Condorman (1981)

Condorman 1981 Disney Michael Crawford Barbara CarreraThe once mighty studio that Walt and Roy Disney built had by 1970’s lost the shine it once had. No longer was the studio creating animated gems that would one day become classics. Now it’s main attention focused on its theme parks and the films that were carrying the Disney brand consisted of low rent movies starring Kurt Russell, Don Knotts and cats from outer space.

In the late 1970’s, Disney ventured into the PG-rated route desperately hoping to turn their fortunes around. One of their entries into this unchartered territory was the spy/superhero spoof Condorman.

Pre-Phantom of the Opera Michael Crawford stars as Woody Wilkens, a comic book artist who promises his young readers authenticity in the adventures they read by testing out the superheroics himself.

Through a convoluted set of circumstances Woody is mistaken for an actual spy and now has to escort Natalia, a defecting beautiful Russian spy to safety. Unfortunately, the Russians and Natalia’s lover Krokov won’t give her up so easily and danger looms as Woody and Natalia travel across the European landscape.

However, Woody has an ace up his sleeve – his wild imagination and the American government who are funding any outlandish plan he can dream up. The bad guys must be stopped and the girl must be saved – and Condorman is just the right hero for the job!

Co-starring Barbara Carrera, Oliver Reed, James Hampton and Dana Elcar, I take a look at this mostly forgotten film that seems to have become one of Disney’s basterd children. It was a considered a bomb when released and was critically tarred and feathered.

However, to the target audience of kids who watched it, Condorman has become an obscure, but beloved cinematic memory.


Superhero Films – Chap. 20: Condorman from HaphazardStuff on Vimeo.