Roger Ebert made the colossal blunder of calling this unceremoniously trashed 1989 romantic drama "Spielberg's weakest since '1941'". Spielberg hadn't made HOOK yet. And make no mistake about it, this was unceremoniously trashed just as A.I. is being unceremoniously trashed .ALWAYS is in essence a reworking rather than an outright remake of the 1943 Victor Fleming classic A GUY NAMED JOE. Richard Dreyfuss, Spielberg's favorite Everyman, is the fire-fighting pilot who is great at putting out fires but has this horrible penchant for taking unnecessary chances in <more>
the air. Even his best friend John Goodman thinks he's overdoing it; and now, his one true love Holly Hunter has come down hard on him, basically saying "Enough is enough." Dreyfuss, scared of all this, agrees to change his ways and settle down. But on his last firefighting mission, after having saved Goodman when the engine of Goodman's plane catches fire, Dreyfuss' plane blows up, killing him instantly.In heaven or a burned-out forest, take your pick , Dreyfuss is met by his guardian angel Hap Audrey Hepburn, a final fitting performance , who tells him that, yes, he is to go back and to give much inspiration to a future aerial firefighter...but that's only part of it. The problem is, of course, what Hepburn didn't tell him the first time around.Dreyfuss gives inspiration and often witty and hilarious guidance to this rookie flyer Brad Johnson . After a few false starts, including the hideously funny "dump-all-over-Al Goodman " sequence, Johnson begins to learn the ropes. But then, Johnson begins to fall in love with Hunter. And it is there that we realize that Dreyfuss can still feel pain, even though he's dead. Hepburn understands his pain, and says that he still has to settle with Hunter. Until he does that, not only won't Hunter be free of her pain, but Dreyfuss won't be free of his. The moment of truth comes in the climax, a terrifying flight by Hunter through the flames of a mountain firestorm in which Dreyfuss has to safely guide her out. The coda is one of the more heartfelt and touching sequences in history.So many complained that this feels like a 1940s film with 1980s/1990s new age mysticism. In a certain way, it does. But ALWAYS worked for me because of its incredible emotional sensitivity. Dreyfuss, Hunter, and Goodman are really great in this film, as is Hepburn in her final role. John Williams' great score is the icing on the cake, and the use of "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" as the film's love theme is also appropriate.ALWAYS is nowhere near being the bad film Roger Ebert and others made it out to be. Next to A.I., I think it is the most misunderstood film Spielberg has ever made. It's a real touching film, worth seeing again and again.
Positive review of movie, comparing and contrasting to Ghost (by psych495)
This is a quality film, and it is one of the reasons why I think John Goodman is a really a good actor who often goes unnoticed. This movie would have been decent with any cast, but I think the combination of John Goodman, Holly Hunter, and Richard Dreyfuss really brought the story to life. Additionally Spielberg does a good job of incorporating the supernatural presence of Pete Sandich's ghost without relying on dramatic special effects. This movie is somewhat similar in theme to Ghost which came out one year after Always , but Ghost focuses more on the supernatural aspects and goes to <more>
great lengths to show the ghost walking through doors and other objects. To a certain extent these special effects take center stage in ghost, whereas in Always you never see Richard Dreyfuss walk through anything. All of the cool supernatural stuff happens offscreen leaving the plot and the characters as the main focal point. That being said I think that the action scenes with the planes flying over the forest fires are really thrilling. It's beautiful, and intense. I think it makes the dogfights in Top Gun look like a Carousel ride Go rent this movie.
Excellent movie for aviation buffs (by jelliott03)
My husband asked me to marry him after we saw this movie. He was a helicopter pilot and we had met at an air show. We both loved vintage aircraft so this seemed to be just the movie to see. We both laughed and cried so hard during the movie. Little was I to know that 13 years later I would lose my husband while he was flying. It took me some years to watch this movie again and I too cried through the whole thing. It is so personal to me. There are times when I feel, like Holly did, that I can hear my husband talking to me and guiding me. There is a lot to be learned from this picture about <more>
Having just seen a re-cap of AFI's 100 most romantic films, I decided to go through my own video library to see how many I owned. Of course, starting alphabetically, I pulled out "Always". It wasn't on AFI's list. But it is on mine. I threw it in the VCR, having seen it at least 3-4 times before, and it was like watching it for the first time again.To sum it up, I wept, from the opening to the closing scene. Rarely am I so touched by a film that it affects me so strongly as to push aside all rational thought and open up the flood gates. But I should expect no less from <more>
the man Spielberg who single-handedly keeps the tissue industry in the black. He knows how to tug those heart-strings. He's doesn't just play off one emotion; he goes for them all! Drama, action, humor, loss and love. And what he does in "Always", just like "Empire of the Sun", "The Color Purple", "E.T.", "Schindler's List", and "Saving Private Ryan"; is never let the rider off the coaster.Unfortunately, at the release of "Always", he had not fully gained the respect of the industry enough to prevent this film from being pushed aside. For me, however, it's still right there up on top!Kudos Spielberg , for reminding us that even your less-seen films were done w/ brilliance, integrity, humor and a more than just a few tears.
I saw this movie with my wife when it came out in 1989 in a small theater on a rainy night. We had just been married weeks before and in many ways still getting to know one another. We had no idea what this movie would mean to us as we knew very little about it before seeing it. I've "always" been a fan of both Dreyfuss and Hunter. He's just magnificent and she's just completely adorable. This movie hit me like a ton of bricks. I'm not one to show emotion during movies. You know what I mean guys...sneak a little tear wipe here and there. Well when we got back to the <more>
car and sat for a moment in the pouring rain before I started the car, the waterworks flowed like Niagra and we could not stop crying. All the pent up emotion of the movie came pouring out of us both and it's still one of the most touching moments we've ever spent together. This movie will have a similar effect on you if you're at all in touch with your emotions. Kudos to Spielberg for showing us his range and kudos to the cast for a great set of performances. A great example of how amazing a movie can be without tons of smoke and mirrors. This one should be in every collector's DVD rack. Even if you're not a collector of DVD's, rent it with your significant other and enjoy the ride.
"Your a GOOD man Pete...We DON'T send back the other Kind" (by RocketeerFlyer)
I've loved this film for 25 years it celebrates it's 25th Anniversary how time flies! sorry couldn't resist This film works or fails on it's 4 main characters...and god are they good!Richard Dreyfuss is an American Acting Legend who deserves more credit and his paring with Holly Hunter might NOT have been many people's first choice as a romantic pairing but boy does it work, she's a pocket rocket firecracker and he is at his most handsome ever!Then there's John Goodman as his good friend 'Al' another terrific performance and Brad Johnson as Ted Baker, <more>
without these two actors and characters working it might just have fell flat in fact it soars, sorry I must stop this! Audrey Hepburn Hap gets a magical, beautiful, final movie cameo THANKS Steven and she is PITCH PERFECT."YOUR A GOOD MAN PETE...WE DON'T SEND BACK THE OTHER KIND"The Beginning of the film is TERRIFIC...and sets everything up he's reckless, she's scared to death, Al is the joker in the middle it is a film brilliantly directed by Mr Spielberg, beautifully photographed with colours and lighting that will stay with you.The first time you see Dorinda Holly Hunter in THAT dress!!! well if your a guy you'll want that dance too...that is some dress and this is some woman!Events happen and not soon after Pete is observing, in one scene he sees a guy brushing away the dust and in a light hearted way smiles and says "I think your a funny looking guy", a few seconds pass and this guy is then seen looking into the cars mirror and sadness falls upon his face, yup Pete realises he has the power of suggestion over people but the power of love? well that's hard to control "GIVE HIM A CHANCE AL"That's a line Pete would regret at least for a short time The old guy that can hear Pete you'll know from "HOME ALONE"When Pete says "GOD I WISH WE'D HAVE MET SOONER" to Dorinda many of you like me will be thinking the very same....I never did meet my Dorinda so if you meet yours 'Hang on Tight'Now I'm a guy that loves ACTION, SCI-FI, HORROR and ADVENTURE FILMS but if a films a good 'un then it's good one no matter what genre and this is so GOOD. Maybe I'm getting older but there are numerous times throughout this film that get the tears flowing...THE TALK between Pete and Dorinda at night especially when Pete tells her what's going to happen.DORINDA WALKING AWAY from the PLANE...not knowing what Pete is saying to her and she kind of knowing what was about to happen...she knows!AL visiting DORINDA in her apartment on the edge of a runway.And finally...THE PLANE TALK FINALE watch Holly's eyes!!! this is some acting! and how she does not tear before is truly incredible! If you are not trying to hold it together at these points well I just don't know!This is an amusing, thrilling, funny, heartbreaking and wonderful feel-good movie with so many good moments, many trash it because of Mr Spielberg's name attached shame on them Having read so many reviews here I was especially taken by two, one whom had lost her pilot husband and another who had lost her brother, my heart goes out to them but it just shows the power of film.Scores as low as 2 and 3!!! these folks have no idea! Overall rating of 6.4!!! OK I guess the people have spoken and that's the true reflection but I disagree with this strongly.A STEVEN SPIELBERG Gem that sadly is forgotten but is ready to be re-discovered.Romantic Love movies don't come much better than thisTHIS FILM WILL LIFT THE HEART IF YOU ALLOW IT.UPDATE: It was a delight to recently see Mr Spielberg yup someone whose movies I have grown up with and is my favourite director on Film 2015 and upon being asked which film he thought of his was perhaps underrated he mentioned "ALWAYS" YES!!! my gosh he's NOT WRONG, to my eyes it's a CLASSIC, BEAUTIFUL Movie and i'll thank him for this forever!
An unexpected film from the director who made his name with box office hits like ET, The Jaws to say nothing of Indiana Johnes series . Always comes from this period between all these kids' stories and a new wave of escapist fantasies about dinosaurs. When a kid I loathed this film because I did not understand it at all and was a big action special effects movies fan. Time changes a lot. I learned to appreciate this magnificent picture and it is one of its biggest secrets at the same time. I love this movie but can not clearly explain why, there are lots of films which appear to me to <more>
be much more interesting, lots of film which appear to me to be much more intellectual but still I can not help loving this simple low budget love/friendship story. I just want to tell you about some scenes from Always which are my personal favorites:1.The fire pilot club scene when Pete "remembered Dorinda's birthday wrong", He says:"Why do not we try signaling to the band, it works in the movies" and then everyone present wants to dance with Dorinda while Pete is watching the whole affair from upstairs. It is so ..so perfect. 2.Hepburn Dreyfull dialogue in the field with her telling him about Spiritus "something they get when they need it most".3. Dorinda and Ted dining with Dorinda dancing to Platters tune. Words fail to describe it.4 The final scene in the aircraft, and these Pete's last words:"You are going to have wonderful life". JohnWilliams' score is awesome, especially the closing titles theme-a sound of a lonely piano echoing . Away with the pretences this film weights 8 on my great movies scales because it moves me, inspires me and I keep 9 and 10 only for all time classic like Bergman's Virgin Spring or Griffith's Intolerance.
This is a feel good romantic comedy that will be in movie viewers libraries for years to come. Great cast lead by Richard Dreyfuss and well supported by Holly Hunter and John Goodman. Throw in a glimpse of Audrey Hepburn, and you have the making of another fine movie from Steven Spielberg. "Always" has all the ingredients to become a minor classic with staying power. I rated this 8.
I recommend this movie! It is really great! (by macpherr)
I loved this movie! It will always have a special place in my heart. I like the "Pete Sandich" Richard Dreyfuss Mr. Holland's Opus, The Competition, and so on . Pete reminded me a lot of my husband Alex as he teases "Dorinda Durston" Holly Hunter The Piano unmercifully. I love the theme song. Steven Spielberg "ET, "Schindler's List" was the director and I believe that he is one of the greatest directors of the turn of the century. Books will be written about his work forever. He is one of those people that his work will be taught in film schools <more>
around the world. "Al Yackey" John Goodman The Flintstones is just so cute, and big like a big teddy bear. He is so flexible! The story is very sweet, and many movies have been made on this topic that are sad, but this one is funny! Like "Dona Flor. and Two Husbands" it has its sad parts but after all you will not feel down. It is an uplifting story dealing with the after life. "Hap" Audrey Hepburn Breakfast at Tiffany's was just great. Favorite Scenes: Dorinda and Pete dancing after she gave her that beautiful dress. Favorite quotes: Dorinda Durston: "He's too beautiful. He's too much twisted steel and sex appeal. I can't be with a guy that looks like I won him in a raffle." I recommend this movie! It is really great!