The Projectionist

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The Projectionist
Projectionist 1971 b.jpg
Theatrical Poster
Directed by Harry Hurwitz
Produced by Harry Hurwitz
Written by Harry Hurwitz
Starring Chuck McCann
Ina Balin
Rodney Dangerfield
Jara Kohout
Music by Igo Kantor
Irma E. Levin
Cinematography Victor Petrashevic
Edited by Harry Hurwitz
Maglan Films
Distributed by Maron Films
Release date
October 17, 1970 (premiere
at Rochester Film Festival)
  • January 17, 1971 (1971-01-17) (New York City)
  • March 24, 1971 (1971-03-24) (San Francisco)
Running time
88 minutes
Country United States
Language English

The Projectionist is a 1970 American comedy film written and directed by Harry Hurwitz. It featured the film debut of Rodney Dangerfield,[1] and employed the use of superimposition of older films, the first time such techniques were used.[2] Production took place in September and October 1969 and its first public screening was a year later, at the Rochester Film Festival on October 17, 1970. The film opened in New York on January 17, 1971.


Chuck McCann, the projectionist, is seen operating projection booth equipment followed by The Projectionist opening credits. The Midtown Theater, located in Midtown Manhattan is managed by Renaldi who continually insults and berates his employees. Spending hours in the projection booth, Chuck imagines himself as the superhero Captain Flash. When Harry, one of the ushers, enters the booth to complain about Renaldi, Chuck describes to him the beautiful woman he saw earlier, calling her "The Girl". Renaldi comes into the booth and rebukes Harry for disobeying his orders not to visit the projection area and criticizes Chuck for leaving a cigarette butt on the floor.

His mood spoiled, Chuck starts to rewind a film reel and listens to a radio broadcast, hearing, "the way I see things, I'm not very optimistic at all, I just don't think there's much hope for the future", followed by an on-screen trailer, "COMING SOON", The Terrible World of Tomorrow — "SEE man become the dehumanized slave of science" — "SEE Years of Racial Hatred Erupt in an Orgy of Blood-Lust" / "As One Half of The World Assaults the Other" — "SEE the Horror of Total Holocaust" — "SEE Man Destroyed by his Own Technology" / "and the World Explodes in a Blaze of Hellish Fury" — "SEE The End of Mankind in…" / The Terrible World of Tomorrow, as the radio broadcast continues, "no.. how can we disagree with Doctor Masters… gentlemen… gentlemen… gentlemen… what we're missing is the point about..."

At the end of his working day, Chuck looks at movie star photographs on the booth's wall and cabinets and impersonates the voice and mannerisms of Humphrey Bogart with quotes of film dialogue from The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, The Caine Mutiny and The Maltese Falcon (for which he also does Sydney Greenstreet). He then imitates Wallace Beery in Min and Bill, John Wayne in The Green Berets, James Stewart in The Spirit of St. Louis and Clark Gable in Gone with the Wind (for which he also does Butterfly McQueen). Finally, McCann (who hosted, from 1960 to 1962, the New York City daily children's TV show Laurel and Hardy and Chuck) glances at a photo of Laurel and Hardy and recreates their voices, "Say goodnight Stanley", "Goodnight Stanley" then, switching to Bogart, ends with, "so long, Fred C. Dobbs".


Actor Role
starring Chuck McCann Chuck McCann, the projectionist / Captain Flash
special guest star Ina Balin The Girl / the scientist's daughter
introducing Rodney Dangerfield Renaldi / The Bat
featuring Jara Kohout Candy Man / The Scientist


  1. ^ Pavlides, Dan. "The Projectionist > Overview". AllMovie. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 
  2. ^ Strauss, Robert. "The Projectionist - Trailer - Cast - Showtimes -". The New York Times. Retrieved 2010-08-16. 

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