The Amazing Spider-Man Film Details
Overview: With the powers given by the bite of a radioactive spider, a young man fights crime as a wall-crawling superhero.
Review: It’s easy to look at 1977’s The Amazing Spiderman series and laugh our asses off. We’ve already had three live action Spiderman films that were able to perfectly capture Spidey’s grace and agility through the use of cutting edge CGI. But, even before Sam Raimi’s films, the original live action Spiderman series was ridiculed on a regular basis. Even going as far back as the mid 80’s, it looked so craptastically cheesy it rivaled Adam West’s and Burt Ward’s Batman in preposterousness. But, hindsight being 20/20, I realize we all may have been wrong. It may very well be the single best interpretation of this character EVER. I know this sounds insane. However, there were a lot of things this show had that really worked. One, for instance, is the lead. When this show was still airing on CBS, the comics saw Peter Parker as a college student somewhere in his early to mid twenties. He was depicted as being tall and having a lean, athletic build. Well, Nicholas Hammond matched those qualities to a tee. He stacked up to Peter Parker the same way Christopher Reeves did to Superman. I won’t lie; his portrayal lost some strength when he was in costume. However, out of costume, he did a damn fine job playing Parker as a highly intellectual dude with great power and great responsibility. Besides Hammond’s physical performance, I’ve got to bring up the special effects. Silly string that stood in for webbing; webs that had to wrap around flagpoles to stick; wall-crawling that looked like a man being lowered from an off camera rig; web swinging that definitely looked like a stuntman being hurled through the air at the end of a rope; Spidey leaping from rooftop to rooftop by overlaying video onto background footage. Yeah, they all look more like student film territory by today’s standards—worse even. Nonetheless, when this originally aired, these visuals were bleeding edge stuff. CGI was all but science fiction. Green screen tech was too cost prohibitive for television. This was the best that could be done, and, in 1977, it glued asses to seats. So while the first ten minutes of 2002’s Spiderman blow this out of the water, ASM was quite revolutionary and outright jawdropping for its time. Spiderman looked cheesy, but realistic. The truth of the matter is that spandex only makes for dynamic attire in comics, cartoons and videogames. In real life, even if you were built like Hugh Jackman or the Rock, it would make you look like a chump with an overly pronounced feminine side. So Hammond looking less than impressive, when in costume, is pretty much what Spiderman would look like in real life—deal with it. The costumes worn by Tobey Maguire and the one to be worn by Andrew Garfield are more dynamic and eye catching. But, between style and reality, I always choose the latter. Over its brief thirteen episode run, none of the villains from the comics were featured. This is a point of contention for most, and an understandable one. But this was a TV show in the 70’s. There was simply no money to include characters like the Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Sandman or any other classic foe of Spidey in a compelling manner. Even so, ASM did feature a take on the 1970’s clone storyline when it was still a fresh in the comics. It wasn’t much, but it was the best they could do and was quite remarkable for the time. Given the era in which this aired, ASM was nothing short of miraculous. 1977 was over twenty years before comics were finally allowed to enter the mainstream without being frowned upon. It was an extremely hostile period where comic books were treated with all the dignity of a dirty Kleenex. It was so hostile CBS gave ASM the runaround for two years before pulling the plug. When they did, it wasn’t due to low ratings because the show was doing well. They cancelled it simply because, after Wonder Woman and the Incredible Hulk, they were afraid CBS would come to be known as the Comic Book Station. Seriously. That’s it. Hell, Stan Lee saw fit to bash this show (even though he was a script consultant). But I’m willing to bet that could’ve been over him not being given a cameo—something he’s apparently quite fond of. In the over 20 years between the cancellation of ASM and the 2002 film which rewrote the rulebook on blockbuster premieres and opened the floodgates for Marvel in Hollywood, ASM was ridiculed by any and everyone. I too occasionally took shots at it. But, now in my thirties, I can honestly look back and see what ASM really was. It was a program that had a lot of ambition, took a lot of creativity, did everything it could to succeed and still came up short—all because it was two decades ahead of its time. Had the public attitude towards comics been more positive back then, this would’ve been on the air for years and been a smash hit. It would’ve been the best live action Spiderman, probably to this day. If you’re a fan of Spiderman or of comic related media that’s seen fit to ridicule this effort, stop. 1977’s The Amazing Spiderman deserves your respect. It deserves all of our respect. And I just want to add Stu Phillips’ theme is one of the most infectious pieces of music I’ve ever heard. It gets in your head and just sticks there—like a spider man.
Duration: 60 min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Crime
Also known as: Spider-Man – Der Spinnenmensch,L’homme-araignée,Úžasný Pavoučí Muž,The Amazing Spider-Man,El hombre araña,Hombre-araña,Čudesni Spajdermen,Σπάιντερμαν, Ο Άνθρωπος-Αράχνη,Úžasný Pavúčí Muž,Homem-Aranha,Spider-Man – Hämähäkkimies,Edderkoppen,Spiderman, o Anthropos-Arahni,L’uomo ragno,Удивительный Человек-паук,Spiderman,Spider-Man,O Homem Aranha