Richard Donner dead at 91

I know Superman and Lethal Weapon were huge, but I will always think of Maverick as Donner’s best movie and also Mel Gibson’s greatest performance.

Nothing can overstate how awesome Superman was, though. A superhero movie that took the whole genre seriously and had great flying effects that still hold up.

My favorite scenes in Maverick involved Graham Greene as the Indian who was paid to act like “traditional Indians”.

“We whoop and holler like idiots and he pays us.”

If you can, have a look at the Richard Donner cut of Superman II They couldn’t reproduce the whole thing, but they excised the stuff that Richard Lester added and restored the existing but unused Donner footage. It shows you how good Superman II could’ve been if the Salkinds hadn’t abruptly canned him.

And give him lots of credit for Ladyhawke, even if you didn’t care for the score (I did). One of my all-time favorite fantasy films, with castles that really do look like period castles.

I liked Maverick, but I’m a James Garner fan. Didn’t care much for the end of the Big Game in that one, though. The conceit that Maverick could conjure up the ace of spades just by wishing for it was silly. I think it would have been better if he’d drawn the nine of spades at the end; it still would have made his straight flush and won the hand, but would have subverted the expectation for the ace.

He also directed Scrooged and The Goonies.

That is a great idea. Would have gotten a big laugh and fit the vibe of the movie.

And The Omen, a great horror film.

Of course, he got his start in television, directing “Nightmare at 20,000 Feet” for The Twilight Zone

Scrooged and Lethal Weapon are both fantastic Christmas films.

Lethal Weapon has special memories for me. I first hit Thailand in 1988, and my group spent a lot of time in Bangkok for training. And even after training, there were ample opportunities to go back down to Bangkok – meetings, vaccinations and whatnot. At that time, many of the little cafes on the backpacker enclave of Khao San Road would show videotapes of movies, and Lethal Weapon was being shown in just about all of them that year. I remember kicking back with buddies and getting wasted on Singha beer while watching movies in those places, and LW figured large. I could not even begin to count how many times I watched it.

RIP, Richard. :frowning:

And he did Danger Island for the Banana Splits show.