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1984 Movie Reviews – Crackers and Lassiter

by Sean P. Aune | February 24, 2024February 24, 2024 10:30 am EST

Welcome to an exciting year-long project here at The Nerdy. 1984 was an exciting year for films giving us a lot of films that would go on to be beloved favorites and cult classics. It was also the start to a major shift in cultural and societal norms, and some of those still reverberate to this day.


We’re going to pick and choose which movies we hit, but right now the list stands at nearly four dozen.

Yes, we’re insane, but 1984 was that great of a year for film.

The articles will come out – in most cases – on the same day the films hit theaters in 1984 so that it is their true 40th anniversary. All films are also watched again for the purposes of these reviews and are not being done from memory. In some cases, it truly will be the first time we’ve seen them.

This time around, it’s February 24, 1984, and we’re off to see Crackers and Lassiter!



Crackers had all of the ingredients to be a great comedy, and it missed the mark entirely.

The film follows a loose association of down-on-their-luck people from all walks of life that orbit a pawn shop in San Francisco Joe Farvey (Jack Warden). As Garvey prepares for his annual trip for his mother’s birthday, Weslake (Donald Sutherland) starts to formulate a plan to break into the shop and steal the contents of the safe, sure it will fix all of his money issues. He teams up with Dillard (Sean Penn), Turtle (Wallace Shawn), Boardwalk (Larry Riley), and Ramon (Trinidad Silva) to pull off the job.

To say nothing goes to plan would be an understatement, and it somehow manages to not produce one laugh through all of the trials and tribulations.

Louis Malle directed this dud of a ‘comedy,’ and considering his best-known recent work at the time was My Dinner With Andre, it was an odd project for him to tackle. It seems so outside his comfort zone that you have no idea how it could have ever come together.

The film misfired on nearly every moment, and it’s a true mystery how something this stacked with talent could be this unflinchingly bland and soulless.

Skip it and forget it even exists.



Apparently, Golden Harvest Pictures really wanted to be in the Tom Selleck business. It has already released the Indiana Jones-rip off in the form of High Road to China, and this time it decided to do a ripoff of a film noir heist movie.

Nick Lassiter (Tom Selleck) is a gentleman jewel thief in London in the days before the breakout of World War II. With the police breathing down his neck, multiple law enforcement agencies recruit him to break into the German Embassy – already with all of the hallmarks of Nazis – and steal $10 million dollars worth of diamonds. He quickly knows that this won’t end well for him unless he takes matters into his own hands. With the help of his gallery of various friends and former partners, he formulates a plan that will not only see him live, but also possibly make it out with the diamonds on his own.

At the end of the day it’s a serviceable, if unexciting noir thriller. The plot is mainly nonsense, but the worst part is you know where it’s going from the start. There is no way he doesn’t have a scheme in the works that will see him get away and it takes away some of the weight from the story. You know that when characters are saying they won’t work with Lassiter it must be in service to his scheme and it just makes it feel very paint-by-numbers. You’ve colored in all of the As, and the Bs will make it even clearer.

There is nothing original in Lassiter, and it feels far more like an obligation to watch it than enjoy it.

This would be a definite pass for me.

1984 Movie Reviews will return on March 2, 2024 with Against All Odds, Harry & Son, Repo Man, and This Is Spinal Tap!


Sean P. Aune

Sean Aune has been a pop culture aficionado since before there was even a term for pop culture. From the time his father brought home Amazing