60 user 59 critic

Bad Timing (1980)

A psychiatrist, living in Vienna, enters a torrid relationship with a married woman. When she ends up in the hospital from an overdose, an Inspector becomes set on discovering the demise of their affair.




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Cast overview, first billed only:
Foppish Man
Amy Miller
Col. Taylor
Hospital Policeman
Policeman #1
Stefan Gryff ...
Policeman #2
Sevilla Delofski ...
Czech Receptionist
Robert Walker ...
Gertan Klauber ...
Ambulance Man
Dr. Schneider
Lex van Delden ...
Young Doctor


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>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


A Terrifying Love Story [Theatrical Australia] See more »


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Parents Guide:





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Release Date:

25 October 1980 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Bad Timing  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?


Inspector Netusil (Harvey Keitel) sports long hair, which he also slicks back, throughout this movie. See more »


Near the beginning of the movie, when the Czechoslovakian border guard checks the names on his list, the list contains several Czech swear words instead of personal names and occupations ("Mrdac", "Kurevnik", "Prdelac"...). See more »


Alex Linden: You tell the truth about a lie so beautifully.
See more »


The Koln Concert
Music by Keith Jarrett
Performed by Keith Jarrett
Courtesy of ECM Records
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User Reviews

Art Garfunkel surprised me in this one
2 August 2005 | by See all my reviews

When this movie was shown on television a couple of days ago, I had never heard of it before, but given the fact that it has received less than 600 votes until now, even though it is already from 1980, means that I'm not the only one who didn't know of its existence. Apparently some things went wrong with the distribution and the dark content of the movie was probably not what they were used to see at that time either. Does that mean that it is a bad movie? Far from it, the story for instance is multi-layered, interesting and quite impressive.

It all starts with a young American woman who is brought to a hospital in Vienna after a suicide attempt by overdosing on pills. But the police detective that investigates the case suspects that there is more going on than what her lover, an American psychology professor, wants to admit. As the doctors do everything possible to save the woman's life, the professor is thoroughly interrogated by the detective. Through a series of flashbacks, we see how the relationship between the two started and evolved and what that had to do with the suicide attempt. Everything will be shown: their passionate sexual relationship, her drinking problem, the numerous affairs that both have, her hidden marriage...

As I already said, this is a multi-layered story. For me, that makes this movie only more interesting, but I have the feeling that not that many people can cope with it, as today we are only used to see straight and easy stories which don't demand too much of our brains. This movie combines all kinds of aspects like espionage during the Cold War, romance, thriller, drama,... but always feels like one solid film. That only proves the skills of the director and the screenwriter of course. It was the first time that I saw a movie from the hand of director Nicolas Roeg and Yale Udoff is a complete stranger to me as well. But together they made the entire story work.

The fact that this is such a solid movie also has a lot to do with the good acting. Not that I expected anything else from people like Harvey Keitel and Theresa Russell, but Art Garfunkel certainly surprised me. Normally I don't like all those singers / would-be actors who only appear in movies to get the movie a larger audience (not that it worked this time) and not because they know anything about acting. But when their performance is OK, I'll be the first one to admit it as well and so I say here that Art Garfunkel was really very good in this movie.

Overall this is a very good movie with an interesting story and some very fine acting. It's too bad that it isn't better known, because it certainly deserves to be seen by a much larger audience. I give this movie at least a 7.5/10, maybe even an 8/10.

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