Friday, July 24, 2009

"The Great Buck Howard": Very Big in Akron

The movie, now on DVD and Blu-ray, stars Colin Hanks as a would-be writer who takes a job as road manager for Buck Howard, a Kreskin-like mentalist who was big at one time.(He made many appearances on "The Tonight Show" during the Johnny Carson era.) But not now. Now, he's playing places like, well, Akron.

"For some reason, the people of Akron, Ohio, went nuts for him," Hanks says as we see Buck exiting an auditorium and greeted by a screaming crowd of fans. One fan holds up a sign saying "Akron (Heart) Buck." (Another major segment in the movie is set in Cincinnati.)

By the way, Tom Hanks, Colin's father in real life and in this movie, did some of his earliest stage acting in Cleveland. And in a small role is Ravenna native Nate Hartley (later seen more prominently in "Drillbit Taylor" and "Role Models").

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