PHENOMENON (Theatrical Release USA 1996)

Ben Meyers’ rating: 4.7|5.0 Stars ìììì

Phenomenon—an unusual gem—uniquely captures the quirkiness of small town life and by the end of the film becomes an award winner for good entertainment value. The story becomes a surprisingly good fit for John Travolta. Watch for some absolutely great acting interchanges between John Travolta and Forest Whitaker.

Film Poster Courtesy of Wikipedia


George Malley (John Travolta) works in a small town’s car repair shop. He is hit by a ball of light that literally knocks him off his feet. Afterwards he is able to beat the local Doctor, Doc Brunder (Robert Duvall), at chess. Doc Brunder knows that George could not beat him at chess unless something quite extraordinary happened. Later that week George begins reading two to three books a day, invents new ideas on gardening, saves a boy who is sick, and has the ability to learn a new language in about ¼ hour. His intellectual abilities continue to expand to the point of phenomenal and the government becomes involved.

Additional Thanks 

Thank you to Director Jon Turteltaub for his directing efforts. Thank you to Executive Producers Jonathan D. Krane and Charles Newirth for making the film possible. Additional characters/cast include: Lace Pennamin (Kyra Sedgwick), Nate Pope (Forest Whitaker), Professor John Ringold (Jeffery DeMunn), Dr. Wellin (Richard Kiley) Al Pennamin (David Gallagher), Glory Pennamin (Ashley Buccille), Tito (Tony Genaro), Banes (Sean O’Bryan), Jimmy (Michael Milhoan), Roger (Troy Evans), FBI Agent Jack Hatch (Bruce A. Young), Ted Rhome (Vyto Ruginis), and Dr. Bob Niedorf (Brent Spiner).

Buy a ticket? Yes? No? Maybe?

Yes. The film inspires.

Video Critique Available Here:

Ben Meyers

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