So a few months ago I'm enjoying a stupid cigarette outside of my Park City (Sundance, woo) hotel, and I see my old friend Chris Hyams walking my way. Chris is one of the founders and wizards behind, an outfit that does everything from mega-nifty festival schedules to full-bore film distribution. So because I am loud (and also a pathetic movie nerd), I say "Hey Chris! Wouldn't it be cool if your Dad was PETER Hyams?"

Chris smiled and said "It sure would be. And he is my dad!" After about four minutes of Chris trying to convince me he was telling the truth, we quickly got rambling about the awesomeness of Outland, which is a film his dad made way back in 1981, and is still the finest "High Noon in space" movie that Sean Connery ever starred in. During my conversation with Chris, my brain kept screaming "Don't mention The Musketeer! You HATED that movie!" So I didn't.

But then Chris was off to see a movie and I was left thinking "I'm a moron. Been a Hyams fan since I was a kid and Outland is all I could come up with?" So in an effort to rectify my idiocy, I offer this (rather eclectic) list of Peter Hyams flicks that I sorta, really, or very much dig.

Capricorn One (1978) -- Elliot Gould and James Brolin star in this dated-yet-interesting sci-fi tale of a FAKED Mars landing. As he would later do (several times) in his career, Mr. Hyams wrote, directed, AND shot the movie.

Hanover Street (1979) -- Follow a sci-fi film with a wartime romantic drama? With Harrison Ford? Sure, why not?

Outland (1981) -- If you're going to do an unofficial semi-remake, you could at least do it with half the cleverness found here. It really IS High Noon in Space, and it works surprisingly well. Even holds up well today. Solid brawls, a nice percolation of tension, great character ensemble and a great performance by Frances Sternhagen.

categories Cinematical