The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alex Linden
...
...
Inspector Netusil
...
Stefan Vognic
Daniel Massey ...
Foppish Man
Dana Gillespie ...
Amy Miller
...
Col. Taylor
...
Hospital Policeman
George Roubicek ...
Policeman #1
Stefan Gryff ...
Policeman #2
Sevilla Delofski ...
Czech Receptionist
Robert Walker ...
Konrad
Gertan Klauber ...
Ambulance Man
...
Dr. Schneider
Lex van Delden ...
Young Doctor
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Storyline

The setting is Vienna. A young American woman is brought to a hospital after overdosing on pills, apparently in a suicide attempt. A police detective suspects foul play on the part of her lover, an American psychology professor. As doctors try to save her life, the detective interrogates the professor, and through flashbacks we see the events leading up to the woman's overdose; her stormy and intensely sexual relationship with the professor, her heavy drinking and numerous affairs, and her estrangement from her Czech husband. A darkly erotic study of several rather unsympathetic characters. Written by Marty Cassady <martyc@bev.net>

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A Terrifying Love Story [Theatrical Australia] See more »


Certificate:

X | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

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Release Date:

25 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Timing  »

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2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One of three Nicolas Roeg directed films that musician Jim O'Rourke has used its title as the name of an album. The movies include Eureka (2006), Bad Timing (1980) and Insignificance (1985). See more »

Goofs

The U.S. Army Medical Corps Lieutenant Colonel, presumably a psychologist, has a full beard. This is a willfully gross violation of the appearance regulation, in or out of uniform, most especially for a commissioned officer. The film is set in 1979 (year shown in an appointment book). In that era, and for some years surrounding 1979, U.S. Army personnel were not allowed to have beards in any manner, shape or form. Sideburns could not extend below the ear opening and mustaches, which were allowed, could not extend vertically below the upper edge of the upper lip, nor horizontally beyond the opening of the mouth, making them very modest looking. The only case-by-case waiver exceptions in this era were Chaplain Branch clergy of specific religions, such as Sikh, that required their clergy to have beards as an integral part of their religious belief; a Medical Corps psychologist didn't fall under this, regardless of his religious beliefs. See more »

Quotes

Milena Flaherty: You already know everything... you want everything, too.
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Connections

Referenced in Game On: Bad Timing (1995) See more »

Soundtracks

Delusion Of The Fury
Music by Harry Partch
Performed by Harry Partch
Courtesy of CBS Records
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User Reviews

 
Roeg's last great film: a troubled picture about a troubled romance
5 April 2005 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

Seen a quarter of a century on, 'Bad Timing' stands out as one of Nicolas Roeg's most satisfying and complex films and yet it can be one of his hardest to discuss. It's a film I feel a little guilty about writing so little about, but even on a second viewing it's still rather overwhelming. It's interesting how it manages to be so genuinely multi-layered, more like a novel than a film - the way it mixes voyeurism, spying and emotional, psychological and legal investigation (with Keitel's investigation of the suicide scene placing him firmly in scenes as an unseen voyeur through Terry Rawlings typically brilliant editing) is remarkable enough, but the film manages to do so much more besides. And the performances are incredibly brave - how many leading men can you think of who would effectively (and quite deliberately effeminately) play the woman's role during the lovers' initial meeting? Russell in particular shows an astonishing range in what should be an impossible part, making her inability to find decent roles these days even more disappointing.

True it falls apart in the last couple of reels when the performances don't quite ring true, but it's still the last great film Nic Roeg made before settling into prolific mediocrity. It's as a brilliantly edited post-mortem into a mutually destructive relationship rather than a police mystery that it really enthralls, even when it doesn't entirely work. Much more impressive than I remembered, it's not a feelgood movie

  • if anything it's the date movie from hell - but it is a remarkably


ambitious and accomplished one.

So why is the film so little-known and perhaps even less-seen? Well, that seems to be down to some bad luck and bad timing of its own.

In the US it hit censorship problems and in Europe it had major problems with its distribution. It was one of Rank's last full slate of British productions, so should have been guaranteed a circuit release on the Odeon chain in the UK. Unfortunately, the head of Rank Theatres was so disgusted by the film (the Rank Organisation was originally started to make religious films and many of the old guard were still in place in 1980) that he refused to book it into a single one of their theatres - the only Rank film to be so 'honored' (although he wasn't much enamoured of Eagle's Wing either). The second biggest circuit was owned by Rank's biggest rival, EMI, who weren't interested in helping out their balance sheet, so it ended up on Lew Grade's very small Classic chain. Rank's distribution in Europe was no more enthusiastic.

(Of course, Roeg's next film and most expensive, Eureka, had even bigger problems, being pulled a couple of weeks after opening due to a libel lawsuit that kept it on the shelf for years. Since then, despite the not really successful brave try with Cold Heaven, he seems to be little more than a director for hire on a slew of disappointing pictures and cable movies.) As a result, it's hard to track down, but worth the effort if you're looking for challenging fare. Carlton have released a budget DVD in 2.35:1 in the UK which is an acceptable transfer, but the film remains as elusive as ever elsewhere.


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