17 user 8 critic

Short Time (1990)

PG-13 | | Comedy, Crime, Drama | 4 May 1990 (USA)
When a police detective thinks he is dying and learns that his life insurance pays out more if he dies in the line of duty, he tries to make that happen.



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Burt Simpson
Ernie Dills
Carolyn Simpson
Rob Roy ...
Dan Miller
Dougie Simpson
Tony Pantages ...
Sam Malkin ...
Hostage Man
Wes Tritter ...
Coffin Salesman
Michael Lutz
Jonas Lutz
Dee Jay Jackson ...
Spivak (as Deejay Jackson)
Paul Batten ...
Dr. Goldman


Burt Simpson (Dabney Coleman) is nearing retirement and he finds that he has a disease that will kill him within days. He then finds that his life insurance only pays off if he is killed in the line of duty. In order to leave something to his wife and children, Simpson becomes super cop, ignoring danger and trying his best to get killed. Written by John Vogel <jlvogel@comcast.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Getting killed ain't as easy as it looks. See more »


Comedy | Crime | Drama


PG-13 | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

4 May 1990 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Asesíneme, por favor  »

Box Office


$4,010,647 (USA)

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


The building at the climax of the movie is the same one used in the climax of True Lies (1994) and many of the shots are similar to this later film. See more »


The shadow of the camera crew can be visible on the ground towards the end of the car chase. See more »


Burt Simpson: You can't spend your whole life planning what'll make you happy tomorrow or you'll never be happy today. You've got to do it now.
See more »


Remade as Gambler (1995) See more »


Roll With It
Performed by Steve Winwood
Written by Steve Winwood (uncredited), Will Jennings (uncredited), Eddie Holland (uncredited), Brian Holland (uncredited) and Lamont Dozier (uncredited)
Courtesy of Virgin Records Limited
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Dabney Coleman, Action Hero
3 December 2003 | by (Bristol, CT) – See all my reviews

Burt Simpson, a police detective, mistakenly learns he's dying of a rare disease, but his estranged wife and family will not get the life insurance unless he dies in the line of duty. Throughout the movie he goes extreme with his police work to carry that out. Who knew that veteran character-actor Coleman could pull off such a action-oriented role? He is excellent at both the comedic and dramatic scenes, unlike many actors who perform in this genre. He also has great chemistry with Matt Frewer who plays his partner Ernie. (Burt and Ernie, ha ha!) There is much characterization that we don't often see in action movies.

The circumstances of his false knowledge are very funny. Everyone's reaction to why the hell he is doing this extreme stuff is hilarious, especially after the hostage crisis. This plot does begin a burnout towards the very end, but at least its a short enough movie that it didn't get idiotic. And keep an eye out for what might be one of the most spectacular movie car chases ever. I truly think it ranks up there with "Bullit" and "The French Connection". As for the movie poster, well, lets say it should have shown something different.

Short Time is an action movie with terrific acting, a meaningful story, and top-dollar action. There hasn't been one like that in a Long Time.

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