CANNON MONTH 2: Hollywood Harry (1986)

EDITOR’S NOTE: Hollywood Harry was not produced by Cannon but was sold on videotape by Cannon / Media Home Video.

Robert Forster is one of those actors who just makes me happy when he shows up in movies. The son of an elephant trainer for the Barnum and Bailey Circus, his first major starring role was in Medium Cool; he mostly shows up to be the best part of movies like AlligatorThe Black Hole and Vigilante.

Harry Petry (Forster, who also directed and produced this ode to detective movies) is down on his luck and not even speaking to his partner Max Caldwell (Joe Spinell, another actor whose small roles in films always seem to be a good portent of how much I’ll like a movie and how much better my day will be) and secretary Candy (Shannon Wilcox, Forster’s wife at the time). But then he has two changes in his life: a case where he has to find the adult film of Regina (Mallie Jackson), a rich man’s daughter as well as raise a surrogate daughter of his own, his niece Danielle (Forster’s daughter Kate).

Writer Curt Allen was also the man who wrote Walking the Edge (which also had Forster and Spinell in it and there’s a meta scene where they watch it on TV in this movie),  Deadly PassionBloodstoneBlind Vengeance and the Forster-missing Alligator II: The Mutation, which seems like a lost opportunity.

So yeah — a neo-noir that’s also about Forster being shirtless for most of the movie and dancing with his secretary for four sexy minutes that meanders and is way talky and really a hang-out movies and you know, I’m there for all of it. Forster was so happy that Cannon distributed this that he did The Delta Force for them, a movie where he improbably plays a Middle Eastern terrorist despite in our reality being born to an Italian mother and English/Irish father in Rochester, New York.

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