The Super Bowl in New Orleans is just a few days away. As the Superdome is readied for the big game, the film spends time with various characters. Mike Shelley (David Janssen) is the longtime general manager of the Cougars, the team favored to win the Lombardi trophy. Cougars veteran Dave Walecki (Ken Howard), who has dreamed of winning a Super Bowl his entire life, is troubled by a bum knee and marital problems. Former Cougars star turned businessman P.K. Jackson (Clifton Davis), has been warned by “New York” (read: read mafia) that a lot is riding on this game. The Cougars better not win, or he will pay dearly. Meanwhile, New York City reporter Lainie Willey (Donna Mills) has arrived in town determined to please her demanding bosses by any means necessary. If that’s not enough, a killer is on the loose.
Directed by veteran filmmaker Jerry Jameson (Airport ’77, Raise the Titanic), and featuring al fairly strong cast, this made-for-television movie is a disappointing bore. The disaster genre popular in the 1970’s (a personal favorite of mine), was never supposed to be Shakespeare, but Jameson’s slack direction and the talky, bloated script by Barry Oringer leaves Superdome lacking focus or excitement. A series of weak subplots does little to generate much interest, but it does give each member of the fairly large cast, a bit of screen time.
As with most disaster films of the era, a major draw of Superdome is the cast. A mix of stars old and new. David Janssen is always a pleasure to see. A pre-Magnum P.I. Tom Selleck looks so young; Donna Mills is lovely looking. Ken Howard looks too old to be a pro football quarterback; Susan Howard is his upset wife. Van Johnson does what he can with a thankless role and Bubba Smith and Dick Butkus play, you guessed it, football players! Look for Ed Nelson (Peyton Place) and M. Emmet Walsh in small roles.
Transferred from a new 2K master, it looks very strong. Presented in the 1.33:1 aspect ratio, the production given its on location shoot, has a more theatrical look than you might expect given its television origins. Colors are pleasing throughout, never appearing washed out. There’s a surprising amount of depth and detail, particularly in mid-level shots. There is no apparent damage to the image. Kino Lorber has delivered a strong transfer.
The DTS-HD Master 2.0 channel audio track is standard issue, but it works well for the film. Football crowd noise comes through convincingly enough. The score by John Cacavas sounds fine, if a bit dull. Dialogue is clean, clear and concise throughout.
English SDH subtitles are included.
The following extras are available:
- Audio Commentary By Director Jerry Jameson with Film Historians Howard S. Berger and Steve Mitchell: In this new commentary, there’s much discussion about Jameson’s long career. Reflections on the making of this film are plentiful. While Jameson can be dull at times, Berger and Mitchell have clearly done their research making this worth a listen.
Superdome [TV Movie] (1978)
Movie title: Superdome [TV Movie]
Duration: 100 min
Director(s): Jerry Jameson
Actor(s): David Janssen, Edie Adams Clifton Davis, Peter Haskell , Ken Howard, Susan Howard
Genre: Drama, Sport, Crime