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Oxygen (1999)

6.2
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Ratings: 6.2/10 from 3,578 users  
Reviews: 56 user | 14 critic

A masochistic cop, who hides her predilection from her cop husband, gets involved in pursuing a kidnapper nicknamed Harry for Harry Houdini, who has kidnapped a rich woman and has buried ... See full summary »

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Title: Oxygen (1999)

Oxygen (1999) on IMDb 6.2/10

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Det. Madeline Foster
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Harry
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Clark Hannon
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Frances Hannon
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Capt. Tim Foster
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Det. Jesse
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FBI Agent Jackson Lantham
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Madeline's Lover
...
FBI Agent Phil Kline
Slavko Stimac ...
Det. Jerome Jerzy
Michael Henderson ...
Greg 'Handsome' Evans
Robert Shepard ...
Sal the Bartender
...
Scary Guy
...
Joe the Cop
...
Chris the Cop (as Christopher James Quinn)
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Storyline

A masochistic cop, who hides her predilection from her cop husband, gets involved in pursuing a kidnapper nicknamed Harry for Harry Houdini, who has kidnapped a rich woman and has buried her somewhere in Manhattan while demanding a ransom from her tycoon husband. Failure to pay the ransom within 24 hours will lead the kidnapper to abandoning the woman. Dylan Baker also appears as the fed that is assigned to the case. Written by John Sacksteder <jsackste@bellsouth.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Crime | Drama | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 November 1999 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Dying to Escape  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both Maura Tierney and Adrien Brody had to rush to finish this movie because both had other, bigger movies to film; Forces of Nature (1999) and Summer of Sam (1999), respectively. See more »

Goofs

When Det. Foster interrogates Harry at the parlor's room, the cigarette pack and the ashtray over the table appears closer/far and disappears many times. See more »

Quotes

Harry: [after fed finishes long speech about lethal injection] That was a dumb monolouge.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Filmed between torrential rainstorms on location in New York City See more »

Connections

References Let's Make a Deal (1963) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Surprisingly Tense....
5 February 2000 | by (New Jersey) – See all my reviews

Roaming around Hollywood Video's New Releases, passing through theatre hits and theatre flops, and the the unending list of direct-to-video releases, I found this. The story seemed like a good one, and I was in a hurry for something, so I decided to give it a whirl.

The story is interesting. A middle-aged woman, Frances, is walking her dog when she is approached by what seems like a mild-mannered man. Before she knows it, he flashes a gun, dazes her by hitting her on the temple with it, and smuggles her into a car with a friend. They drive out to the woods somewhere, where she is terrified at the realization that they plan to bury her alive, holding her hostage for her rich husband's money. They put her in the box, the man's accomplice mercifully slipping her the flashlight, and bury her, leaving her to scream in terror.

Move to New York City, where a cop, Madeline, is made aware of the predicament. After witnessing a horrifying tape of Frances begging for help in the woods, the police must plot to catch the kidnappers and find the woman, all in twenty-four hours, or Frances will run out of oxygen and die.

I won't elaborate any more on the plot, only that this movie was surprisingly good. When I noticed it was from A-Pix, I groaned and figured I was in for an hour and a half of trash. But then I saw the breathtaking first few minutes, and I was shocked. If anything, those first three to five minutes are terrifying. As Frances is being buried, she is screaming and begging, struggling to survive, lying in that wooden box as the cover is being slipped on, with only a flashlight to depend upon. And even though the cops-pursuing-the-antagonist plotline is overused, it was quite tense, especially when you realize that there are only twenty-four hours to solve the mystery of where Frances is, and the kidnapper is not interested in talking, while his accomplice is nowhere to be found.

Yes, there are flaws. The script is quite bad, with some lines that I can't believe they wrote in. For some reason, I liked the FBI agent's monologue on the death penalty a la lethal injection, but a lot was pretty bad. Maura Tierney was somewhat convincing as the main cop, playing a B-movie's Clarice Starling. The actor who played Francis's husband was a bit campy. Adrian Brody, the kidnapper, was pretty good, if not a little tough to believe. The one who out-acted them all was Laila Robins, who played Francis. Her role is quite small, only because there's a lot of restrictions with laying in a box underground for the most of the movie. But she was so convincing. My favorite scene is when the flashlight is dying, and she is screaming and begging for it to live a little longer, because, as we learn early on, she is afraid of the dark. I swear, I felt like I was her, and I couldn't believe how empathetic I was of her. Her acting reminded me of Marylin Burn's stellar performance as Sally in "Texas Chainsaw Massacre." She conveyed the emotions of the situation very well. I think that's why I felt so bad for her.

Overall, I recommend finding this. No, it's not the best thing ever made, but it is very good, and quite intense. Check it out!


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