Thursday, August 30, 2012

Once upon a time, a junkman had a dream...

With the passing of both Andy Griffith and Neil Armstrong this summer, this film has been at the top of my mind lately. I just rewatched it (along with several episodes of the mediocre spin-off TV series) during my vacation last week. Here's the whole thing:

I remember watching "Salvage" when it aired on TV, my best friend and I spread out in our sleeping bags on the living room floor with popcorn and cheap-o candy, being fascinated with the special effects and the thought that, darn it, this was possible.

Y'know, the 1970s get a bad rap for being a time of malaise and diffidence for America, but that's not how I remember them. In 1979, we were three years past the rah-rah of the bicentennial and still confident with the feeling that America could do anything it wanted to. The Cold War was a background fact of life, but the nihilism that would shape the 1980s hadn't affected us pre-teens yet. In that world, a junkman could still use his know-how and moxie and go to the moon. And if anyone could do it, it would be Andy Griffith. Everybody else remembers him as Sheriff Taylor or Matlock, but to me, he'll always be Harry.

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