How this movie doesn't get more acclaim is strange.
The prophetic and imaginative Michael Crichton ("Andromeda Strain",
"Coma", "WestWorld" directs his own screenplay. Michael Crichton had a
prescience in his vision and this movie is no exception. Getting hung
up on setting the movie "in the future" never presented a dilemma for
Crichton. He just uses contemporary settings to bring the movie closer
to home. The technology may be beyond our means, but it still affects
us all today.
The movie stars brilliant and eclectic Ben Gazzara ("The Killing of a
Chinese Bookie", "The Big Lebowski"), Storied great E.G. Marshall ("12
Angry Men", "Creepshow"), Prolific Martin Sheen ("Apocalypse Now", "The
Dead Zone") and Television guest star William Windom ("Star Trek: The
Doomsday Machine", "Escape from the Planet of The Apes").
The musical score is even composed by composer-great Jerry Goldsmith.
The story revolves around a political activist-millionaire-terrorist
who steals a large supply of nerve gas and threatens to release it in
San Diego, which is hosting the Republican National Convention.
Sounds simple. The movie is really thrilling for a TV Movie, the story
has a familiar contemporary feel, the acting and musical score are
good, although the acting has that "understated 70s" style to it.
The movie was filmed in early 1970s San Diego and for anybody who
loves or lives in San Diego (like me), the movie is a great archive
piece to record how San Diego was 40 years ago. Much more watchable
than "Attack of the Killer Tomatoes".
Could the movie have been better? Sure it could. It suffered from
low-budget syndrome. Michael Crichton's visionary writing shakes most
of the deficiencies the move has and makes this a great
TV-Special...certainly one of my top 10-made for TV Movies of all time.