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Tuesday, April 4, 2017

When Time Ran Out (1980)

A dormant volcano on a South Pacific island unexpectedly erupts and puts hundreds of guests at a luxury hotel in danger. They must make a choice of listening to the hotel owner (James Franciscus) who insists the hotel is like a fortress and they will be safe or follow the oil rigger (Paul Newman)  who will lead them to higher and safer ground on the other side of the island. Marginally based on the novel DAY THE WORLD ENDED by Gordon Thomas and Max Morgan Witts and directed by James Goldstone. This Irwin Allen (POSEIDON ADVENTURE) disaster film came at the end of the disaster genre's popularity. By 1980, audiences had seen earthquakes, burning skyscrapers, avalanches, capsized ships and killer bees and were pretty exhausted. This effort closely resembles the 1961 DEVIL AT 4 O'CLOCK in that it follows a group of people on a dangerous trek through tropical jungles to the sea where boats will be waiting for them. The characters are pretty stock and there's zero opportunities for the actors to develop anything resembling a layered human being. Still, for fans of the genre, it's more than watchable. The huge cast includes William Holden, Jacqueline Bisset, Ernest Borgnine, Burgess Meredith, Red Buttons, Valentina Cortese, Edward Albert, Alex Karras, Pat Morita, Barbara Carrera, Veronica Hamel, John Considine and Sheila Allen.

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