Harry and the Hendersons (1987)

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Earlier this week, Collider Live brought up Harry and the Hendersons and Josh Macuga stated how much he liked that movie. So when I came across it on Netflix tonight, I thought I would watch it.  I had seen pieces of the film before, but never the whole thing.

It is very much an 80s movie.  It is an action/comedy similar to many of the movies we saw during the 1980s.  There is some definite silliness and the plot is fairly formulaic, but there is a charm and a heart that takes the film to a higher level than it might have been.

Coming home from their camping trip, George Henderson (John Lithgow) and his family hit a legendary Bigfoot with his car.  Believing that they had killed the beast, they put the corpse on the roof of the car and took it back to Seattle, Washington with them.

However, turns out, the Bigfoot was not dead and a late night ransacking of their kitchen looking for food was in line for the Sasquatch.

As the family tried to determine exactly what they were going to do, they discovered that the Bigfoot, nicknamed Harry, was more than just an animal.

John Lithgow was solid in the role of George Henderson, the man who at first tried to get rid of the Bigfoot, but eventually came around to love the creature.  Don Ameche played Bigfoot museum manager Dr. Wallace Wrightwood and David Suchet (who played Hercule Poirot) was big game hunter Jacques LaFleur, who had been chasing Bigfoot for decades.  These are both fairly typical characters that fit into the 1980s films like this one.

Harry was the fish out of water type character here as the Hendersons struggled to re-find Harry and then get him safely back into the woods.  Harry, played by Kevin Peter Hall (who was also the Predator in the Arnold Schwarzenegger film), is very lovable in a realistic way.  No CGI here, only practical effects and they help give Harry his charm.

There is not much to the movie beyond the message of family and respecting life, even animal life, but it is an enjoyable watch with some cute comedic moments.

While it may not be an all-time classic, it is certainly worth a lazy Saturday night watch on Netflix.


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