Movie Classic – Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy
San Diego has been staying classy. With Will Ferrell returning to the role of Ron Burgundy in Anchorman 2, it's the perfect time to look back at the classic Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy.
Anchorman finds Will Ferrell’s chauvinistic 1970s news anchor – complete with nasty polyester suit and nastier moustache – forced to reassess his views when he's forced to work with a female co-anchor.
By the beard of Zeus, this film had some great actors. The Judd Apatow team included Christina Applegate (who beat Maggie Gyllenhaal to the role), Paul Rudd, Steve Carell and Fred Willard – making for a comedy powerhouse. Although Steve Carrell is now hard to take seriously if he's ever in shot with a lamp, or a brick.
“Cannonball!”, “Two tickets to the gun show”, and “By Odin’s hammer!” are just some of Anchorman's most quotable lines. Do you remember referring to your arms as guns without a hint of irony before this film was made? Exactly.
Did you know the opening and closing scenes are narrated by real Chicago news anchor and 20 Emmy award winner Bill Kurtis? He’s one of many cameos in Anchorman. The battle that saw Brick kill a man with a trident also saw fleeting appearances from Ben Stiller, Luke Wilson and Vince Vaughan. They were easy spots – but did you clock a young Seth Rogen as one of Harkin’s cameramen? Oh well, you'll just have to watch it again – and keep a weather eye open for Jack Black’s Baxter dropkicking scene and Machete's Danny Trejo as a barman. Also check out the restaurant called Escupimos en su Alimento – which translates as, "we spit in your food."
Ron Burgundy made it alright to walk around a room “with a massive erection.” Well, in the comfort of your own home, anyway. He even made jazz flute cool. A lot of scenes – like the one in which Ron talks about the Human Torch being denied a bank loan – were shot ad lib, a process that made for spur of the moment hilarity and must have made Anchorman great fun to film. Even if some scenes were shot 20 times to get the best result.
All that ad-libbing paid off in another way, too – director Adam McKay used the outtakes from Anchorman to create another film called Wake Up, Ron Burgundy: The Lost Movie. It should tide you over until the true sequel arrives.
The original script was described by director Adam McKay as, “a planeload of news anchors who crash in the mountains and discover that the plane with which they collided was carrying monkeys and martial arts equipment, leading to a battle between cannibalistic newsmen and star-throwing monkeys.” He’s clearly a funny guy.
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