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  • Whether or not you are a fan of Evel Knievel, the made for television movie has its moments. Having to rush a story in under 2 hours including commercial time, most of TNT movies fall short of anything great. The casting of Pressly and Bridges in the movie was great. Although they are supporting leads, they are what holds the movie together. Beau Bridges is great in pretty much anything he touches. Jaime Pressly has come a long way from her earlier films she was casted in for her "assets." Here, she shows her acting talents alongside her beauty. All in all, Evel Knievel is somewhat of a fun ride that takes you into the story of one of America's misunderstood Dare-devils.
  • I caught this "made for TV movie" Sunday, 8/1/04. George Eads was GREAT in it.

    The movie centered on Evel Knievel's life and how he rose from working in the mines to becoming America's #1 daredevil, at least on a motorcycle.

    The movie covered his smaller jumps as well as the grand and near impossible ones. The Ceasar's Palace Fountain jump was portrayed very graphically with what I'm guessing was actually footage of the real crash combined with shot footage for the film. You could almost feel Evel's bones breaking when he flew over the handlebars and you could see the emotion in Linda's eyes when the doctors told her that he may never come out of his coma and if he did he would never walk again, much less ride. As we know, he proved them wrong and went on to more daring jumps, such as the attempt at Snake River Canyon.

    I wish they had continued with the story, but I guess two-hours was long enough to get the point across. It was nice to see the footnotes at the end telling of Evel's 276 successful jumps and noting that his son, Robbie Knievel is the only person to ever successfully complete the jump over the fountain at Ceasear's Palace in Las Vegas.
  • Wow. This movie is so gosh-darn awful I'm not sure where to begin. Production costs must have soared into the thousands, from the look of this cheap-by-1978-movie-of-the-week-Aaron-Spelling-standards. If you are even a modest fan of pop culture history, you will notice horrible gaffs all over this thing (The Ideal Toy Company segment of the movie, wherein toys not yet available until the end of the 70's are on display in 1971), the ages of his children in the 60's sequences, all kinds of dopey crap. This movie purports to be more of a true portrayal of Evel's life than the George Hamilton flick from the early 1970's. It was not half as entertaining as the Hamilton movie and fairly glossed over and skewed in so far as depicting Evel's actual career. The jump shots remind me of some of the really cheap stuff you might have seen on Happy Days, where we get to see the Fonz's view of a jump as he sails over it. The History Channel has an excellent documentary hosted by Mathew McConaughey. It's loaded with actual Evel interviews and tons of footage of jumps that I hadn't seen since they aired in the 70's. Please rent/go see this documentary. Shows every aspect of Evel. Or, rent the Hamilton movie for its camp and fun value. Bypass this ridiculous piece of @#$%. Jeff Graham-Tulsa, OK.
  • Well, there was something about this movie that prevented me from going to bed. The effects were awesome, at least for a t.v. special. I really enjoyed this movie. I suggest you all watch it. I mean, the movie provides a distinct character for who Evil was. The characterization was great. BUT!!! The scenes where Evil had to make a jump was poor, they were just cut scenes and nothing of the jump was really shown. Also, the creators of the film, missed some of the jumps he did. Like when he jumped 13 double decker buses and broke both of his femurs and announced he would never jump again. That part in the movie was totally skipped. Written from your #1 Movie Guy. Thank you for reading my statement
  • At the start of the movie, Evel is about to do one of his stunts in Las Vegas.

    Then it is 1950 in Butte, Montana. Bobby steals the hubcaps off this amazing car whose radio can play songs that won't be recorded for several more years. Bobby is chased by a cop with a car that won't be available to the general public for eight more years. He is thrown in jail with a drunk named "Awful" Knoffel, and at that time is nicknamed "Evel".

    Fast-forward to 1958. Bobby is working in the local mine and hates it. He would rather ride his motorcycle (the drunk he met in jail is the one who works on it). And he does stunts for anyone interested. He jumps over a Volkswagen Beetle which is a style not actually sold at that time.   He meets Linda, and they fall for each other right away. Her father wants him to stay away from her, but do you honestly believe that will stop him? No, he kidnaps her (she later says she went willingly) and gets chased by that same cop, still driving that same car after all these years, but now anyone can get one like it.

    In 1965 Bobby and Linda are married with two boys and living in Washington state. He has sold insurance but didn't seem to like it. He works for a motorcycle shop but what he really wants to do is stunts, and he sets one up and charges $1 to anyone who wants to watch. It doesn't go as well as expected, but "Evel" isn't hurt too badly.

    Several years later Evel is preparing to do his biggest stunt yet, and he has to convince the man who runs Caesar's Palace to let him do it. Jay Samo is willing to take that gamble. Men want to see him crash and women just want to see him. Again, things don't go quite as planned. It is actress Linda Evans whose film documents just what happened, and we see what must be that film, along with new material with a stuntman. Considering Evel was hospitalized for a month, this was a very good stuntman who did what was also shown in the Evans film. Evel is told he might never walk again and that he certainly will never ride again. Oh, really? You don't know Evel!

    The movie is halfway over and the only successful stunt we have seen is the jump over the Volkswagen. Still, Evel Knievel is a major celebrity and he is already talking about jumping the Grand Canyon. He has a tractor-trailer to haul him around. He tells exaggerated stories, such as how he met Steve McQueen and it was McQueen who first called him Evel. He loves his country. He has a nice house with a pool, though wife Linda wishes he would spend more time there. She looks great in a bikini, but Evel can't resist temptation on the road, and she knows it. Yet for some reason, even though he doesn't seem to treat her right in the scenes we see, she stays with him.

    The Grand Canyon is out--the federal government won't allow it--but Snake River Canyon is another possibility. ABC's "Wide World of Sports" seems interested, but the only way to watch it live is in arenas that offer closed circuit TV. A NASA engineer is hired to make the jump happen, but things don't look good in the early preparations. But I have heard of Evel Knievel so you know he must be doing something right.

    And a man sells Ideal on a competitor to Barbie and G.I. Joe--the Evel Knievel action figure. Ideal, the company which according to this movie already made Rubik's cubes in 1970, and had a giant unsolved one in a conference room.

    I won't go into all the details in case you don't know his full story, but this is quite an exciting movie with a charming if temperamental lead character who thinks he is the white Muhammad Ali. No, wait, Ali is the black Evel Knievel.

    It's not an award-winning movie by any means, but there are some good performances. George Eads is quite talented, for this material, with this unbelievable confidence and charm. Fred Thompson does his usual fine job as the man who runs Caesar's Palace. Evel's nurse has only a couple of lines but Quancetia Hamilton makes the most of them. Jaime Pressly, before she ever won her two Emmys for "My Name Is Earl", certainly showed what she was capable of. I was particularly impressed with a scene where Evel pretends to have an accent while talking on the phone in a phone booth.

    As is often the case with biographical movies, this movie puts a little too much emphasis on the angry moments. I'm pleased that they didn't go overboard making Evel's home life look bad. Linda really was committed to the "stand by your man" attitude, for whatever reason.   The real footage, while not high quality compared to what is possible today, is quite effective.

    I didn't know a lot about Evel before I saw this movie. I actually thought the Grand Canyon stunt had really happened.  So I didn't know what was real and what wasn't. After looking up some real information about the man, I see the movie left a lot out and made some things happen at different times than they really did, but for what this movie is, it's pretty entertaining and there's no point in getting too concerned about what they got wrong. The important information is there.

    It was an entertaining effort.   
  • Unless you grew up in the 70's and were a die-hard Evel fan as a kid growing up, do yourself a favor and avoid this garbage film. Believe me, you'll thank me for saving you from wasting two hours of your life.

    George Eads is handsome, and with some proper screen writing and direction, he would probably be regarded as THE best actor to play Knievel going forward. However, this movie is so incredibly bad, that not even Eads' stunning good looks or those of his co-star Jamie Pressley can save this movie from certain disaster.

    Accomplished actors Beau Bridges and Lance Hennricksen were signed on in an obviously desperate attempt to lend some credibility, but I'd be willing to bet that both men would rather that you never knew that either of them ever appeared in this unqualified disaster.

    The jump scenes were laughable, and believe me when I say I'm being polite by phrasing it that way. A first year college film school director could have devised a better set of scenes. They were shot in such an incredibly bad and hokey manner that I actually felt sorry for all those who were involved in their creation.

    As I said, save yourself some time and aggravation and avoid this movie at all cost.
  • popnoff200130 July 2004
    I wonder if the real Evel had anything to do with this? Not only was it nothing like what really happened, the movie also used many props that just did not exist! Like the Ceasars Palace jump in '68, Evel is wearing a full-face style of helmet that didn't even exist then! And the music in the background that was playing..Call Me the Breeze, by Lynrd Skynrd was a 1974 song! Was this movie supposed to appeal to todays kids only?

    Because if it was, then these important facts don't matter!

    Just like the battery flashlights in the 1997 movie Titanic! At least the always scrumptious Jamie Pressley was in it and looking fine!
  • Looked forward to seeing this movie, and thought the casting was a good opportunity to make a good Knievel movie. George Eads seemed he could put in a good performance as Evel, and you can't take your eyes off Jamie Pressley in every scene she's in. Add Beau Bridges and Lance Henriksen, and it sounds like the makings of a good biography that has never been properly made. Not sure what went wrong here, but there were so many odd mistakes in the shooting, and what seem to be unnecessary changes to historical details that create distractions in watching the movie, and make the overall product seen cheap and "hammy". I tried to stay entertained, but the movie does not have factual credibility and lacks any production polish, it makes it hard to watch. The story flows in a choppy manner, including scenes that detail odd perspectives of his life that go nowhere, and then skips chunks of events and even ends abruptly. The product lacks a theme or specific point. Not an offensive movie, nor painful to watch, but I am more convinced after this movie that a quality movie about the legendary figure of Evel Knievel has yet to be made. Upon discovering this movie (it was 5 or 6 years old by the time I saw it) was a made-for-TV movie on TNT or some other station, the production limitations are obvious, and I am impressed the movie was even as good as it was.
  • I am sorry, but maybe I am being a stickler, but in the first 15 minutes of this disaster of a film, in 1950, little Evel was stealing hubcaps off a 1955 Chrysler product car, possibly a DeSoto and chased by a policeman driving a 1958 Ford. Two different car year mistakes in the first scene made me wonder if anyone on this film even checked on these things. The second scene moves forward in time to 1958, where Evel is seen drinking beer out of aluminum cans with built in pop-tops! Duh! In 1958, and I was 8 at the time, you needed a can opener (church key) to drink out of cans, and the cans were steel. When I saw the aluminum can, I turned the channel because I knew if I DID continue watching, the movie would have Evel actually making a successful crossing of the Snake River in his rocket powered motorcycle. To anyone out there that wasn't around then or didn't see it live on TV, he didn't make it across. The chute to help him stop after landing was deployed as soon as the rocket cycle was ignited causing it to float to a landing on the same side of the river that it took off from. I did not watch after the first 15 minutes, so I don't know if they showed Evel actually completing the jump across the river.