Always (1989)
February 6, 2023 11:46 AM - Subscribe

Aerial firefighter Pete (Richard Dreyfuss) risks himself and his vintage World War II airplane in a constant and death-defying quest to fight forest wildfires, much to the dismay of his girlfriend, Dorinda (Holly Hunter). His love for Dorinda and the advice of fellow pilot Al (John Goodman) convince Pete to give up his perilous career, but he flies one last mission. Pete heroically saves Al's plane from certain destruction, but with supernatural consequences.

Also starring Audrey Hepburn (in her final film role), Brad Johnson, Marg Helgenberger, Roberts Blossom, Keith David, Ed Van Nuys, Dale Dye.

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Screenplay by Jerry Belson, with uncredited contributions from Diane Thomas . Based on the 1943 film A Guy Named Joe the screenplay for which, written by Dalton Trumbo and Frederick Hazlitt Brennan, was adapted from a story by Chandler Sprague and David Boehm. Produced by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall. Cinematography by Mikael Salomon. Edited by Michael Kahn. Music by John Williams.

65% fresh on Rotten Tomatoes.

Available for digital rental. JustWatch listing.
posted by DirtyOldTown (11 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
My then-roommate got me to watch this one. I recall it being very sentimental, but with appealing performances from actors I like -- so I will give it a thumbs-up.
posted by wenestvedt at 12:16 PM on February 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

(What does the "fantasyjerrybelsen" tag mean?)
posted by wenestvedt at 12:17 PM on February 6, 2023

it means I made a typo...
posted by DirtyOldTown at 12:21 PM on February 6, 2023 [1 favorite]

The Thing about the Indiana Jones movies being a collaboration by Spielberg and Lucas trying to re-create the black and white adventure movie serials of their youth?
I maintain that this movie is Spielberg saying "Man, I wish I could recapture the feeling of watching Only Angels Have Wings for the first time again. Ah well, I guess I'll have to make it myself."
posted by bartleby at 1:43 PM on February 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

I absolutely love this film, it’s for sure time for a rewatch. I recently realized that I love this, Ghost and Truly, Madly, Deeply. I guess that says something about me. They all came out within about a year of each other when I was in my early teens.
posted by Iteki at 1:49 PM on February 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

I remember liking this movie a lot when I watched it. Holly Hunter’s grief scenes were very moving. Thinking about it now, it was an interesting choice to cast two character actors as the male leads, they had great chemistry and their scenes were fun to watch. But then the new guy, what a stiff, blandly handsome but a terrible actor. The movie fell apart for me at that point.
posted by TWinbrook8 at 2:15 PM on February 6, 2023 [3 favorites]

The scene that stands out in my memory is one where ghost-Dreyfuss says "you're still my girl" to Holly Hunter after she's just shared some flirty banter with the new not-dead guy. The way her face shuts down. And I don't think ghost-Dreyfuss even sees it, as he's saying it to her ear while looking jealously at new-guy.
posted by oh yeah! at 4:47 PM on February 6, 2023 [4 favorites]

It's very sweet and makes excellent use of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes."
posted by Halloween Jack at 5:38 PM on February 6, 2023 [2 favorites]

There are so many good parts in this and I love it, despite the fact that it has the worst pacing I think I’ve ever seen in one of Spielberg’s films (or let’s be real, any film). Whenever I have conversations with people who don’t know much about movies and they ask me why I’m complaining about the pacing, I talk about Always—it’s my go-to example. I still love it and the characters (mostly, I mean Brad Johnson is just as bland as his name and he tries hard but he’s lost up against titans) , but damn, someone needed to sit ol’ Steve down and have a chat about narrative and time.
posted by kitten kaboodle at 5:57 PM on February 6, 2023

definitely have a soft spot for this movie and absolutely agree that Brad Johnson is a big old wet slice of underripe tomato in this.

I think the scene that oh yeah! mentions has stood out for me before because it establishes that Pete needs to let go and he's definitely not there.

Also, it's Holly Hunter, so that's a double thumbs up from me.
posted by drewbage1847 at 11:09 AM on February 7, 2023 [1 favorite]

Fatphobia kept us from having John Goodman and Holly Hunter together at the end. I maintain that they had GREAT chemistry.
posted by annathea at 1:36 PM on February 7, 2023 [6 favorites]

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