Matt Hough

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An offbeat mid-life crisis romantic comedy that only works in fits and starts, Jean-Claude Tramont’s All Night Long has a long list of fine actors working in vain to make mediocre material somehow work for a movie audience.



All Night Long (1981)



Released: 06 Mar 1981
Rated: R
Runtime: 87 min




Director: Jean-Claude Tramont
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance



Cast: Gene Hackman, Barbra Streisand, Diane Ladd, Dennis Quaid
Writer(s): W.D. Richter



Plot: A drummer plants doubts into the mind of a bandleader about his wife's faithfulness in an attempt to take over the band himself.



IMDB rating: 5.6
MetaScore: N/A





Disc Information



Studio: Universal
Distributed By: Kino Lorber
Video Resolution: 1080P/AVC...
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Denham

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Screenwriter W.D. Richter wanted to write a small, European-style light comedy about the peculiar people who inhabit the night, but with the big stars and a major Hollywood studio attached to the endeavor, what resulted was something much larger and much more untenable. As it turned out, the scenes in the all-night drug store are the most interesting and amusing things in the movie with a staff of befuddled, uninterested employees caught in a dead-end job, some just hanging on and others attempting to make their work something of merit and promise and a few denizens of the night with their own kookiness and unpredictability (a shoplifter who attempts to threaten the store security officer with a pantyhose egg, a massively built woman attempting to rob the cash register). The highlight here is when George attacks his obnoxious bosses with Apocalypse, Now dive bombing using an electronic model helicopter while Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries” cascades on the soundtrack.
I vividly remember the frequent commercials for this in the Spring of '81.
Partly because I was champing at the bit to (finally) see Hackman again as Lex Luthor in Superman II, which was just three more months away.
I loved him in the role in the first film, and this was the first thing he was in since that. It had my attention simply for his presence.

The other reason was because the commercials were selling it exactly as you describe here- Hackman playing a kind of Barney Miller like role as the authority/straight man to a bunch of kooky denizens and situations as they circulate in and out of an all night drug store. The scene with the helicopter I definitely remember from those commercials.
Not only did it have a star in it I loved, it looked like a fun movie to boot.

Needless to say when I finally saw it decades later, it was nothing like that. Streisand's participation threw the finished movie off-balance, and it is a curious, disappointing mis-fire.

Yet for the germ of what I thought it was, and for Hackman, as well as the nostalgia for a moment in time long gone, I've got it pre-ordered and am kind of looking forward to seeing it again.
 
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MatthewA

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Sue Mengers was Streisand's manager at the time. Mengers' husband was the director of the film. That's the only explanation for her being here. Did she really have nothing better to do? No concerts? No albums? Hers sounds like the sort of role that should have gone to someone like Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, or Loni Anderson.

Around the same time, her ex-husband Elliott Gould made The Devil and Max Devlin at Disney; to stay out of Hell, Max Devlin had to manage a female pop singer (Julie Budd)! Despite their prescience in casting the role of Satan incarnate, that wasn't considered a hit, either, but it grossed $16,000,000 to the mere $4,494,295 this grossed.
 

Matt Hough

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Sue Mengers was Streisand's manager at the time. Mengers' husband was the director of the film. That's the only explanation for her being here. Did she really have nothing better to do? No concerts? No albums? Hers sounds like the sort of role that should have gone to someone like Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, or Loni Anderson.
Yes, this is discussed in the interview on the disc.
 
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JohnMor

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I actually enjoy this film a lot. I find it very sweet and I love the performances of Hackman and Streisand in it. But it should never have been billed as a Streisand comedy in the vein of What’s Up, Doc? or The Main Event, which the ad campaign really tried to make it out to be. It’s Hackman’s picture, though I think Streisand is very fun as Cheryl.
 

Denham

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I don't think it's a terrible movie...just misguided.
It had a lot of elements in place to have made a solid mid-life crisis dramedy.
That comes through in flashes, but nothing sustained or ultimately substantial.

FWIW, while the character seems tailored for Fawcett or Somers or LA, I could see someone like Brooke Adams being charming in the role.
Streisand performance is in a different key to the rest of the film to me, and that's a big reason why I find it an interesting also ran.
 

Panavision70

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Sue Mengers was Streisand's manager at the time. Mengers' husband was the director of the film. That's the only explanation for her being here. Did she really have nothing better to do? No concerts? No albums? Hers sounds like the sort of role that should have gone to someone like Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, or Loni Anderson.

Around the same time, her ex-husband Elliott Gould made The Devil and Max Devlin at Disney; to stay out of Hell, Max Devlin had to manage a female pop singer (Julie Budd)! Despite their prescience in casting the role of Satan incarnate, that wasn't considered a hit, either, but it grossed $16,000,000 to the mere $4,494,295 this grossed.
 

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Panavision70

Stunt Coordinator
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Sue Mengers was Streisand's manager at the time. Mengers' husband was the director of the film. That's the only explanation for her being here. Did she really have nothing better to do? No concerts? No albums? Hers sounds like the sort of role that should have gone to someone like Farrah Fawcett, Suzanne Somers, or Loni Anderson.

Around the same time, her ex-husband Elliott Gould made The Devil and Max Devlin at Disney; to stay out of Hell, Max Devlin had to manage a female pop singer (Julie Budd)! Despite their prescience in casting the role of Satan incarnate, that wasn't considered a hit, either, but it grossed $16,000,000 to the mere $4,494,295 this grossed.
 

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MatthewA

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The same year this got an R rating, Universal toned down The Incredible Shrinking Woman to make it more kid-friendly, much like they would later do with the Problem Child movies. Lily Tomlin and Jane Wagner discuss that on their film's Shout! Blu-ray. It's actually kind of refreshing to hear screenwriters in supplements saying "they changed my movie!" That often explains a lot.
 

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