The Incredible Hulk
The Incredible Hulk
TV-PG | 04 November 1977 (USA)

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  • Reviews

    That was an excellent one.

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    Murphy Howard

    I enjoyed watching this film and would recommend other to give it a try , (as I am) but this movie, although enjoyable to watch due to the better than average acting fails to add anything new to its storyline that is all too familiar to these types of movies.

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    Fatma Suarez

    The movie's neither hopeful in contrived ways, nor hopeless in different contrived ways. Somehow it manages to be wonderful

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    True to its essence, the characters remain on the same line and manage to entertain the viewer, each highlighting their own distinctive qualities or touches.

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    I started watching this show a few years ago when I was 13, and I've always been a huge fan of the hulk so when I found this show on netflix I immediately started watching it. I found the story line very intriguing and I really liked the way Bill Bixby portrayed Dr. Banner, and although at first I found the effects from when Banner would transform to and from the hulk a bit cringy, mostly because I've grown up with movies and shows with more advanced animation, but after awhile I got used to it and honestly it's a bit impressive for the 70's. I've re-watched it a lot over the years and I can say it's one of my favorite shows.

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    With comic book movies and TV shows being all the rage now in the 21st century, it's always good to re-visit the roots and influences of modern superhero presentations. In terms of film, it's easier to remember that 'Superman' in the late 70s kind of fore-fathered the modern superhero film experience (and in some ways I still think of that as the greatest of all time). But I wonder how many people realize the influence and importance of this groundbreaking series I'm reviewing "The Incredible Hulk (1978-1982), which actually premiered in the same year as the first Superman film? Amazing that both the film that set the stage for big screen superheros and the show that set it for the small screen came out at the same time and are to this day getting their due on their respective influences of the modern superhero genre."The Incredible Hulk" tells the story of genetic scientist Dr. David 'Bruce' Banner, (brilliantly played by the legendary Bill Bixby in an iconic TV performance). Bixby imbibed David Banner with a humanity that I think very few actors could pull off in such a genre, as most superhero actors, especially the TV versions end up coming across as vapid, one-dimensional fashion models playing hero. Look at all the failed superhero shows that came out in the 80s, each of which lasted at most 1 full season! While The Hulk went for 3 seasons, which was pretty good for a comic book TV show that came out at a time when the genre really didn't exist on television.What the producers and writers smartly did with The Hulk is to humanize it by casting a great, genuine actor in the lead role and also to style it in the form of an anthology series, a la the 1960s series "The Fugitive". Indeed, the Hulk actually played like a combination of "The Fugitive" and "Frankenstein", with Banner being a doctor who obsessed over the loss of his wife in a fatal car accident that he didn't have the strength to save her in, so in trying to make himself more physically strong, he inadvertently exposes himself to gamma radiation, thereby creating this creature inside him that only comes out when Banner is in situations that causes him to express rage and anger. Then, after a horrible accident at his laboratory that results in the death of his associate Dr. Elaine Marks (TV vet Susan Sullivan in typically reliable performance), Banner is forced to go on the run as the creature is believed to have killed both he and Dr. Marks since the creature was seen carrying the doctor's dead body from the exploding facility by snooping investigative reporter Jack McGee (passionately played by Jack Colvin). The comparisons to the Fugitive are apparent, with Banner and Richard Kimble both being doctors falsely accused of crimes of women they loved or cared about (except Banner is believed to be dead and the Hulk believed to be the killer), both go on the run until their innocence can be proved and both being chased by an obsessive figure (with The Hulk it's McGee, with Kimble it's Lt. Gerard) who will stop at nothing to capture their prey. And both are anthology series with their heroes each episode in a different place doing a different odd job and getting into new scrapes having to get themselves out of them while leaving an impression with the people they meet and affecting their lives in some way. And by the end of the episode, Banner is on the run again just like Kimble. But while The Hulk followed 'The Fugitive's' general trajectory, it still managed to feel like it's own entity and having the creature was the wild card that set The Hulk apart. The creature was played by famed bodybuilder Lou Ferrigno (in an immensely persuasive performance). Ferrigno, without any dialogue as the gargantuan green creature, was able to convey both fear and sympathy from the viewer as The Hulk, being the other half of David Banner, was actually a hero, not a menace, saving David's life numerous times when he got into trouble.The horror aspect was a huge bonus for this show, as especially in the first season, the creature was very scary and intimidating. The first transformation scene in the Pilot is one of the scariest transformations in all of TV or movie history, set on a stormy night with slow-building tension and accompanied by the show's memorable theme music that would eventually be used to introduce every episode of the series after the Pilot. Then each show was bookended with the scarier version of the score at the beginning and a more toned down version at the end to relay the sadness of Banner's plight.In addition to being the first of it's kind for TV, I still think this version of the Hulk has trumped every presentation since, including Ang Lee's pretentious Hulk film and Edward Norton's generic Incredible Hulk movie, as well as the Hulk in the bloated Avengers movies. The TV Hulk is still the standard-setter and best representation of the iconic character, all thanks to Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno!

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    JACK SOUTH (JSouth1)

    I love this show, like many others who posted here. I too, grew into my teenage years watching this show. When I was first told about this show, at age 10, I was led to believe it would be some kind of "horror show", about "Some scientist who turns into a monster, when he gets mad" as I recall my sister putting it. Nonetheless--for some reason, I watched "Death in the family", my first episode...and was sold from there---and still am.Here was a show where a "scientist DOES "turn into a "monster" when he gets angry or upset"...but it was MUCH, MUCH more than that!! The "green monster" is only a small part of the show, and when the "hulk" DOES surface--he ALWAYS changes something for the better, albeit causing a lot of destruction in the process.NO person or persons who got to "know" David "Banner"(or the MANY "B" aliases he used) during the course of the show, came out not being touched, for the better--and often had their business, family or even lives saved. As Banner roamed across the country in search of research jobs and such that would enable him to get access to gamma-ray irradiation equipment--he would invariably get "Drawn into" the lives of some people along the way....and in doing so, found out that some nefarious schemes were going on, by someone who either wanted someone's business, was a corrupt official or politician, engaged in some illegal and dangerous experiments, or trying to cover up some conspiracy. Banner would normally try to intervene on his own, only to be bullied by the bad guys, occasionally even women, and would invariably get beat--up and tossed into some dark corner...and then--the "hulk" would suddenly emerge. When he did surface--the Hulk knew EXACTLY what needed to be done, to resolve a situation--though he DID sometimes do things "the hard way" (such as in "Ricky"--a retarded man is in a race car, and getting gassed by the fumes...all the Hulk needed to do was to "REACH IN THE CAR--and TURN OFF THE IGNITION--instead...he slams the hood of the car down, mashing the car to the ground , jamming out the engine and collapsing the suspension!! Of course..he DID save the guy..).The Hulk has been called by many a "gentle giant". This is true, as he would not EVER really hurt anyone, and often even saved bad guys who either got caught in their own trap or were double--crossed by their cohorts. The most the Hulk would normally do--was to toss a bad guy across the room, but NEVER did he actually hurt them--though he DID destroy ANY weapons they had--such as the favorite--of bending a gun barrel down or even crushing one in his hand. Often, after he caught the bad guys, the Hulk would bend some conduit or such around them--making it unable for them to escape, and be caught by the ensuing police. Not to mention--the Hulk was VERY gentle to someone who appeared to be injured--and he would gracefully remove that person from danger--and carry them to safety.Always in pursuit of the Hulk was a pesky reporter, named Mcgee. Mcgee was curious about the origin of the hulk from the beginning, and his meddling causes an explosion in a lab where Banner and his friend were working, as he is hiding in a chemical closet, and when Discovered by Banner--he knocks a bottle of something, presumably an acid, over, and it runs on the floor over to some chemical, possibly potassium,--and a hypergolic reaction results, blowing up the lab. Mcgee only sees the Hulk carrying a scientist--and he thinks he killed her, Elaina Marks and Banner. From here--he is always in pursuit of the hulk--and a few times along the way--ends up in trouble himself that only the Hulk can resolve. At least twice-the Hulk saves Mcgee's life directly.By the end of each episode...Banner has reverted back to himself, and is normally seen heading out of some town ...on foot, to another town. Along the way--someone's livelihood--and possibly life--was changed for the better. Except for his own. Even though he helped countless people and saved many lives--banner NEVER was able to "help himself" by finding a "cure" for his "Hulk--outs". He does come VERY close a couple of times--notably in "the First" where he actually gets a chance at a cure"--but alas--not quite. It was hard not to feel bad for himself to others EVERY time--but never getting his own recourse. Of course....without the Hulk--Banner is nearly powerless to do much of anything to help anyone--as he is a wimp--and pretty much anyone can overpower him--UNTIL those "eyes start to change"....I am glad this show is now being shown in the Cincy area on RTV. I still watch it--and always will.

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    Having just seen the new Incredible Hulk movie prompted me to reassess the famous Green guy from television days. Computer graphics certainly weren't available to the producers of the television version of The Incredible Hulk. That may not necessarily been a bad thing.The Bill Bixby/Lou Ferrigno character in my opinion had a lot more heart and soul than what I just came from seeing. Now that could be because we saw the episodes in first run for four years and Bixby got to know David Banner inside out and his insights were shared with the audience. Even Ferrigno as the Hulk alter ego was far better than a computer graphic hulk with Edward Norton in their for closeups.That show had to have the most expensive wardrobe budget in history. And I'm still wondering how David Banner on the run kept such an extensive amount of clothes. Certainly that other well known fugitive, Richard Kimble traveled a lot lighter.The formula was like one of those loner westerns set in modern times. Bill Bixby arrives in a strange new town, gets involved in some local situation on the side of the good guys and when the bad guys push him, he Hulks out. No modern gadgetry involved, this could have been set at any time, it could be explained as a Frankenstein type experiment gone wrong.When he was pushed the dark side of the hulk emerged and the late Bill Bixby certainly had a lot of tragedy and darkness to draw from for his Banner persona to fear the results of anger. I liked the show, it wasn't great, but in many ways the superior of the film that just came out.

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