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All Night Long
USA 1981
Directed by Jean-Claude Tramont
Running time 88 minutes
Rated PG

Reviewed by
Bernard Hemingway
1.5 stars


You might be attracted to this film because it was written by W.D. Richter who directed the cult hit The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (1984). If so, forget about it. Although there is no question that Belgian-born director Jean-Claude Tramont who made some films in France before working in American television is well out of his depth, there is no evidence that Richter’s script was squandered in a film that shuffles from one ineptly staged scene to another with no discernible sense of vision, (The film’s working title “Night People"  gives some indication of what it might have been).

Gene Hackman plays a middle-aged corporate executive, George Dupler, who cracks up when he is passed over for promotion after 21 years of service for a drugstore chain. He is demoted to the position of night manager in one of the stores and in short order leaves his wife, starts an affair with Cheryl Gibbons (Barbra Streisand), a married woman who is carrying on with George’s 18-year-old so, Freddie (Dennis Quaid), and determines to follow his life dream of being an inventor,

Streisand,,replacing Lisa Eichhorn after a week’s shooting (the star's agent was in a relationship with the director) brings nothing to the role but the  self-conscious provocativeness which had already been seen in creditable comedic performances in The Owl and The Pussycat (1970) and What’s Up Doc? (1972) under better directors (Herbert Ross and Peter Bogdanovich respectively). A 27 year old Quaid is embarrassingly gauche and Diane Ladd gets little to do as George's wife,

Take the always-watchable Gene Hackman out of the film and it would have been flat as a collapsed soufflé (unsurprisingly it flopped critically and commercially).

Available from: Shock Entertainment

 

 

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