The Shatner Filmography


Finally! A religion so stupid that I would be proud to call it home!

The late, great, Rev. M!kele Mbembe Shatner, describing his membership


Sci-fi films are the epic films of the day because we can no longer put 10,000 extras in the scene - but we can draw thousands of aliens with computers. ~ William Shatner


Film The Brothers Karamazov
Year 1958
Character Alexi Karamazov
Comment The OTS plays the youngest of three brothers, a monk. Unfortunately, it's also the smallest role of the three (most of the screen-time being taken up by Yul Brenner).  Good, but rather slow.  It's interesting to see the OTS's pre-Trek monk hairdo.
Buy it! VHS



Film Judgment at Nuremberg
Year 1961
Character Captain Harrison (Harry) Byers
Comment Shatner is fine in a small role as a military lawyer who assists the judge (Spencer Tracy) in this all-star high-class film.

Shatner wrote that he tried to compliment Tracy on his remarkable memorization and Tracy gruffly blew him off for the rest of the shooting.
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen



Film The Intruder
a.k.a. I Hate Your Guts
a.k.a. Shame
a.k.a. The Stranger
Year 1961
Character Adam Cramer
Comment Shatner delivers his best performance (actually winning a best actor award at an independent film festival) as a political agitator from "The Patrick Henry Society" (a la The John Birch Society) who incites mob violence in a Southern town to prevent integration. He's a racist, rabble-rousing, skirt-chasing bastard in this one, and Shatner plays it to the hilt. Roger Corman's only serious "message" movie and also the only movie that Corman admits lost money for him. Very good performances by the supporting cast.

Real townspeople were used as extras for crowd scenes, but when they discovered the film was pro integration, they nearly lynched Shatner and company, who had to make the rest of the movie in secret and often on the run. This eventually ended up being filmed in three or four small towns.
Buy it! VHS DVD



Film The Explosive Generation
Year 1961
Character Peter Gifford
Comment More like "The Ozzie and Harriet Generation." Shatner is restrained as a well-meaning teacher at a bland middle-class high school who gets into hot water when he tries to introduce (gasp!) sex education in his classroom. "Dangerous Minds" it ain't.  A painfully slow, boring, forgettable film. This film also starred Ed Platt (The Chief from "Get Smart") as the principal, Arch Johnson as a parent, and Billy Gray (Bud on "Father Knows Best") as one of Shatner's students.



Film The Outrage
Year 1964
Character The Preacher
Comment A lousy remake of the Kurasowa classic Rashoman set in the old west. Shatner has a small, undistinguished role as a mild-mannered preacher. Worth seeing only for Paul Newman (in his only bad performance) who is laughable as a rowdy, drunken Mexican--with a terrible accent to boot.  If only Shatner had gotten that part, this would be revered as a camp classic. (Well, at least we have "White Comanche.")
Buy it! VHS



Film Incubus
Year 1965
Character Marc
Comment This is probably Shatner's greatest oddity. Shatner, an Esperanto-phile from way back, in a weird arthouse film done entirely in Esperanto. Shatner plays Marc, a man possessed by demonic female spirits. It was originally intended to be watch-able in any language, as the action on the screen would provide all the necessary plot. Apparently it was an experiment that failed, as the film lapsed into obscurity after a short time.

For years, this film was thought to be "lost", but a pristine French copy surfaced a couple of years ago. The version available below is re-subtitled into English.
Buy it! VHS DVD


Film White Comanche
Year 1967
Character Johnny Moon/Nota
Comment Distinguished by the fact that Shatner once again plays twins a la The Enemy Within, and other Trek episodes. In this case, Shatner plays two half-breed Indians bent on destroying each other. Unintentionally rich camp, filmed in Spain.

Contains some of Shatner's best lines, mostly involving one brother's penchant for peyote.
Buy it! VHS




Film Pioneer Woman
Year 1973
Character John Sergeant
Comment This is a pretty mild-mannered pilot for a TV series that never happened. It's about a woman widowed on the American frontier, forced to her raise children while fighting off the kinds of things that roughing it brings.

Shatner plays the husband. And, given that I've already pointed out that she's widowed, you can guess what happens to him pretty early on.

Interesting in that it features a 9 year-old Helen Hunt as one of the children.

Buy it! VHS




Film Horror at 37,000 Feet
Year 1973
Character Father Paul Kovalik
Comment This is a really bizarre crossover made-for-TV movie. Around 1973, there were two hot genres of movies, airport-disaster movies and exorcism movies. This is the only film I'm aware of that managed to merge the two into a single film about a demon-possessed airplane.

No, really!

The plane is ferrying parts of an old church, and Satan's minions are alive in the old rocks. The plane starts getting all demon-possessed during a flight, and it's up to Shatner, playing a priest who's "lost his faith", to make things right so the plane can land.

The plot is basically The Exorcist, only with an airplane playing the Linda Blair role. Truly a twisted film. It's not available on video, but it can often be found on your local cheapo cable station at about 3 AM.



Film Impulse
a.k.a. I Love to Kill
a.k.a. Want a Ride, Little Girl?
Year 1974
Character Matt Stone
Comment The undisputed low-watermark of Shatner's film career. An unbelievably wretched, ugly mess. Atrocious acting, a budget of about five bucks, and not even any camp appeal. Shatner plays a deranged killer/child molester in this cheap-jack trash filmed in Florida. His ex-wife Marcy has a cameo as a horny motel clerk who, of course, falls for Shatner's smarmy charm.  Harold "Odd Job" Sakata gets hanged in one scene, and Shatner has often told the story of how he saved Sakata's life when the stunt went wrong and he nearly choked to death.

If you're looking for the point where Shatner's career truly hit bottom, this is it.



Film Big Bad Mama
Year 1974
Character William J. Baxter
Comment Angie Dickenson is a hillbilly mom of two horny daughters who can't seem to keep their thingies in their dresses.  Shatner is a well-dressed drifter who gets nekkid with Angie Dickinson. Hollywood rumor has it that the OTS and Police Woman had a brief affair on the set.

This movie is important in that you can actually see Shatner's pubic hair for a brief moment. You can see Police Woman nekkid during several scenes, an added bonus!

In short, this is a must-see film from Roger Corman.
Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Land of No Return
Year 1975
Character Curt Bonnell
Comment The fact that Mel Torme is one of the principal actors should be the tip-off that this is one lame flick. Shatner is once again wasted in a small throwaway role. A rescue story about a plane that crash lands in some snowbound wilderness. Shatner plays the pilot.  Ultra low-budget, and it shows.



Film The Devil's Rain
Year 1975
Character Mark Preston/Martin Phyffe
Comment Features an all-star cast (O.K. Eddie Albert).  Ernest Borgnine is the leader of a Satan-worshipping cult who crucifies Shatner, removes his eyes, and makes him atone for the sins of his past, told in flashback.  Although the box mentions that the film has "the best ending in movie history", the ending was an overlong scene of most of the cast of the movie melting.  Shatner also mentions this film as an example of the depths that his movie career had sunk after Star Trek.

This film also features a very young Tom Skerrit.  This is John Travolta's first film, although his face is hidden in his fight-scene and he is unrecognizable later, as his eyes are also removed and he has one line.

Features a cameo by Anton LaVey. The Shatner-Satan connection!
Buy it! VHS DVD



Film A Whale of a Tale
Year 1976
Character Dr. Jack Fredericks
Comment No it's not a prequel to ST IV or Free Willy It's just a dull children's movie (looks like another Canadian cheapie) concerning a kid and a whale. Hell, maybe it is a precursor to Willy. Shatner has a very small, insignificant part.
Buy it! VHS



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Film The Tenth Level
Year 1976
Character Prof. Stephen Turner
Comment This was one of those slightly better than average Hallmark or Playhouse 90 telefilms. Shatner is a psychologist conducting mind-game experiments on human subjects, with so-so results.



Film Kingdom of the Spiders
Year 1977
Character Rack Hansen
Comment Now we're getting somewhere! Available at your local Blockbuster, this film features Shatner and a cast of about a thousand tarantulas (real and rubber). Don't miss the scene where the OTS falls into the camera with a live tarantula rubber-cemented to his face! Wheee!
Buy it! DVD



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Film The Third Walker
Year 1978
Character Munro MacLean
Comment A confusing, murky flashback-intensive drama about twins that made precious little sense to me. Shatner appears briefly as a creepy, deranged drunk (not as fun as it sounds) and in some flashbacks.  Very obscure film, and deservedly so!
Buy it! VHS



Film The Bastard
Year 1978
Character Paul Revere
Comment Opulent, but slow and silly costume drama. Part of an 8-volume made-for-TV series based on John Jakes' novels.. Shatner's just a small role. Interesting for the panoply of 70's era TV stars (Buddy Ebsen, Lorne Greene, Tom Bosley) and stars-to-be (Kim Cattrall).
Buy it! VHS




Film Star Trek: The Motion Picture
Year 1979
Character Admiral James Tiberius Kirk
Comment Shatner's first really "Big" film since the early sixties. Shatner reprised his role as Kirk to widely mixed reviews. Trek fans found it to be a refreshing and majestic experience. The rest of the moviegoing public went to sleep. Good special effects, though.
Features Phersis Khambatta (the bald chick) in possibly the worst bit of acting in history. In Star Trek Movie Memories, Shatner recounts that it took 19 takes to do a scene where her only line was "no".
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen DVD



Film Riel
Year 1979
Character A Wild West barker
Comment Shatner has a cameo as a carnival barker in this Canadian film.



Film The Kidnapping of the President
Year 1980
Character Gerry O'Connor
Comment Shatner is fine as a the head of Canadian Secret Service who strives to free the president who is held captive in an armored car by terrorists, or some such villains. Looks more like a well-made TV movie, but it's not a bad little time-killer.
Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Visiting Hours
Year 1981
Character Gary Baylor
Comment Bad Canadian Halloween II knockoff set in a hospital. Shatner's just a small supporting role.
Buy it! VHS



Film Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan
Year 1982
Character Admiral James Tiberius Kirk
Comment A tighter and better film than the Star Trek: The Motion Picture. Kirk looks less pudgy in these new updated Federation togs than in the pajamas everyone wore in the first film.
Kirk seems unimpressed that he has a 21-year-old son in this film. Go figure.
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen DVD



Film Airplane II: The Sequel
Year 1982
Character Buck Murdock
Comment Really unfunny sequel to a really funny movie. The OTS plays the leader of a base on the moon where the shuttle is forced to land. Bad jokes, bad special effects. This is a bad bad bad bad BAD movie!
Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Star Trek III: The Search for Spock
Year 1984
Character Admiral James Tiberius Kirk
Comment Slower than Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, but still a pretty good film. I consider II and III to be the best of the lot.
Be sure to watch the scene where Kirk finds that his son was killed. He stumbles backward on the bridge. He is quite proud of this scene and mentions it in his book several times.
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen DVD



Film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home
Year 1986
Character Admiral James Tiberius Kirk
Comment More of an affectionate spoof of Star Trek films than a Star Trek film unto itself. This film was extremely successful. This is the most loved of all of the Star Trek films.
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen DVD




Film Broken Angel
Year 1988
Character Chuck Coburn
Comment Shatner plays a father on a quest to find his runaway daughter in this above-average made-for-TV movie. Features Erika Eleniak, later on "Baywatch" and Playboy's Miss July 1989 as the daughter.
Buy it! VHS




Film Star Trek V: The Final Frontier
Year 1989
Character Admiral James Tiberius Kirk
Comment After Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home, Nimoy convinces Shatner to direct his own film with hilarious results!
Features bad special effects, an overweight Uhura doing a fan-dance, Shatner and Nimoy singing, and more. Not a good turn for the OTS, but a fun film to watch.
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen DVD



Film Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country
Year 1991
Character Admiral James Tiberius Kirk
Comment Not bad. Chronicles the collapse of the Klingon Empire. The OTS does a pretty mediocre job projecting abject hatred for the race that killed his son and hounded him for 30 years.
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen DVD



Film National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1
Year 1993
Character General Morters
Comment Finally, a film even *less* funny than Airplane II. This is a take-off of those "Lethal Weapon" movies. Shatner plays the heavy with a cute hamminess, but the film is devoid of funny jokes. The occasional funny joke is repeated 3-5 times in case you missed it. Absolute garbage.
Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Star Trek: Generations
Year 1994
Character Admiral James Tiberius Kirk
Comment Some folks liked this film, but I thought it, like Back to the Future II, was not so much a movie as a vehicle to make a better sequel. This movie is a way to ease people into watching Star Trek movies with the new cast. An overweight Shatner rides horses, abuses Picard, and eventually dies. The OTS has already written a book that resurrects Kirk from the death he suffers in this film.
Buy it! VHS VHS Widescreen DVD



Year 1994
Character Walter H. Bascom
Comment Here's another interesting one. Shatner had long been pitching movie-versions of his Tekwar book series with himself, of course, as the lead. It seemed plausible, as the main character, Jake Cardigan, was a 40-something over-the-hill corrupt space-cop. Shatner playing a 40-something cop, though, just didn't fly with the execs, so they agreed to make the movie only if Shatner took the much smaller role as Bascom, the police boss. The Bascom character was basically equivalent to "Bosley" in Charlie's Angels, he assigned a job to the main character, then congratulated him for a job well-done at the end.

The series itself wasn't bad. Although it just lasted for one season on USA network, it distinguished itself with some truly excellent special effects along with a couple of very good episodes (and a couple of real stinkers). Despite getting record-breaking ratings for its first episode, studio execs decided that it just wasn't enough to justify the price, and the series was axed after 15 episodes.
Buy it! VHS



Film Trinity and Beyond: The Atomic Bomb Movie
Year 1995
Character Narrator
Comment A very good documentary about the development and testing of the atomic bomb, from the first test in Trinity, NM to the Chinese development of the bomb in 1965.  Features lots of recently declassified footage and information about atomic bomb experiments.  The film of the experiments is stunning to say the least, and is emotionally powerful for a generation who grew up in the 80's.  Most impressive to me was the footage of the first ocean tests, one of which forced the government to sink dozens of ships, as the explosion ended up being a teensy bit bigger (and off-target) than they expected.  Another impressive piece was a cannon that fired a (relatively) small nuclear shell.

The narration by the OTS is actually very good.  His voice is matter-of-fact, and he treats a serious subject with the respect it deserves.  The narration is only used when necessary, which is nice for a film this visual.
Buy it! VHS VHS Director's Cut DVD



Film Land Of The Free
Year 1997
Character Aidan Carvell
Comment Very cheap straight-to-video conspiracy picture full of tons of car crashes and explosions, intended to cash in on the short-lived militia-mania of the 90's. Shatner plays a terrorist/politician/militiaman who's trying to get into office in California so that he can call in his "northern militia" to take over.

Good if you like to see a hammy Shatner and lots of cars blowing up.

Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Free Enterprise
Year 1998
Character Himself
Comment Here's a cute one. It's about a couple of pimply-faced fanboys who approach Shatner with a pitch for a movie (aping itself a bit). Rather than Shatner completely blowing 'em off, he embraces 'em wholeheartedly, pitching his own idea for a musical version of Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, starring himself in every role.

About halfway through, the movie gets bogged down by a love-triangle subplot, but it is rescued repeatedly by Shatner's charm. If you're a fan of Shatner and the mythos that follows him (and what are you doing reading this if you're not?), you'll enjoy this one.

Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Miss Congeniality
Year 2000
Character Stan Fields
Comment Shatner delivers the only funny line ("And we'll be right back with our five final lesbians -- contestants!") in this dumb comedy.

Starting off with a fine bit of miscasting, Sandra Bullock plays an "ugly girl" who's made-over into a pretty girl so she can work undercover as a beauty queen. For the first third of the movie, Bullock tries to make herself seem unattractive by being a general slob, but she just doesn't pull it off. If they'd chosen Sandra Bernhardt or Kathy Bates in the role, it would've probably been funnier as well as more effective.
Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Osmosis Jones
Year 1998
Character The Mayor
Comment Shatner plays a small role as the "mayor" of an animated fantasy world that lives inside of a character's body. Shatner does a good job in the role, but the movie really doesn't work. It often just degenerates into gross-out jokes, and the constant switching between live action and animation is rather annoying.
Buy it! VHS DVD




Film Showtime
Year 2002
Character Himself
Comment Shatner again is the only bright spot in a bad film. This is yet another mediocre "unwilling buddy cop" movie. Eddie Murphy is a cop who wants to be an actor, and Robert DeNiro is a cop who wants to be anything but. Wacky hijinks ensue when a TV network wants to make a reality show about 'em. Shatner has a cameo appearance as himself, showing Murphy and DeNiro how to be a tough TV cop like TJ Hooker. It's pretty predictable stuff. If you rent it, just fast-forward to the Shatner scenes, then return it.
Buy it! VHS DVD




Film American Psycho 2
Year 2002
Character Professor Robert 'Bobby' Starkman
Comment Another dumb sequel that never should have been made. It's much more stylish than the shlocky slasher-crap from the 70's, but unfortunately it's got plot-holes that strain suspension of disbelief to the breaking point. Shatner plays a horny former-FBI-man-turned-professor who knows everything there is to know about serial killers. For such an expert, though, he doesn't seem to pick up on the fact that the students in his criminology class are dropping like flies. It suffers from just about every latter-day horror movie cliché in the book, and Shatner just walks through his part.

Watch only if you're a fan of the "That 70's Show" chick who's the star.

Buy it! VHS DVD



Film Shoot Or Be Shot
Year 2002
Character Harvey Wilkes
Comment Yes, it's another independent film about making an independent film! This one does feature a couple of funny performances from Harry Hamlin and Shatner, playing a hack filmmaker and an insane tech-writer, respectively. While there are a few good lines and chuckles here and there, the rest of the supporting cast is pretty dull and the film doesn't really build up to a good whole. Ignore the scenes when Shatner and Hamlin aren't on the screen.
Buy it! VHS DVD

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