Flix Character Spotlight: Neville Sinclair – The Rocketeer

A couple of days ago, I saw Jennifer Connelly in the red carpet of The Tourist premiere with her husband Paul Bettany. As you can see in the poster, Connelly and Timothy Dalton co-starred in The Rocketeer back in 1991, and now her husband is co-starring with Dalton in The Tourist.

It turns out this post has been in my draft folder since August, around the time when I read this Hero Complex blog post back in August titled The Rocketeer’ — a retro adventure that was ahead of its time. Apparently a theater in L.A. was hosting a special month-long Disney screening series at the time. Oh, how I wish I could’ve seen this one on the big screen.

I remember seeing The Rocketeer with my older brother when I was in high school. It had everything you could possibly want in a movie: comic-book style action adventure, espionage, romance and cool visuals. Based on a graphic novel, the story takes place in a few years prior to WWII in 1938 and focuses on a young stunt pilot Cliff, who stumbles onto a prototype jet-pack that allows him to become a high flying masked hero dubbed The Rocketeer. Of course things starts to go awry when the Nazis want the device for their evil plans.


Well, one of the best things about the movie is undoubtedly the deliciously charming baddie, Neville Sinclair. He is Howard Hughes meets Errol Flyn meets James Bond… played to perfection by Dalton. It’s hard not to swoon for his suave and sexy portrayal, in fact, he’s the one I couldn’t take my eyes off. This is a text-book example of a supporting character completely overshadowing the protagonist, played by boyish Billy Campbell. The Hero Complex article aptly described him as ‘sly and rakish’… and Shakespearean actor used that debonair sensibilities to the max in trying to seduce Cliff’s girlfriend, the aspiring actress Jenny (Connelly).

Director Joe Johnston (who’s currently working on Captain America) made a perfect casting choice in Dalton. I can’t imagine anyone else playing the role of a Nazi spy disguised as a swashbuckling movie star, inspired by the real actor Errol Flynn (apparently, an authorized biography of the classic actor painted him as a Nazi sympathizer – per Wikipedia). Sinclair is right up there with Alan Rickman‘s Hans Gruber as my favorite villains of all time.

Take a look below of a couple of clips from the movie. If you haven’t seen this one, it’s definitely worth a rental! Need more proof? Read Marc’s full review at GoSeeTalk.com.

20 thoughts on “Flix Character Spotlight: Neville Sinclair – The Rocketeer

  1. PrairieGirl

    Saw this movie a long time ago, on TV I think, but thought it was very good. Didn’t know Dalton back then, so this makes me for sure want to see it again.

  2. About time you recognized the TD brilliance in our favorite movie:)

    “Well, let it never be said that Neville Sinclair failed to bring down the house”…love that line. Such a likable bad guy. Great post Ruth!

    Oh, on your last line, rental at the very least. I want my Blu Ray copy:P

    1. He..he.. the post is long overdue indeed, but it ends up being quite timely don’t you think? Are you gonna see The Tourist, Marc?

      Btw, I’ve added your lovely review on the post as well. Yes, perhaps a Blu-ray copy for Christmas might be in order 😉

  3. Ted S.

    I totally forgot about this movie, saw it in theater when I was in 8th grade. I really wanted to like it but I thought it was just ok, not bad but not good either. The best thing about it was definitely Dalton as the villain. This was one the big box office bombs that year, probably because it opened around the same time as Terminator 2.

    I haven’t seen it since though so maybe I’ll give a rent sometime and see if I like it better as a grown up now.

    1. It’s amazing you remember what movie opened in the same week! I remember really liking this and my brother & I kept talking about it afterwards. Of course he really appreciates miss Connelly 😉 She’s so baby-faced at the time but perfect for the role.

      I kinda like the retro look of this movie, too. The special effects might not be the greatest, but for early 90s, it’s not too bad. No matter, my eyes were glued to Mr. Sinclair. YOWZA!

  4. I’m not sure if i’ve seen this before, but i might check it out on neftlix sometime. And i may possibly do a character spotlight of my own, and you can probably guess who i would post it on 😛

    Btw, the movie i’m working on for television production should be posted no later than next month. I am going to try to fix a few shots before uploading it, as i would like it to look as professional as possible

    Oh when will you start your blogathon thing?

    1. Ahah, yeah I think I can definitely guess who it’ll be 🙂

      Hey that’s cool about your project. Do post it on your blog when you’re done, I’d be sure to check it out.

      I’ll email you about it later this weekend. Thanks Julian!

  5. I absolutely LOVE The Rocketeer! It’s such an underrated movie, it breaks my heart. And, yes, Timothy Dalton is the perfect villain. He looks like he’s having a blast doing it, which just makes it all the more enjoyable. I love it when he slips into the hammy German accent at the end. 😀

    You’ve made me want to pull this off the shelf and watch it again. 😉

    1. Yay, glad you’re in my corner on this, Rich. Dalton & Rocketeer are both so underrated, which is a shame. He looked like he had fun in this, totally agree.

  6. I can’t tell you ENOUGH how much I LOVE THIS MOVIE! I’ve seriously watched it once a month since I was a wee lass! Superb acting and amazing story! The movie stands the test of time and one of the best comic book adaptations out there!

  7. Excellent look at this one, rtm! And yes, this one was ahead of its time. I keep waiting for the studio to release it to Blu-ray Disc and give it the extras it sooooo deserves. You can judge a movie of this type by the dastardly charm of its villain. Timothy Dalton is far and away the best of a fine cast. Glad you gave me the heads up to this post, my friend. Thanks for this.

    1. Thanks Michael, I’m so glad to find another fan of not only Rocketeer but of Dalton! I’m like a broken radio in the way I talk about him on this blog, but hey, he’s just such a fine actor. He’s my favorite Bond and Rochester, two completely different character that he did extremely well. Back to the movie, because of Rocketeer, I’m curious about Capt. America as Joe Johnston also he directed that one, too.

  8. Pingback: Retro Friday – Why I LOVE The Rocketeer |

Join the conversation by leaving a comment

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s