22 user 8 critic

The Alarmist (1997)

Life During Wartime (original title)
R | | Comedy | 16 October 1998 (USA)
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 »


Evan Dunsky


Keith Reddin (play), Evan Dunsky (screenplay)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
David Arquette ... Tommy Hudler
Stanley Tucci ... Heinrich Grigoris
Kate Capshaw ... Gale Ancona
Mary McCormack ... Sally
Ryan Reynolds ... Howard Ancona
Tricia Vessey ... April Brody
Ruth Miller Ruth Miller ... Mrs. Fielding
Hoke Howell ... Mr. Fielding
Michael Learned ... Beth Hudler
Lewis Arquette ... Bruce Hudler
Richmond Arquette ... Andrew Hudler
Gabriel Dell Jr. Gabriel Dell Jr. ... Skippy Hudler
Valerie Long Valerie Long ... Doris
Kim Tobin Kim Tobin ... Bambi
Colin Campbell ... Waiter


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. <rjtmel@hotmail.com>

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) See more »

Also Known As:

The Alarmist See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,787, 18 October 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$55,986, 15 November 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


(2 versions)
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User Reviews

Alarmingly awful
7 June 2006 | by strangerdave-2See 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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