Harry and the Hendersons (1987)   4/54/54/54/54/5


John Lithgow in Harry and the Hendersons (1987) (aka: Bigfoot and the Hendersons)

Harry Puts his Bigfoot In It

It's over 25 years since I first got to watch "Harry and the Hendersons" but watching it for the first time in a long time made me feel like a child again. The minute I saw Harry again and that wonderfully expressive face any issues which had started to reveal themselves to me as an adult became unimportant as I just enjoyed all the simple comedy. In fact whilst I know there are some who didn't find "Harry and the Hendersons" was as good when they watched it as an adult I found it even better and some innocent escapism for all the family with no real hidden agenda to spoil things.

As the Hendersons head home from a camping trip George Henderson (John Lithgow - Santa Claus) accidentally runs into what he thinks is a wild animal, that is until he goes to check it out and discovers that the creature is a Bigfoot. Thinking that the legendary beast might be profitable they hoist him onto the station wagon and head home only for the Bigfoot to come round during the night and start raiding their fridge. And much to the whole Henderson family's surprise the Bigfoot is in fact quite friendly with human qualities superior to their own leading them to befriend the beast they name Harry. The trouble is keeping a Bigfoot hidden is not easy especially when hunter Jacques Lafleur (David Suchet - Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes) is on their trail.

Kevin Peter Hall as Harry in Harry and the Hendersons (1987) (aka: Bigfoot and the Hendersons)

I am going to start by saying what was wrong with "Harry and the Hendersons" having watched it as an adult and that is simply that it delivers so much fun during the first half an hour it can't maintain it. That first half an hour is what everyone remembers about "Harry and the Hendersons" and that is Harry in the Henderson home, wrecking the place, burying old furs and having fits of laughter watching TV. It is so full of comedy that what comes after that is a bit weak which for those who are yet to watch the movie simply consists of Harry running away, George trying to track him down and bring him to safety as everyone has gone Bigfoot bananas after there are sightings of him in Seattle.

But even though I found "Harry and the Hendersons" to be a movie which started brilliantly and faded off before delivering a decent ending none of it really bothered me because I still had a smile on my face from start to finish. That smile partly comes from making George the main human character because whilst really a kids movie it is the comedy of John Lithgow which delivers more than having a child the focus. But the smile really comes because of Harry, from his accident prone ways, his demolishing stuff when he sits and the wonderfully expressive face which credit has to go to Rick Baker for doing such an amazing, creative job of making Harry have a human quality but also a humorous quality through the way his face movies. On the same note Kevin Peter Hall who in the same year was the Predator is brilliant as Harry and makes him physically both amusing and huggable.

And to be honest that is about it because whilst it is clear that in the movie they aim to establish that Harry and his kind nature is superior to humans there is no ulterior motives or hidden agendas just lots of fun. And that fun comes from all the cast be it David Suchet as hunter Lafleur or Don Ameche as Dr. Wallace Wrightwood who runs the Bigfoot museum.

What this all boils down to is that whilst as an adult "Harry and the Hendersons" has some issues none of them mattered because it made me feel like a child again, forgetting all my worries for 110 minutes as I just smiled and laughed at the wonderful Harry and George.


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