6.6/10
3,044
24 user 24 critic

Insignificance (1985)

R | | Drama, Comedy | 2 August 1985 (USA)
Four 1950s icons meet in the same hotel room and two of them discover more in common between them than they ever anticipated.

Director:

Nicolas Roeg

Writer:

Terry Johnson (screenplay)
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Emil Michael Emil ... Professor
Theresa Russell ... Actress
Tony Curtis ... Senator
Gary Busey ... The Ballplayer
Will Sampson ... Elevator Attendant
Patrick Kilpatrick ... Driver
Ian O'Connell Ian O'Connell ... Assistant Director
George Holmes George Holmes ... Actor
Richard M. Davidson Richard M. Davidson ... Director of Photography (as Richard Davidson)
Mitchell Greenberg Mitchell Greenberg ... Technician
Raynor Scheine ... Autograph Hunter
Jude Ciccolella ... Gaffer
Lou Hirsch Lou Hirsch ... Charlie
Ray Charleson Ray Charleson ... Bud
Joel Cutrara Joel Cutrara ... Bar Drunk
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Storyline

Four 1950's cultural icons (Albert Einstein, Marilyn Monroe, Joe DiMaggio and Senator Joseph MacCarthy) who conceivably could have met and probably didn't, fictionally do in this modern fable of post-WWII America. Visually intriguing, the film has a fluid progression of flash-backs and flash-forwards centering on the fictional Einstein's current observations, childhood memories and apprehensions for the future. Written by Jeanne Baker <jbaker@erim.org>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She had the one figure he needed to complete the equation. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

2 August 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Insignificance See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

According to show-business trade paper Variety, the film's "four celebrated American figures of the 1950s . . . for legal reasons are not specifically named". See more »

Goofs

The movie takes place in 1954. In one scene, a man is in a bar watching the World Series. The TV announcer for the game starts talking about "Campanella, Hodges, and Berra" being involved in a play. In 1954 those 3 players played for Brooklyn Dodgers and NY Yankees, however the 1954 World Series was between the Cleveland Indians and NY Giants, therefore none of those 3 even played. See more »

Quotes

The Actress: Have you ever noticed how "What the hell" is always the right decision to make?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Roy Orbison: Wild Hearts Run Out of Time (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

When Your Heart Runs Out of Time
Words & Music & Sung by Will Jennings
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Meeting of minds
2 June 2003 | by rosscinemaSee all my reviews

I have always been a great admirer of Nicolas Roeg and "Walkabout" is one of my favorite films. This is a film version of Roegs stage play and while most of the film takes place in a hotel room it still has some of Roegs cinematic flare. Very unique story is about a famous actress (Theresa Russell) who after a hard nights work on a film in 1954 goes to a hotel to visit a famous professor (Michael Emil) and together in his hotel room they talk. After awhile she wants to go to bed with him but as they start to get undressed her husband is banging on the door. Her husband is a famous ex-baseball player (Gary Busey) and he wants to know what is going on. The three of them in the hotel room talk about what is going on and what the future holds for them. Meanwhile, a famous senator (Tony Curtis) is threatening to take away the professors papers if he doesn't testify at a hearing. Theresa Russell is just excellent and while she's not trying exactly to impersonate Marilyn Monroe she does a wonderful job of exuding the phobia's and nuances that Monroe is very well known for. One thing the film does is show her as not only a woman on the verge of a mental breakdown but show her as a physical wreck as well. She talks of being unable to have children and at one point in the film she suffers a miscarriage. You can make an excellent case that this is Russell's best performance and I probably wouldn't argue. The film does an interesting thing in showing many flashbacks as the characters continue to talk about one thing and in the flashback we see one of many reasons for their actions. Busey also gives a good solid performance and it reminds me of what a strong persona he gives off on screen. Emil as the professor is a character that has many more things on his mind then we originally thought. The last scene in this film is a demonstration of his darker side! One of the highlights of the film for me is the little conversation he has with the elevator man (Will Sampson of "Cuckoo's Nest") and they discuss what Cherokee Indians think about at all times. But of course the famous scene in this film is where Russell demonstrates to Emil how she does understand the theory of relativity and uses toys to show this. The professor is delighted by her demonstration and so are we! Russell and Roeg are married in real life and they do admirable work when they are in collaboration and this is probably their best film together. Good performances and a very interesting job of directing make this a challenging and visually thought provoking film.


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