The final 35mm double-bill in Badlands Collective’s tribute to Cannon Films is this pair of films starring Christopher Reeve.
STREET SMART has Reeve as a New York City journalist who fabricates a story about a pimp only to get drawn into the life of a real one who thinks the article is about him. Morgan Freeman, as the pimp, is terrifying in one of his rare villainous roles and won the actor his first ever Oscar nomination.
SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE, featuring the man of steel’s plea to rid the world of nuclear weapons, is the notorious folly that marked the beginning of the end of Cannon. Watching this almost 30 years after its original release should be a bit of fun, and the pairing of these two films is very telling about Cannon, in how they struck gold with small films and started running into trouble when betting on big-budget franchise properties.
The story of these two films is also telling of the Faustian pacts that Hollywood players have to make, given that STREET SMART was Reeve’s passion project yet he only got to make it by signing the deal for SUPERMAN IV.