Ask most film critics to name Spielberg’s worst five movies, and you’re guaranteed to find the filmmaker’s 1979 flop “1941” in the mix, if not at the very bottom. It’s a wildly mean-spirited comedy that lampoons Los Angelenos’ militaristic hysteria in the immediate wake of Japan’s bombing of Pearl Harbor. Even with the presence of “Saturday Night Live” superstars John Belushi and Dan Aykroyd, the film has a reputation for being a mirthless, shoddily made embarrassment. While comedy is subjective, “1941” has moments of awe-inducing cinematic grandeur, most notably during the brilliantly shot-and-staged USO dance sequence (which suddenly turns into a brilliantly shot-and-staged brawl between Army and Navy enlistees).
Tarantino and Avary once again went to the mat for “1941” on Reel Blend (stating their correct preference for the shorter Theatrical Cut) before voicing what might be an even more unpopular Spielberg opinion.
Tarantino adores “Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom,” for which Spielberg has expressed dissatisfaction (even though he did fall in love with his second-and-current wife, Kate Capshaw, while shooting the movie). In fact, Tarantino thinks the second Indy film is the director’s best movie next to “Jaws.” When asked to elaborate, Tarantino excitedly replied:
“Because… [Spielberg] was full of piss and gauge, alright, on the case of back-to-back ‘Jaws’ and ‘Close Encounters,’ now he figures he could do no wrong, pushes the envelope, creates PG-13! The movie is so f****** badass, it created a new level in the MPAA! Something Brian De Palma’s never been able to do as much as he’s tried!”