Captain Destructo


#1

When our hosts read the e-mail from Al, who had envisioned a comic-book hero named Captain Destructo who wreaks vengeance on bad drivers, my thought was “He’s not such a wacko. It’s been done before!”

It wasn’t a comic book but a movie. Or part of a movie. A 1932 movie called “If I Had a Million,” in which a dying multimillionaire decides to give a million dollars to each of several individuals whose names he picks from a phone book. Each beneficiary’s story was a separate vignette with a different cast and director.

One segment was titled “Road Hogs” and is described thusly in Wikipedia:

Ex-vaudeville performer Emily La Rue (Alison Skipworth) is very content with her life, running her tea room with the help of her partner, ex-juggler Rollo (W. C. Fields). Only one thing is lacking to make her satisfaction complete, and it is delivered that very day: a brand new car. However, when they take it out for a drive, it is wrecked when another driver ignores a stop signal. The heartbroken woman returns to her tea room, where Glidden (the millionaire) finds her.

She comes up with an inventive way to spend part of her great windfall. She and Rollo purchase eight used cars and hire drivers. They all take to the road in a long procession. When they encounter an inconsiderate road hog, Emily and Rollo immediately set off in pursuit and crash into the offender’s automobile. They then switch to one of their spare cars and repeat the process, until they run out of automobiles. At the end of the day, Emily purchases another new car, but it too is destroyed in a collision with a truck. No matter. Emily tells Rollo it has been “a glorious day”.

Great wish fulfillment, no?


#2

Wow, and Sony pictures hasn’t done a remake of this one. Imagine what fun the special effects crew could have with this one. I see Angelina Jolie as Emile and Jack Black as Rollo.


#3

Wow, I recall some details of the movie but had long since forgotten where I saw it. I just remember the segment with them crashing into road hogs and have told that part of the story many times over the years. Nice to be able to fill in the details and perhaps even watch it again! It was a fantasy many have had I suppose…thanks for the details!!