Sometimes we come across government films that are so well-produced and visually appealing that it stands to reason that they must also have an effective message. Sometimes that’s just not the case. Curious Alice is one such film. Weekend with a Superman is another.
Produced in 1975, “Weekend with a Superman” was part of the Army’s “Our Moral Heritage Series.” The theme of the film is how boring life can be when leisure time is not put to good use. “Weekend with a Superman” begins more superfly than superman in a scene where Lem Chopper, depicted as a Shaft-like private investigator, fights a number of stereotypical 1970s villains. The plot quickly shifts to the interaction between George, a soldier in the army, and Chopper, George’s wealthy but superficial cousin, as they spend the weekend together at his cousin’s bachelor pad and then his beach house.
Here’s what the production file has to say about why the film production was necessary:
Vaseline on the lens and the “too colorful and extreme garb so prevalent today”* are hallmarks of this take on 1970s blaxploitation films.
George’s cousin, Detective Lem Chopper is like “James Bond, Superfly and the Dirty Dozen all rolled into one–only he ain’t no actor, he’s the Real Thing!”
Lem Chopper has all the latest gadgets, including an expensive camera and a remote control for his TV, but he lacks depth of character.
“Sometimes you gotta find out for yourself that what you got is a lot better than what you think you want. Here I am missing the things that I would be doing I wasn’t havin this big, this big swingin weekend.”- George at the beach after having a boring weekend with his cousin.
*Quote from note in script.