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The Alarmist (1997)
"Life During Wartime" (original title)

 -  Comedy  -  16 October 1998 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.2/10 from 759 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 14 critic

Young Tommy Hudler decides to become a security systems salesman, and is an instant success. Everything seems to be going great until he discovers there's more to this business and his boss... See full summary »



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Cast overview, first billed only:
Tommy Hudler
Heinrich Grigoris
Gale Ancona
April Brody
Ruth Miller ...
Mrs. Fielding
Mr. Fielding
Beth Hudler
Bruce Hudler
Andrew Hudler
Gabriel Dell Jr. ...
Skippy Hudler
Valerie Long ...
Kim Tobin ...


Young Tommy Hudler decides to become a security systems salesman, and is an instant success. Everything seems to be going great until he discovers there's more to this business and his boss Heinrich than he previously suspected. Written by Rob M. <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Don't be alarmed... they're professionals. See more »



Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexuality and language | See all certifications »




Release Date:

16 October 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Alarmist  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$7,787 (USA) (16 October 1998)


$55,986 (USA) (13 November 1998)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Featured in Siskel & Ebert: Episode dated 24 October 1998 (1998) See more »


Life On the Bottom
by Bob Beland, Peter Curry
See more »

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User Reviews

Alarmingly awful
7 June 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

What begins as a fairly clever farce about a somewhat shady security monitoring company turns, almost instantaneously, into an uninteresting and completely inane murder mystery. David Arquette and the great Stanley Tucci try mightily to make this train wreck watchable, but some things are just not humanly possible.

What, for instance, causes Gale to turn suddenly from a sweet motherly figure into a drunken shrew at Tommy's parents house? Why would Heinrich, although admittedly a sleezebag, want to destroy the business to which he devotes his life, by robbing and possibly murdering his customers? Why does the seemingly sensible Tommy believe that Heinrich could be a murderer (based almost entirely on a dream), and even if that were believable, why wouldn't he go to the police? And why didn't Gale activate the alarm when she got home, especially after scolding Howie about it being off? Of course, all of these events are necessary for the plot (and I use the term very, very loosely) to unfold. And it might be forgivable if it resulted in even the slightest bit of comedy. But everything, from Howie's description of his date rape, to the coroner's misidentification of Gale, to the final "joke" about Gale and Howie still being dead, is more tasteless and pathetic than anything else.

I checked the box indicating that my comments contained "spoilers", but there's nothing more I or anyone else could do to spoil this thing that already stinks to high heaven.

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