Irwin Allen had introduced moviegoers to the "disaster movie" in the early seventies with the massive hits "The Poseidon Adventure" and "The Towering Inferno". The genre came to a painful and ridiculous conclusion with Allen's 1980 bomb WHEN TIME RAN OUT.
I am just hoping all these actors got a free first class vacation to Hawaii, since this absurd movie plays out like an extended episode of The Love Boat.
Paul Newman (looking very bored) is an engineer whose first oil well just came in on a Hawaiian island. He's concerned (you can tell by the stern looks and the bad screenplay) that the pressure was too high, which he immediately ties to a volcano conveniently located next door to a big new resort.
His business partner is half owner of the hotel and also a scientist that explores the volcano. James Franciscus (Beneath the Planet of the Apes) is all white teeth and leisure suits as Bob, the partner.
Bob is seeing William Holden's ex (Veronica Hamel) but also dating Barbara Carrera, whose in love with Edward Albert...oh who gives a crap.
Suffice to say that after a sloooooowwww hour of exposition about characters that have less substance than a cheap soap opera, you'll be rooting for the volcano to go all Pompeii on them and bury them in lava.
The budget must have been very low, as the special effects are just awful. The sets, the costumes and the models look very low budget, as if Warner Bros got so burned on Allen's previous bomb for them "The Swarm" that they cut his funds off halfway through filming.
Red Buttons plays an almost identical character to Manny in "Poseidon", Borgnine is again a cop....its just so lazy.
And startling when you realize the two guys that wrote this dreck also wrote "The Guns from Navarone", "High Noon" and "In the Heat of the Night". WOW.
When you can make a woman as beautiful as Jacqueline Bisset (Airport) dull, you're not trying very hard.
Even composer Lalo Schiffrin (Bullitt, Mission Impossible) is off his game, delivering a lame score.
Thank heavens Pat Morita is here as a cock fight presenting bar/bordello owner to add some credibility.
Poor WIlliam Holden, he just wanders in and out of scenes looking old and sad.
At least the title is accurate. This is INDEED When Time Ran Out on the disaster movie genre.
This smoldering turd gets an F.