A Flash of Green (1984)

“We’re going to manufacture paradise.” A true forgotten movie classic, this compelling drama features a great performance by Ed Harris as “Jimmy Wing,” a cynical newspaper reporter in a small Florida beach town who gets caught up in an increasingly destructive struggle between ecologically minded citizens and corrupt land developers led by ruthlessly ambitious local politician “Elmo Bliss” (Richard Jordan). Blair Brown portrays “Kat Hubble,” an environmental activist, member of the local ecology group and Wing’s budding love interest, while George Coe plays “Brian Haas,” his drunken reporter buddy who occasionally embarks on some serious booze-soaked benders. Based on a novel of the same name by John D. MacDonald, the film unfolds slowly but offers plenty of rewards for the patient viewer. An excellent character study directed by Victor Nunez, A Flash of Green deserves to be rediscovered. A professor at the FSU Film School, Nunez (Ulee’s Gold) was inducted into the Florida Artists Hall of Fame in 2008.  

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  1. “A Flash of Green” was really a great movie, depicting life in Southwest Florida back in the ’70s and ’80s. Although fictional, the movie presented a very real picture of civilization here during those times, and the insane rush to “Pave Paradise” without regard for the consequences. Just get in and get out. I was working at the newspaper where many scenes of the film were shot (they actually used footage from multiple newspaper offices, both in my county and the next county south). Personally I believe it would be a great hit if ever brought back as a ‘classic’ film, but from what I can ascertain there aren’t any film copies available, and nothing exists in the digital realm. Too bad! It tells a great story. Oh… and by the way…. it’s still going on today.

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