6.8/10
2,345
22 user 22 critic

Insignificance (1985)

R | | Drama, Comedy | 2 August 1985 (USA)
Four 1950s icons meet in the same hotel room and two of them discover more in common between them than they ever anticipated.

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1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Emil ...
Professor
...
Actress
...
Senator
...
The Ballplayer
...
Elevator Attendant
...
Driver
Ian O'Connell ...
Assistant Director
George Holmes ...
Actor
Richard M. Davidson ...
Director of Photography (as Richard Davidson)
Mitchell Greenberg ...
Technician
...
Autograph Hunter
...
Gaffer
Lou Hirsch ...
Charlie
Ray Charleson ...
Bud
Joel Cutrara ...
Bar Drunk
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Storyline

Four 1950's cultural icons (Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Senator Joseph MacCarthy) who conceivably could have met and probably didn't, fictionally do in this modern fable of post-WWII America. Visually intriguing, the film has a fluid progression of flash-backs and flash-forwards centering on the fictional Einstein's current observations, childhood memories and apprehensions for the future. Written by Jeanne Baker <jbaker@erim.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She had the one figure he needed to complete the equation. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

2 August 1985 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Insignificancia  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Footage from this feature film is featured in Big Audio Dynamite's "E=MC2" music video. See more »

Goofs

The movie takes place in 1954. In one scene, a man is in a bar watching the World Series. The TV announcer for the game starts talking about "Campanella, Hodges, and Berra" being involved in a play. In 1954 those 3 players played for Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Yankees, however the 1954 World Series was between the Cleveland Indians and NY Giants, therefore none of those 3 even played. See more »

Quotes

[last lines]
The Actress: [smiling and waving to the Professor] Bye!
See more »

Connections

References Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) See more »

Soundtracks

Jupitar Variations
Composed by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (uncredited)
Arranged by Gil Evans
Performed by Lew Soloff solo trumpet
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A tantalizing convergence.
31 December 2000 | by (Indianapolis, IN) – See all my reviews

What if Marylin Monroe, Albert Einstein, Joe Dimaggio and Senator McCarthy were to come together in a mind-bending evening of relativity?

This delightful roman à clef never uses the actual names of the characters it so thinly veils and scathingly exposes not only for the individuals they must have been, but also for what they came to represent over time. If you are confused by allegory, or if you like your movies served up predigested and mushy, you won't like this film. It is a demanding opus that rewards on many levels the viewer with the intelligence to appreciate it.

Dropping, for the time being, the rigorous avoidance of using the real names of the characters, we see Einstein, about to deliver a pacifist speech to a United Nations hell-bent for nukes, being visited by Marylin Monroe, after filming the notorious Seven Year Itch scene that some say led to the end of her marriage with Joe Dimaggio. They have a lovely interplay in which Einstein stumbles with suitable professorial clumsiness around the innocence of perhaps the greatest sex symbol of modern times.

Enter Senator McCarthy who thinks Einstein is a Red. He is determined to extract Einstein's assurance that he will support the activities of the House Unamerican Activities Committee while delivering the ultimate weapon in the name of peace. Add Joe, a surprisingly fragile and vulnerable person perhaps not perfectly cast as Gary Busey, who hates Marylin's exhibitionism and believes Einstein has become her lover, even though Marylin only wants to show Einstein that she understands the Special Theory of Relativity.

But there's more.

Just like each of us, these characters have their deepest fears, which they reveal one by one in haunting flashbacks. It is these weaknesses, ultimately, that lend humanity to figures we cannot help but see almost exclusively in the abstract today. Finally, we see the shocking terror of Einstein's vision, and the statement of the movie becomes clear. It is a powerful and memorable moment.

Insignificance is one of my top five movies of all time. It is utterly amazing.


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