MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,883 this week

The Substance of Fire (1996)

R  |   |  Drama  |  14 March 1997 (USA)
6.0
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.0/10 from 520 users   Metascore: 54/100
Reviews: 16 user | 13 critic | 15 from Metacritic.com

Publishing magnate refuses to publish a book by his son's male lover so the kids buy out their father and run it themselves!

Director:

Writers:

(play), (screenplay)
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

On Disc

at Amazon

IMDb Picks: August

Visit our IMDb Picks section to see our recommendations of movies and TV shows coming out in August.

Visit the IMDb Picks section

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 223 titles
created 10 Jul 2011
 
a list of 9974 titles
created 25 Jul 2013
 
a list of 31 titles
created 5 months ago
 
a list of 164 titles
created 3 weeks ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: The Substance of Fire (1996)

The Substance of Fire (1996) on IMDb 6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of The Substance of Fire.
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Romance | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 3.9/10 X  

By accident, Colleen Gibson shoots and kills her gold-digging cheating boyfriend, Dick, a private eye who happens to have a hitman on his tail. Danny the hitman works for his brother-in-law... See full summary »

Director: Bix Skahill
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Harry Connick Jr., Johnny Knoxville
Comedy | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.3/10 X  

Jeff Steward, a psychologist, takes good care of his patients mostly living in the same apartment. One day a piece of the bathroom ceiling collapses so he can watch the woman living in the ... See full summary »

Director: Alan Madison
Stars: Charles Busch, Giancarlo Esposito, Edie Falco
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.1/10 X  

A hate crime on the campus of a New England college puts the school's dean in a position where she has to examine her own feelings about race and prejudice, while maintaining her administration's politically correct policies.

Director: Mark Brokaw
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Richardson, Victor Rasuk
God's Outlaw (1986)
Biography | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.7/10 X  

A dramatized biography of William Tyndale, the 16th Century reformer determined to translate the Bible into English, which illegal act set him at odds with the Catholic Church, Sir Thomas More and King Henry VIII.

Director: Tony Tew
Stars: Roger Rees, Bernard Archard, Keith Barron
BlackMale (2000)
Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

Two desperate con men attempt to blackmail a psychotic doctor who may just be a serial killer.

Directors: George Baluzy, Mike Baluzy
Stars: Bokeem Woodbine, Roger Rees, Justin Pierce
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  

Gwyn Marcus has always wanted a marriage like her parents. She has just accepted the proposal of her boyfriend Matt, but she has misgivings about their future together. Her fear of ... See full summary »

Director: David Frankel
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Mia Farrow, Antonio Banderas
Romance | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.7/10 X  

Two strangers, whose paths are always crossing, finally meet when fate steps in.

Director: Scott Winant
Stars: Jeanne Tripplehorn, Dylan McDermott, John Plumpis
If Lucy Fell (1996)
Comedy | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

Joe and Lucy are roommates and best friends. Lucy, whose love life is embarrassingly dull, convinces Joe, who is infatuated with a neighbor he's never met, that if they don't have stable ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Schaeffer
Stars: Sarah Jessica Parker, Eric Schaeffer, Ben Stiller
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Thriller about Guy Luthan (Hugh Grant), a British doctor working at a hospital in New York who starts making unwanted enquiries when the body of a man who died in his emergency room ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Apted
Stars: Hugh Grant, Gene Hackman, Sarah Jessica Parker
The Ryan White Story (TV Movie 1989)
Biography | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

The story of Ryan White, a 13-year-old haemophiliac who contracted AIDS from factor VIII, which was used to control this disorder.

Director: John Herzfeld
Stars: Judith Light, Lukas Haas, Michael Bowen
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

A movie crew invades a small town whose residents are all too ready to give up their values for showbiz glitz.

Director: David Mamet
Stars: Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Rebecca Pidgeon
The Last Word (1995)
Crime | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.8/10 X  

A journalist with solid mob connections falls for a stripper with a dark past. His best friend then drags him to L.A. with the intent of becoming movie men. But does real life and fiction ... See full summary »

Director: Tony Spiridakis
Stars: Timothy Hutton, Joe Pantoliano, Michelle Burke
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Aaron Geldhart
Benjamin Ungar ...
Young Isaac Geldhart
...
Martin Geldhart
Tom McDermott ...
Old Printer
...
George Morfogen ...
Otto the printer
...
Isaac Geldhart
...
Cora Cahn
...
Mr. Otani jr
Edmund Ikeda ...
Mr. Otani sr
...
Miss Barzakian
...
Val Chenard
...
Gene Byck
Ronny Graham ...
Louis Foukold
John Sullivan ...
Stewart
Edit

Storyline

Isaac Geldhart is a Holocaust survivor who, overcome by grief at the recent death of his wife, seems determined to run his publishing firm into the ground by printing books that have no hope of financial success. His son Aaron, who also works at the company, grows frustrated with Isaac's emotional decline and attempts to take over the firm. The resulting crisis involves Isaac's other two children, his daughter Sarah and his dying son Martin. Written by Jesse Garon <grifter@primenet.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Doing What Is Right... Could Cost Him Everything.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

14 March 1997 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A tűz melege  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$56,221 (USA) (14 March 1997)

Gross:

$56,221 (USA) (14 March 1997)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Film debut of Viola Davis. See more »

Quotes

Issac Geldheart: You think I'm going to publish some trashy novel by some slicko hipster?
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Showbiz Today: Episode dated 28 August 1995 (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Not as good or as important or as meaningful as it thinks it is
16 March 2002 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Isaac runs his publishing and continues despite the death of his wife. His company specialises in heavy subject matter about the Nazi's etc. However these don't sell well and Issac's insistence on perfection risks ruining the company. His son Arron sees this and brings in his brother Martin and sister Sarah to force their father to listen. However Isaac is forced out and starts another company – however with time it is obvious that Isaac is not fully competent to look after himself. Despite his own ill health Martin helps him to avoid court and losing everything.

Some films just shout worthy at you – this is a character driven piece about families etc, it's another worthy Miramax drama that, like Isaac's books, is lovely to look at and looks very serious and worthy. Unfortunately the story just goes along with nowhere to go and no points to make. We don't learn anything about the characters beyond the surface and they often seem to be stereotypes – the Jewish businessman father, the money motivated son, the bubbly daughter, the calm at-one-with-nature son etc. When the film does end, you feel like it should have been moving or involving, but instead it was slightly dull and uninvolving.

The performances are mixed, although it's a strong cast. Rifkin is good as the father, Isaac. However his character is not explained and his feelings never explored – instead we get a plot about mental competency. Goldwin is good as Arron, and Parker is good as bubbly (what else) Sarah. Hutton is poor as Martin, lecturing pupils by getting them to stare at trees, making meaningful sacrifice etc. His character is too calm and empty. The same could be said of Gil Bellows, although his character is smaller. Eric Bogosian makes a small cameo.

The problem with the cast is the same as with the film – there are too many scenes where they sit around talking, exchanging glances, Hutton says something semi-profound in a calm voice, the score comes up and we're all suppose to think something magical has happened. However this does not make a film worthy – even if it thinks it is.

I had great hopes for this film. I watched it twice in case I was missing something in this masterpiece. However hard the film tries it appears to have nothing to say and nowhere interesting to go. Dull and uninspired.


7 of 13 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
good in parts martinlondon
Discuss The Substance of Fire (1996) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?