Oh, Behave! ‘Austin Powers’ At 20
“Austin Powers” turns 20. We’ll take a shagalicious walk down memory lane. Groovy, baby.
Twenty years ago this month, “Austin Powers” hit the big screen. Mike Myers playing the over-the-top James Bond parody cryogenically frozen in the swinging 1960s and thawed to a whole new world in the 1990s – which he has to save from the also frozen and thawed Dr. Evil, also Mike Myers. The movie was ludicrous, wonderful, zany and, it turned out, very long-lasting. It brought back “groovy, baby.” Ushered in “shagedelic.” And stuck. This hour On Point, “Austin Powers” once more, at 20. — Tom Ashbrook
From Tom’s Reading List
The Hollywood Reporter: ‘Austin Powers’ at 20: Mike Myers, Jay Roach, More Spill Secrets in Shagadelic Oral History — “When it was released May 2, 1997, there was no reason to think Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery would be a worldwide sensation. Test audiences gave it piddling scores. Its premiere at the Chinese Theatre was such a sleepy affair, nobody even bothered to take Seth Green’s photograph (‘It felt like it wasn’t happening,’ he recalls).”
Variety: Yeah, Baby! ‘Austin Powers’ Shagged Its Way to Theaters 20 Years Ago — “The nothing-is-sacred philosophy was one reason for the films’ success, but it also applied to other aspects of the trilogy — including marketing. When the second ‘Austin Powers’ movie opened in summer 1999, movie fans were feverish about the opening of ‘Star Wars: Episode I — The Phantom Menace,’ since it had been nearly 20 years since a new ‘Star Wars’ film had appeared. Rather than compete, the New Line team made a joke of it, opening ‘Spy Who Shagged Me’ with a teaser trailer that included the line, ‘If you see one movie this summer, see ‘Star Wars.’ But if you see two movies, see ‘Austin Powers.’ ‘”
Collider: Does ‘Austin Powers’ Hold Up 20 Years Later? — “So the fandom surrounding Austin Powers feels like a thing of the past, but how does the actual film hold up all these years later? Surprisingly well, actually. Myers and director Jay Roach’s heavy focus on simple yet perfectly executed sight-gags maintains laughs throughout, and while the pop culture-related jokes don’t land near as heavily as they once did, Myers and Co. were smart to scatter them few and far between, which means the comedy remains evergreen.”
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