Monday, June 21, 2010

Classic Clip Monday: The Amazing Spider-Man

You can keep your Sam Raimi-directed versions with their multi-billion-dollar box-office receipts. The "Spider-Man" that's burned into my brain is the decidedly lower-budget -- and far more terrible -- version that ran on CBS from 1977 to '79.

Up until the wall-crawler skittered onto the small screen, we nine-year-olds didn't have a whole lot of experience with live-action super heroes, and seeing Spidey as a flesh and blood fella was a singular thrill. Sure, we had an earlier taste of Spider-Man as a guy in a suit on "Spidey Super Stories" on "The Electric Company," but he lived in a comic book and only talked in word balloons. ("Spider-Man, where are you coming from? Spider-Man, nobody knows who you aaaaaaare.")

We tuned in to Shazam and Isis on Saturday mornings, Wonder Woman deflecting bullets with her magic bracelets and Batman delivering bon mots, but Spider-Man was the superhero that resonated most. He was young and he had problems -- just like us! OK, we didn't have to deal with a jerky J. Jonah Jameson yelling at us all the time or fight the Chinese mafia, but we did have math homework.

Here's a promo clip from the show, which starred Nicholas Hammond (also known as the oldest Von Trapp boy Friedrich in "The Sound of Music"). Ooh and aah as he gently tosses a web onto some villains, and it takes an hour to drift onto them! Marvel as Spidey's hands and feet lightly brush the side of the building as he's dragged by a cable!

Spider-Man may have been amazing, but the special effects? Not so much.

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