6.2/10
703
12 user 17 critic

Nothing Lasts Forever (1984)

An artist fails a test and is required to direct traffic in New York City's Holland Tunnel. He winds up falling in love with a beautiful woman, who takes him to the moon on a Lunar Cruiser.

Director:

Tom Schiller

Writer:

Tom Schiller
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Zach Galligan ... Adam Beckett
Apollonia van Ravenstein Apollonia van Ravenstein ... Mara Hofmeier
Lauren Tom ... Eloy
Sam Jaffe ... Father Knickerbocker
Paul Rogers ... Hugo
Bill Murray ... Ted Breughel
Imogene Coca ... Daisy Schackman
Dan Aykroyd ... Buck Heller
Mort Sahl ... Uncle Mort
Anita Ellis Anita Ellis ... Aunt Anita
Eddie Fisher ... Himself
Jan Tríska ... Swedish Architect
Rosemary De Angelis Rosemary De Angelis ... Helen Flagella
Clarice Taylor ... Lu
John Garson John Garson ... Maurice Blaget / Conductor
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Storyline

An artist fails a test and is required to direct traffic in New York City's Holland Tunnel. He winds up falling in love with a beautiful woman, who takes him to the moon on a Lunar Cruiser.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

You're Born. You Live. You Shop. You Die.


Certificate:

PG

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

September 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Alles ist vergänglich See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie was invited to play at the Cannes Film Festival two years in a row, but MGM wouldn't let it go. See more »

Goofs

After the bus changes its destination sign to "The Moon", in the next shot when it starts to drive off, the sign has reverted back to "New York City". See more »

Quotes

Hillbilly: It's a player pianey! He's a fake! Get him!
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Alternate Versions

One print of the film omits the nude scene at the Port Authority Testing Center. However, this same print does contain two scenes that MGM forced the director to remove from the final film:
  • 1. An extension of the opening newsreel, in which narrator Paul Frees announces that the state of California has been destroyed in an earthquake.
  • 2. After speaking with the Swedish architect in the train, Adam runs to the window and says "I hereby end my staying here for my return to the United States. I pray to God, the Buddha, James Joyce, Ramakrishna and Jesus the Christ that I will become an artist, no matter what."
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Goldbergs: Adam Spielberg (2018) See more »

Soundtracks

It's Only a Paper Moon
Music by Harold Arlen
Lyrics by E.Y. Harburg, Billy Rose
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User Reviews

 
A completely surreal lost oddity
29 April 2011 | by VinnieRattolleSee all my reviews

A wide-eyed young man (Zach Galligan) arrives in New York with aspirations of becoming an artist. Once inside the confines of the city (which is VERY confined in this totalitarian society) he's prepped to become a working stiff, but an eccentric homeless person whom he has been overly generous to eventually guides the boy to his true fate.

The only thing stranger than the fact that this picture has barely been seen anywhere (officially, anyway) is that it was financed by a major studio. "Nothing Last Forever" is not a movie that mainstream '80s moviegoers would have flocked to see. Quite the contrary, if it had been widely released there's absolutely no question that it would have been an epic bomb... which is exactly the appeal.

Filmed mostly in black and white (with a few color sequences), it's simultaneously an homage and a parody of classic films. There are many breathtaking visuals and wonderful performances (from an amazing cast) and the film manages to get stranger as it rolls along, blending shadowy noir with kitschy sci-fi and light drama with heavy farce. As another reviewer pointed out, it's difficult NOT to draw comparisons to Terry Gilliam's "Brazil," which was made on a grander scale but is equally as offbeat, surreal and impossible to accurately describe. In other words, like that film, "Nothing Lasts Forever" is truly a work of art.

Here's hoping MGM will one day give the movie the lavish release that it deserves. While it'll never be a multi-billion-dollar draw, there's definitely a huge cult audience waiting to discover this lost gem.


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