In the guise of a far-out tale of a superman and a manmade monster, gangsters and scientists, this is intended to be a disarming spoof of American myths as embodied in films. Indie pic, made in Chicago [in 1965], also benefits from fine color, scope and technical solidity.
Harmless underworld types, an optimistic hick with charm to overcome the so-called intellectuals and city slickers, women of the world who succumb to his charms, and the panoply of big city life versus the small town – all get a going over in this simple pic.
Philip Kaufman, who was co-director of another Chicago-made comedy Goldstein (1964), goes it alone as director. Perhaps he is too slack in the second half, and at times overworks a gag. But, on the whole, he shows a fine grasp of filmic comedy.
Plot has Frank (Jon Voight) awakening as a superman after apparently been slain by gangsters.
Little-known players all etch neat performances, with Monique Van Vooren just right as Plethora, the pulpy moll who has time to warble some songs. Voight has the healthy blonde openness that lends itself to the dual characters. Joan Darling is both urchin and then a demanding female as the good doctor’s daughter, Lois. Severn Darden etches neat limnings as the two doctors.
Kaufman is a filmmaker with verve and knowhow.