10 to Midnight
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (July 2008)|
|10 to Midnight|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||J. Lee Thompson|
|Produced by||Lance Hool|
|Written by||J. Lee Thompson|
|Music by||Robert O. Ragland|
|Editing by||Peter Lee Thompson|
|Distributed by||Cannon Films|
|Release dates||March 11, 1983 (USA)|
|Running time||101 min|
|Box office||$7,175,592 (USA)|
10 to Midnight is an action-crime-thriller film directed by J. Lee Thompson from a screenplay originally written by William Roberts. The film stars Charles Bronson in the lead role with a supporting cast that includes Lisa Eilbacher, Andrew Stevens, Gene Davis, Geoffrey Lewis, and Wilford Brimley. 10 to Midnight was released by City Films, a subsidiary of Cannon Films, to American cinemas on March 11, 1983.
10 To Midnight is a drama that mixes elements of police and slasher films. It portrays the homicidal behavior of Warren Stacy (Gene Davis), a young office equipment repairman who kills women after they reject his sexual advances.
Two Los Angeles police detectives, Leo Kessler (Charles Bronson) and Paul McAnn (Andrew Stevens), investigate his murders. Stacy avoids prosecution by constructing sound alibis and assaulting his victims while naked, thus minimizing evidence. This was before obtaining DNA evidence became possible.
McAnn refuses to go along when Kessler plants evidence in order to frame the suspect. Stacy goes on another rampage, killing three women who are friends with Kessler's daughter.
When he is caught, stark naked in the street, Stacy boasts how he will say all the things that will "prove" that he is crazy: he hears voices telling him to do things, etc., so that one day, he will be back on the street and Kessler, as well as the "whole f-----g world," will hear from him again. Kessler replies, "No, we won't." He then shoots Stacy once in the forehead, executing him and leaving all other considerations aside. The film then ends with a bird's-eye view of Kessler standing over the body, surrounded by police as the camera slowly zooms out.
- Charles Bronson (Leo Kessler)
- Lisa Eilbacher (Laurie Kessler)
- Andrew Stevens (Paul McAnn)
- Gene Davis (Warren Stacey)
- Geoffrey Lewis (Dave Dante)
- Wilford Brimley (Cap. Malone)
- Robert F. Lyons (Nathan Zager)
- Bert Williams (Mr. Johnston)
- Ola Ray (Ola)
- Kelly Preston (Doreen)
- Cosie Costa (Dudley)
- Jeana Tomasina (Karen)
- June Gilbert (Betty)
- Sam Chew Jr. (Minister)
- Larry Caruso (Fingerprint Detective, uncredited)
Modelled after the infamous Richard Speck and Ted Bundy murders, 10 to Midnight uses a screenplay originally named Bloody Sunday. According to producer Pancho Kohner, Cannon Films chairman Menahem Golan and Kohner named the film 10 to Midnight despite having no connection to the plot. Golan and Kohner had intended to film an adaptation of the R. Lance Hill novel The Evil That Men Do, which fell through before an upcoming visit to the Cannes Film Festival. Golan and Kohner agreed to market a different film with Charles Bronson as its star, using 10 to Midnight as its working title.
The music for 10 to Midnight was composed by Cannon Films mainstay Robert O. Ragland and the film was recorded by cinematographer Alan Greenberg. The film also features actor Robert F. Lyons and actress Kelly Preston (listed as Kelly Palzis) in smaller roles.
Violent and with unseemly subject matter, 10 to Midnight drew scathing reviews from film critics, including a 'zero stars' rating from Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times who wrote, "I admired [Bronson's] strong, simple talent once. What is he doing in a garbage disposal like this?" The film did receive positive feedback from others, such as Ebert's colleague Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune and was a financial success. The film has maintained a sizeable cult following through home video releases and heavily edited broadcasts on television which displayed alternate scenes of Stacy and his victims in their underwear instead of being totally naked.