Hero At Large (1980)

Martin Davidson directed the teen classics The Lords of Flatbush and Eddie and the Cruisers, but today we’re talking about his lone superhero movie, an early entry in the form that starred Three’s Company lead John Ritter and Anne Archer. Obviously, the success of Superman had a lot to do with this movie.

Steve Nichols (Ritter) is a struggling New York City actor posing as Captain Avenger to promote a film, but when he stops a robber in costume, he learns that he loves playing hero for real. Soon, he’s working for the mayor’s staff and Bert Convy and Kevin McCarthy, which thrills me to no end.

The mayor’s goons, however, are shady and their plan to fake Captain Avenger’s heroics gets exposed by the media. However, Nichols girlfriend Jolene (Archer) convinces him to leave the mask behind and become a real hero.

Keep an eye out for former Howard Stern Show reporter Penny Crone, a young Kevin Bacon, Dr. Joyce Brothers and Robin Sherwood from Tourist Trap and Death Wish 2.

There are also several references to Taxi Driver in this movie, such as several scenes of cab drivers hanging outside of the Belmore Cafeteria at night and Leonard Harris, who played Senator Charles Palantine in Scorcese’s film, as the mayor.

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