroic secret agent.

Comic book writer/artist Woody Wilkins refuses to put anything into his Condorman comic that he can’t actually do himself (the movie opens with Woody swooping clumsily from the Eiffel Tower in his Condorman outfit), making him a hero to fanboys everywhere. Taking a needed break from the grind, Woody visits CIA buddy Harry Oslo in Paris, but a mix-up gets the hapless comics man caught in a web of international intrigue. Defecting KGB vixen Natalia, whom Woody accidentally saves from the hands of villainous agents, insists that only Woody be allowed to help her defect. Woody agrees, but only if the CIA equips him with all the fancy gadgetry and vehicles he’s dreamed up for Condorman.

Woody gets his wish, scoring not only a flashy Condorman flying suit, but also a speedy sports car, a machine gun walking stick, and more. Now working as the real Condorman, Woody fights off Natalia’s ex-boyfriend and KGB baddie Krokov on an action-packed chase across the continent.

The movie starred Michael Crawford, who would gain fame playing the title role in Broadway’s Phantom of the Opera. Condorman disappointed at the box office and left circulation for years, but a collector’s edition video and DVD were released in early 1999, bringing a nostalgic smile to fans of nutty superhero flicks.

production details
USA | Disney | 90 minutes | 1981

Writer: Marc Stirdivant
DIrector: Charles Jarrott

cast
Michael Crawford as Woody
Oliver Reed as Krokov
Vernon Dobtcheff as Russian Agent
James Hampton as Harry Oslo
Barbara Carrera as Natalia
Jean-Pierre Kalfon as Morovich
Dana Elcar as Russ Devlin
Robert Arden as CIA Chief

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