Spring 2017

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 21 of 95

20 CINEMONTAGE / Q2 2017 by Peter Tonguette We all want to be the hero of our own story. Such a wish is at the center of director Stephen Frears' 1992 film Hero. Written by David Webb Peoples — from a story by Laura Ziskin (also the film's producer), Alvin Sargent and Peoples — the comedy revolves around small-time pickpocket Bernie LaPlante (Dustin Hoffman). As the film opens, Bernie is in court facing charges for his minor-league mischief, but he cannot resist pilfering cash from his court-appointed attorney. Perpetually unshaven and prone to speaking in a garbled murmur, Bernie is far from anyone's picture of a hero. Then, on a foul-weathered evening, a passenger jet tumbles from the sky while Bernie is driving by. Half-heartedly, he enters the burning airplane and helps a succession of injured passengers off — while also helping himself to the purse of one notable passenger, newswoman Gayle Gayley (Geena Davis). At first, Bernie seeks no credit for his gallantry. Instead, homeless John Bubber (Andy Garcia), who offered a ride to Bernie, proclaims himself the so-called "Angel of Flight 104" in an attempt to collect a $1 million reward. Comic chaos ensues when Bernie tries to establish himself as the true hero. Featuring an energetic cast (also including Tom Arnold, Kevin J. O'Connor and an unbilled Chevy Chase), the Columbia Pictures release scores points against both media sensationalism and public gullibility. As it happens, Hero had its own hero of sorts. In 1990, Columbia Pictures story analyst David Bruskin was assigned to create project coverage on the screenplay. Having been developed by Ziskin and penned by Peoples, the project came with an impressive pedigree, but Bruskin sensed that something was lacking. "When the next draft came in, I realized, 'You know, there's something here that's not working,'" MY MOST MEMORABLE FILM David Bruskin on 'Hero' David Bruskin Top: Hero. Columbia Pictures/ Photofest

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of CineMontage - Spring 2017