Tommy Wilhelm is a good honest man who's fallen on hard times after losing his job, but what really gets to Tommy is seeing both his friends and family turning their backs on him one after the other. He tries to seize the day - in vain.
Richard B. Shull,
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Hannah Taylor Gordon,
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Sonny Paluso and Donald Quinelle are two unfortunate people who have just lost their jobs; Sonny's gas station has been blown away and Donald has just been fired by his boss's parrot! But that day, their lives change when they prevent a robber from holding up a bar, and they become heroes. Unfortunately, Jack (the robber) gets away, and when he sees Donald's face on the TV, he decides to go after them. In the meantime, Donald becomes obsessed with guns and leaves for the mountains to join a survivalist group... Written by
Chris Makrozahopoulos <firstname.lastname@example.org>
When producer William Sackheim started looking for a director he says he soon realized how few good comedy directors existed, Michael Ritchie being one of them. Sackheim said: "I had seen The Bad News Bears (1976), Smile (1975), and Michael's earlier films. And I saw that not only can the man direct comedy, but he is adept at combining humor with social commentary - an important element for The Survivors (1983)". See more »
In the closing credits, the title for three assistant directors (Joseph Reidy, Bill Elvin, and Louis Race) is misspelled as "Second Assitant Directors." See more »
Young upper management executive Donald (Williams) gets canned as part of a restructuring. With his mind occupied by he quite accidentally leaves a sizable gasoline spill outside a petrol station/auto shop just before its crotchety old proprietor Sonny (Mathau) tosses a stale cancer stick. After that Sonny no longer owns a petrol station/auto shop. Neither man really sees the other or knows what really happened.
These suddenly desperate sadsacks converge on the local unemployment office whilst Jack (Reed) - one other more desperate yet decidedly more volatile individual is also there. At a nearby diner, while Donald and Sonny are sulking after a miserable day at the mercy of the federal bureaucracy, Jack shows up with a loaded gun and tries to rob the place. Jack has been pushed too far which results in his pushing Donald and Sonny too far. They foil the robbery but Donald is shot. Jack easily orchestrates his getaway.
Becoming cause celebres for their daring good in the incident will doesn't help Donald or Sonny. The media ridicules them. Worse, Jack gets their names from the news reports and goes hunting after them as Sonny struggles through odd jobs and Donald alienates his fiancé by going to live at a survivalist camp. Tracking Donald to the camp by threatening Sonny, Jack is determined to finally silence both of the odd couple friends. Donald - exhilarated by the whole experience craves a final confrontation.
The film starts quite well to hook the viewer but most of the truly funny material is to be found at the beginning. By the middle it lags and lingers as gaping plot holes remain. The final thirty minutes are mostly unwatchable in the run-up to a nonsensical conclusion. They appeared to be looking for absolutely anything with which they could fashion a satisfactory conclusion for the final cut.
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