THE MAN WHO KILLED HITLER AND THEN THE BIGFOOT – Review by Susan Granger

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Catching my attention with the most bizarre title I’ve seen in years, this inventive action/adventure follows the epic adventures of an American legend that no one has ever heard of.

During World War II, Calvin Barr (Sam Elliott) remained anonymous although he was actually the soldier who shot The Fuhrer. Quietly living out his retirement years in a small Northeastern town, along the Canadian border, Barr’s constant companion is his golden retriever.

He often recalls the moment when his aptitude for languages and knowledge of ‘40s-era weaponry led him to the fateful spot where he killed Adolf Hitler, whose “ideas continued to do their damage without him.” (In episodic flashbacks, Barr is played by Aidan Turner, familiar to TV audiences from Poldark).

Barr still mourns the loss of the love-of-his-life, a schoolteacher named Maxine (Caitlin FitzGerald); his only friend seems to be his gregarious younger brother (Larry Miller), the town’s barber.

But when a series of homicides occur nearby, Barr is recruited by an FBI agent (Ron Livingston) and a Royal Canadian Mounted Policeman (Rizwan Manji) to use his remarkable tracking ability to serve his country.

His mission: to kill the mythical Bigfoot, a creature infected with a deadly virus that could devastate mankind. That leads Barr to, once again, question society’s concept of heroism.

Making his feature-film debut, writer/director Robert D. Krzykowski is a graphic artist-turned-filmmaker. His first coup was signing veteran actor Sam Elliott (A Star is Born) to propel this overly talky melodrama with total conviction.

In addition, Krzykowski was able to convince two-time Oscar-winner Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey, Blade Runner, Close Encounters of the Third Kind) to serve as executive producer and create visual effects on what’s obviously a miniscule budget, joining a production team that also includes independent filmmaker John Sayles (Lone Star, Eight Men Out).

On the Granger Movie Gauge of 1 to 10, The Man Who Killed Hitler and Then The Bigfoot is a strange 6, focusing on a stoic superhero.

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Susan Granger

Susan Granger

Susan Granger is a product of Hollywood. Her natural father, S. Sylvan Simon, was a director and producer at R.K.O., M.G.M. and Columbia Pictures; her adoptive father, Armand Deutsch, produced movies at M.G.M. As a child, Susan appeared in movies with Abbott & Costello, Red Skelton, Lucille Ball, Margaret O'Brien and Lassie. She attended Mills College in California, studying journalism with Pierre Salinger, and graduated from the University of Pennsylvania, Phi Beta Kappa, with highest honors in journalism. During her adult life, Susan has been on radio and television as an anchorwoman and movie/drama critic. Her newspaper reviews have been syndicated around the world, and she has appeared on American Movie Classics cable television. In addition, her celebrity interviews and articles have been published in REDBOOK, PLAYBOY, FAMILY CIRCLE, COSMOPOLITAN, WORKING WOMAN and THE NEW YORK TIMES, as well as in PARIS MATCH, ELLE, HELLO, CARIBBEAN WORLD, ISLAND LIFE, MACO DESTINATIONS, NEWS LIMITED NEWSPAPERS (Australia), UK DAILY MAIL, UK SUNDAY MIRROR, DS (France), LA REPUBBLICA (Italy), BUNTE (Germany), VIP TRAVELLER (Krisworld) and many other international publications through SSG Syndicate. Susan also lectures on the "Magic and Mythology of Hollywood" and "Don't Take It Personally: Conquering Criticism and other Survival Skills," originally published on tape by Dove Audio.