The A.V. Club has agreed to sponsor 10 days of programming in Crackle.com’s Summer Drive-In Series. We’re providing a preview of each day’s movie (or movies) here.

Up today: Hudson Hawk (1991)

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Richard E. Grant’s wonderful diary With Nails provides fascinating insight into how 1991’s notorious Hudson Hawk went horribly awry. Heavyweight producer Joel Silver and star Bruce Willis seem to inhabit a different universe than screenwriter Daniel Waters and director Michael Lehmann (both of Heathers fame), money was thrown around mindlessly, and no bad idea was turned down, including Danny Aiello’s self-serving suggestion that his character show up at the end despite blowing up but good in one of the film’s many clattering setpieces. The result is a gargantuan In Like Flint style spy spoof with Willis as a smartass burglar who becomes mixed up with scenery-devouring bad guys Grant and Sandra Bernhard alongside blue-collar sidekick Aiello. Hawk contains many of the elements that would make Austin Powers such an iconic franchise—campy humor, zingy riffing on the globe-trotting spy genre, outsized performances and a proudly retro sensibility—but in a less palatable, appealing form.

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