Actors: Sam Jones, Nana Visitor, Bumper Robinson, Garry Walberg, Les Lennom
Directed by: Michael Schultz
Studio: Warner Archive Collection
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
DVD Release Date: October 15, 2013
Run Time: 69 minutes
Our Score: 3 out of 5 stars
It is almost sad to try and think of a time for superheros before Marvel created the world we live in now. In the past, comic book characters and their movies were made to be very campy and cheesy like the 1960’s “Batman”. You know know Sam Jones from his (failed) portrayal in “Flash Gordon”. He takes on the role of the superhero again in this made for TV movie that barely runs an hour long. Still I can’t lie and say that I didn’t enjoy it since I did. I am a sucker for cheesy 80’s action films. This film was made to kick off a show based around “The Spirit” sadly it never too off. So if you are a fan of the tongue-in-cheek comedy from Will Eisner’s comic, then you should enjoy this.
Will Eisner’s famed comic book hero makes his live-action debut in this rarely seen TV adaptation starring Sam Jones (Flash Gordon) as Central City’s most rumpled crimefighter. Shot in the line of duty, police detective Denny Colt (Jones) is thought to be dead when his body turns up missing. Allowing his enemies to believe he died, Colt dons a blue suit and mask and proceeds to fight crime as The Spirit. Aided by Police Commissioner Dolan (Garry Walberg) and in love with Dolan’s daughter Ellen (Nana Visitor), The Spirit works outside the law as he attempts to bust an art forgery racket run by the notorious femme fatale P’Gell (McKinlay Robinson).
As far as I can tell “The Spirit” has never been released on DVD, so this would be the first. Warner Archive does it again and delivers another lost gem to its fan (if this film has fans). In terms of presentation though, it is not the best I have ever seen. The transfer has been manufactured from the best-quality video master currently available and has not been remastered or restored. It looks like a made-for-TV movie, nothing more – nothing less. There are no additional special features included on this release.