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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roeg's last great movie
A quarter of a century since its troubled first release, 'Bad Timing' stands out as one of Nicolas Roeg's most satisfying and complex films and yet it can be one of his hardest to discuss. Even on a second viewing it's still rather overwhelming. It's interesting how it manages to be so genuinely multi-layered, more like a novel than a film - the way it mixes voyeurism,...
Published on 29 April 2007 by Trevor Willsmer

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but immature.
This was quite a shocking film when i first watched it as a teenager. It had images that stayed with you long after the film had finished. Yet i've watched it again lately and even though it is still a fascinating film, full of the disturbed and self-destructive Russell and the repressed Garfunkel, I find that the director Nicholas Roeg is hardly capable of treating the...
Published on 25 Jan 2011 by S. Hyde


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34 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roeg's last great movie, 29 April 2007
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
A quarter of a century since its troubled first release, 'Bad Timing' stands out as one of Nicolas Roeg's most satisfying and complex films and yet it can be one of his hardest to discuss. Even on a second viewing it's still rather overwhelming. It's interesting how it manages to be so genuinely multi-layered, more like a novel than a film - the way it mixes voyeurism, spying and emotional, psychological and legal investigation (with Keitel's investigation of the suicide scene placing him firmly in scenes as an unseen voyeur through Tony Lawson's typically brilliant editing) is remarkable enough, but the film manages to do so much more besides. And the performances are incredibly brave - how many leading men can you think of who would effectively (and quite deliberately effeminately) play the woman's role during the lovers' initial meeting? Russell in particular shows an astonishing range in what should be an impossible part, making her inability to find decent roles these days even more disappointing.

True it falls apart in the last couple of reels when the performances don't quite ring true, but it's still the last great film Nic Roeg made before settling into prolific mediocrity. It's as a brilliantly edited post-mortem into a mutually destructive relationship rather than a police mystery that it really enthralls, even when it doesn't entirely work. Much more impressive than I remembered, it's not a feelgood movie - if anything it's the date movie from hell - but it is a remarkably ambitious and acomplished one.

So why is the film so little-known and perhaps even less-seen? Well, that seems to be down to some bad luck and bad timing of its own.

In the US it hit censorship problems and in Europe it had major problems with its distribution. It was one of Rank's last full slate of British productions, so should have been guaranteed a circuit release on the Odeon chain in the UK. Unfortunately, the head of Rank Theatres was so disgusted by the film (the Rank Organisation was originally started to make religious films and many of the old guard were still in place in 1980) that he refused to book it into a single one of their theatres - the only Rank film to be so 'honored' (although he wasn't much enamoured of Eagle's Wing either). The second biggest circuit was owned by Rank's biggest rival, EMI, who weren't interested in helping out their balance sheet, so it ended up on Lew Grade's very small Classic chain. Rank's distribution in Europe was no more enthusiastic.

(Of course, Roeg's next film and most expensive, Eureka, had even bigger problems, being pulled a couple of weeks after opening due to a libel lawsuit that kept it on the shelf for years. Since then, despite the not really successful brave try with Cold Heaven, he seems to be little more than a director for hire on a slew of disappointing pictures and cable movies.)

As a result, it's long been hard to track down, but worth the effort if you're looking for challenging fare. Although not as comprehensive as Criterion's US DVD, Network's new release does offer an upgrade in extras (deleted scenes, two trailers, stills gallery, booklet and press book PDF) over the previous Carlton release, which offered only a trailer and had some edge enhancement problems.

A better bet is Criterion's Region 1 NTSC DVD, which boasts a much better transfer than the UK DVD and a more comprehensive extras package - interviews with Russell, Roeg and producer Jeremy Thomas, stills gallery and 16 deleted scenes. However, the laziness that has crept into some recent Criterion discs is evident in the latter: while 8 of those deleted scenes have no soundtrack, surely it wouldn't have been asking too much of Criterion to have included subtitles for the missing dialogue or at least to have included an introductory caption explaining the scenes? It's an irritating blemish on an otherwise excellent disc.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Lost Classic, 1 Aug 2009
This review is from: Bad Timing [DVD] (DVD)
'Bad Timing' is a great and criminally under-rated film from a director who at the time seems to have been at the peak of his powers. In Roeg's filmography, only 'Don't Look Now' comes close, but I would say that 'Bad Timing' is more direct, more challenging and more fascinating even than that fine film.

Other reviews and the amazon summary have probably provided the plot details - basically all that happens in the narrative is that Art Garfunkel's aloof Professor Alex Linden has a passionate, damaging affair with Theresa Russell's elusive and unpredictable Milena, and because of what happens between them, Harvey Kietel as a local Police Inspector is on Alex's trail. The film is however all about intermingling themes, obsessions and preoccupations - trust, love, hate, truth and co-incidences, and how much we really understand about the world around us. Images, performances and editing all emphasise those themes, and the effects on the viewer are unlike any other film.

I fully accept, and feel it should be emphasised, that some people will find it very hard to sit through this film. The general atmpsphere is heavy and doom laden and there are a few scenes of (even by today's standard's) shocking violence - but the unflinching approach to the material will leave other people hooked - as will one of the most beautiful opening scenes in film history, filmed in the Belvedere gallery in Vienna in the Klimt room, with Tom Waits on the soundtrack. The very last image is also (to this viewer) completely baffling - anyone with any ideas please comment on my review to share them!

The UK DVD release of this film is perfectly watchable but for more extras and a sharper picture the Region 1 Criterion is your best bet. I can't promise, if you are new to this film, that you will enjoy it but it would be hard not to appreciate its brilliance.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Utterly enthralling. Intelligent. Emotional, and at times disturbing., 12 May 2009
By 
a1ex8 (Leeds, U.K.) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I remember catching the last hour of this film late one night, and was so disappointed I'd missed the beginning I bought it the next day. This film is completely and utterly enthralling.

Stylistically shot, using flashback techniques (commonplace in many Roeg's films), superbly acted by Art Garfunkel as Alex Linden, and Theresa Russell as Melena Flaherty, this film is a must for anyone who can appreciate a film with an intelligent and highly emotional plot.

Not for those who enjoy light hearted, easy-going films, this film at times can be extremely difficult and disturbing to watch. Like Roeg's previous work 'Don't look now', Bad timing will always remain categorised as an all time great film, that excells in it's complex plot and stellar acting, rather than many films nowadays which require little or no thought, no imagination and require only the skills of the special effects department.

To me, Bad Timing is Nicolas Roeg's gem so to speak, and I highly recommend this film to anyone who truly appreciates the works of fantastic directors.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Erotic, leaning towards pornography, 2 Jan 2012
By 
M. H. Ferrieux "helen fx" (Perpignan. France) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I've seen this film at least 10 times at the cinema many years ago, and now several times on DVD. It is dazzling...dazzling in its colour, its music (no, Garfunkel doesn't sing!) in the locations: Vienna, Morocco, the Klimpt Museum. The eroticism is mind-boggling, and it is no surprise that the film originally ran foul of the censors. The acting is suberb Harvey Keitel as the suspicious , puzzling police officer, Denholm Elliot as the sad, betrayed husband, Theresa Russell as the beautiful, touching slut and, most importantly, Art Garfunkel as the obsessively jealous and possessive control freak. It is said that the choice of Garfunkel for this rôle is a surprising one. I think not; under the sweet-faced, appealing vulnerability that is Art Garfunkel seems to lie a deep sexiness.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Tragic, Creepy, Beautiful, 8 Jan 2013
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This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I purchased the Network, brand new, digitally restored transfer, region 2 version of "Bad Timing" and have to say that I am very impressed with the quality of this product. The picture is in the correct aspect ratio and the print is very sharp, bright and clear. The box contains a "Rank Organisation Press Book" which looks to be a reproduction of the original press release from back in the day when the film was first released; I think this is a really nice touch

With that said, I would just add that the film itself is really fascinating and compelling to watch, with really excellent performances from all of the cast. Theresa Russel looks amazing on screen and has the most beautiful eyes, and Art Garfunkel delivers a performance that has to be a career best. Superb film. Would love to have had some commentary tracks from Nicolas Roeg, Theresa Russell and Art Garfunkel to hear their thoughts on the film now, and their memories and intentions from the time of filming this classic.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bad Timing, Good Movie, 16 Sep 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: Bad Timing [DVD] (DVD)
Perhaps Nic Roeg's last genuinely great movie, and following on from Performance, Walkabout, Don't Look Now and The Man Who Fell To Earth, that's pretty impressive going, even if the eighties and nineties were a little on the quiet side (finding the poor guy loitering in TV movie hell).
This is an excellent, disturbing psycho-drama which has been overdue a re-release for too long. The cast, while unconventional, are all excellent (even Art Garfunkle, no seriously) and Roeg's compositions and editing heighten the sense of dislocation and mounting unease. Not to all tastes, but essential for Roeg fans.
The DVD info is a little misleading, the picture is 4:3 but letterboxed, which is a slightly roundabout way of saying non-anarmorphic widescreen. A decent, mostly clean print and clear sound make up for the lack of any notable extra features. A director's commentary would have been great, but seriously unlikely. All in all a bit of a bargain.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating but immature., 25 Jan 2011
By 
S. Hyde "Artist" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
This was quite a shocking film when i first watched it as a teenager. It had images that stayed with you long after the film had finished. Yet i've watched it again lately and even though it is still a fascinating film, full of the disturbed and self-destructive Russell and the repressed Garfunkel, I find that the director Nicholas Roeg is hardly capable of treating the feelings of the characters seriously. I hate the distracting photographic techniques, the zoom-in's, and the cutting back to Teresa on the hospital bed, it's overly intellectual editing that calls attention to itself and takes us away from the most important part of the film which is the characters. The opening sequence has paintings by Klimt but it needs Schiele, something dirtier and more sordid for this story of distorted sexual desire. Instead we get the occasional, almost embarrassed snippet of a breast or bottom.
Harvey Keitel has no real purpose and serves as another distraction, whilst Denholm Elliot has far too little screen time as he's a fascinating character. Overall it's a bit of a mess but an interesting mess nevertheless.
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5.0 out of 5 stars In my top 10., 2 April 2014
By 
T. Bly "barnetboy8" (uk) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
I have seen this film 2 or 3 times. The back to front structure is classic Roeg, the story unfolds slowly, but the shifting nature of the relationship is fascinating and makes one think about what we all want/need from a partner. The soundtrack is amazing and underpins the key moments in the film beautifully. I can hear Tom Waits 'Invitation to the blues' as I write.
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4.0 out of 5 stars headsratching!, 2 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
sometimes confusing ,sometimes irrittating and sometimes thought provoking!.this film had so many twist & turns that i had to watch a few times to make sense of it.decent performances by the cast but still could not make the film to a better level than it was.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best film I've watched ever., 13 Jan 2014
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This review is from: Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] (DVD)
A bit disappointed very slow and not very interesting, only bought it for seeing Art Garfunkel decided not to bother with other films he's appeared in.
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Bad Timing [1980] [DVD]
Bad Timing [1980] [DVD] by Nicolas Roeg (DVD - 2007)
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