Creator (1985) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski) and Tuna

Peter O'Toole played the part of Peter O'Toole, a charming, boozy, eccentric, rubber-legged, and sentimental actor who seems to carry in his eyes the secret that he has seen everything, enjoyed most of it, and forgives everyone along the way, including himself ... oh, wait a minute ... the character did have a different name and was supposed to be a scientist, but he plays the same part he has always played in the past 25 years.

It's a really mushy romantic comedy with more romance in the sub-plots. In the main plot, O'Toole is trying to clone his dead wife, and of course he has to do this in secret away from the eyes of his colleagues. In addition to the near-presence of his late wife, O'Toole is shot into further sentimental reminiscences by watching his young assistant fall in love in stages which parallel O'Toole's own youthful courtship of his true love.

OK, it's corny. Like you were expecting anything else in a Peter O'Toole comedy? Creator is the kind of movie that I normally hate - a sappy love story in which love conquers all, and in which the aged Nobel laureate finally gives up on his 30 year quest to clone his dead wife when he falls in love with a 19 year old nymphomaniac. It even includes a resurrection, flying in the fact of my general principle that no good movie can include a resurrection.

Despite the utter silliness of the premise, Peter O'Toole makes it all work. I'm not sure if he's really a great actor, because it depends on your requirements. No matter what he has done since Lawrence of Arabia, he's always Peter O'Toole, so that may rule him out as an "actor". But he sure is good at being Peter O'Toole, and has managed to carry several films solely on the strength of his charm.

The film has another virtue besides Peter. All of the main characters, and several of the minor ones, are both likeable and interesting. Mariel Hemingway was cast perfectly as the nymphet farm girl, and you could actually believe that she had the humor, strength, and integrity to win a Nobel Prize winner. Vincent Spano, Virginia Madsen, and the screenwriter created just the right mood and dialogue so that you could see that they really were a couple in love. You don't just see them say "I love you", but you can actually witness them loving each other, and you can see that they clicked perfectly together.

Creator is painless and gentle of spirit. That ain't all bad. Like chicken soup, it won't hurt you any, and you can even watch it with the kids if they can tolerate a little harmless nudity.


Mariel Hemingway falls out of her shirt in a football game, then lifts the shirt up completely to get away from her defender.

Her breasts are also briefly exposed in a scene in which O'Toole enters a room while she undresses.

Virginia Madsen showed her breasts in a shower scene.

And it is funny!


Peter O'Toole shows his microscopic fertilized egg to a colleague who knew O'Toole's late wife:

O'Toole: Do you know what this is?

Other guy: No ....

O'Toole (offended): Why this is Lucy!

Other guy: Well, you have to forgive me for not recognizing her. It's been thirty years since I've seen her, and she's lost a lot of weight.



Mariel Hemingway, talking very loud to O'Toole, in order to be heard at a party:

Hemingway: I'm just a formal kind of girl. You're Dr. Wolper to me, not Harry. If I slept with the King of England I would say (the rest of the party suddenly quiets, so the other guests can hear only the next line, and not the previous conversation), "thank you for banging me, your majesty".

Of course, the other party-goers think she is addressing O'Toole. There is shocked quiet until O'Toole's colleague says, "now THAT'S what I call respect!"

DVD info from Amazon.

  • no widescreen

  • no meaningful features

A much underrated and underappreciated film.

I also like author Jeremy Leven's other major film, the equally sentimental Don Juan DeMarco, which he also directed.


Creator (1985), which IMDb calls The Big Picture, stars Peter O'Toole as an eccentric Nobel prize winning researcher who has been dedicating his time and energy into cloning his dead wife in a home lab outfitted with equipment pilfered from his employer. As the film opens, he is looking for a new research assistant, and suckers Vincent Spano into taking the job. O'Toole's evil nemesis is trying to get the dean to put Peter out to pasture and let Mr. Nemesis take over the research department. O'Toole is searching for a human egg for his next attempt at cloning his wife, and finds Mariel Hemingway, a self-described 19 year old nymphomaniac who decides she is going to marry O'Toole, despite the challenge of competing with a dearly remembered dead woman.

Meanwhile, Virgina Madsen becomes Spano's love interest. O'Toole is outstanding as the brilliant rapscallion, and Spano is actually a kindred spirit, although he doesn't know it at first. If you enjoy O'Toole's sense of humor, you should enjoy this one, and the nudity is a definite plus.

The Critics Vote

  • General consensus: two and a half. Ebert 2.5/4, Apollo 57/100

The People Vote ...

  • IMDB summary. IMDb voters score it 5.9/10, Apollo voters 76/100


IMDb guideline: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence, about like three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, about like two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, about like two stars from the critics. Films under five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film, equivalent to about one and a half stars from the critics or less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well.

Based on this description, Scoop says. "this film is a B-. I hate mushy, sentimental films, but I like this one, which is witty and has excellent characterizations." Tuna calls it a C, saying, "It is a typical O'Toole effort so your enjoyment of the film will depend on your enjoyment of his familiar character."

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