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When Time Ran Out (1980)

Director:
James Goldstone
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Disaster
NORWEGIAN TITLE
-
RUNNING TIME
121 minutes
Producer:
Irwin Allen
Screenwriter (based on a novel by G. Thomas and M. Morgan-Witts):
Carl Foreman
Stirling Silliphant


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Hank Anderson Paul Newman
Kay Kirby Jacqueline Bisset
Shelby Gilmore William Holden
Brian Edward Albert
Francis Fendly Red Buttons
Iolni Barbara Carrera
Rose Valdez Valentina Cortese
Nikki Spangler Veronica Hamel
Tiny Baker Alex Karras
Rene Valdez Burgess Meredith
Tom Conti Ernest Borgnine
Bob Spangler James Franciscus
Mona Sheila Allen
Sam Pat Morita

 

Review

After crashing out with Beyond the Poseidon Adventure, Irwin Allen assembled a band of his old companions and made a final, desperate attempt at milking the disaster cow by essentially rehashing as many of the original ideas from The Poseidon Adventure and The Towering Inferno as possible. The result is a full-fledged fiasco that Leonard Maltin fittingly dubbed "When Ideas Ran Out", because not only are many of the character-relations and plot-developments in the convoluted script feeble attempts at recreating the magic from the two aforementioned films, but Paul Newman and William Holden actually play downright carbon copies of their characters from The Towering Inferno. Then there's Red Buttons and Ernest Borgnine playing some kind of... people (Borgnine is lucky enough to wear a blindfold for most of the film), whereas all the women are one generic blob of screaming, paralysed meat puppets. Needless to say, Irwin Allen was effectively outdated after this, and he never made another feature film. Oh, and did I mention that the action set-pieces (the few there is) are so inane and excruciatingly slow-moving that you start rooting for the volcano? Or that the special effects are remarkably amateurish, since Allen spent all of his money on actors and location shooting? The only redeeming quality here is the useful intro, but by the end of When Time Ran Out, the disaster genre had effectively committed suicide and would not resurrect for almost twenty years.

Copyright 16.10.2014 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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