Short Time (film)

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For the 2005 South Korean film, see Lee Dae-ro Can't Die.
Short Time
Shorttimeposter.jpg
Promotional movie poster for the film
Directed by Gregg Champion
Produced by Michael Borofsky
Bruce McNall
Joe Wizan
Written by John Blumenthal
Michael Berry
Starring Dabney Coleman
Matt Frewer
Teri Garr
Music by Ira Newborn
Cinematography John J. Connor
Edited by Frank Morriss
Michael Ripps
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) United States May 4, 1990
Australia May 9, 1991
Netherlands February 21, 1992
Running time 97 min.
Country U.S.A.
Language English

Short Time is a 1990 comedy action crime movie directed by Gregg Champion which stars Dabney Coleman, Matt Frewer and Teri Garr.

Synopsis[edit]

Seattle detective Burt Simpson (Coleman) is a man who is perennially so concerned about planning for the future that he can't really bring himself to enjoy the present. This strains his relationship with his wife (Teri Garr) and young son. However, this suddenly changes when a mix-up at the hospital (caused by a bus driver who is trying to hide his recent use of marijuana) makes him believe that he has two weeks to live. He subsequently finds out that his family will only receive a small amount of money if he dies of natural causes, but will receive hundreds of thousands if he is killed in the line of duty. He determines that he will find a way to make that happen.

His first effort centers around a domestic disturbance call. Aware that such affairs routinely turn violent, he eagerly responds. However, it turns out to be an elderly couple. One of them misheard the other because they were deaf, and a kind remark was mistaken for an insult. When the error is revealed, the two happily reconcile. A more promising situation arises a bit later, when Simpson is involved in a wild car chase with some fleeing suspects. His vehicle, the suspects' car, and much of the city all wind up demolished, but no lives are lost. Simpson is awarded a medal for his bravery.

Simpson then intervenes in a hostage situation involving a crazed man with a bomb. However, due largely to his newfound realization of the importance of life, he is able to convince the bomber to give himself up. He is awarded another medal for this action.

Between these events, Simpson spends what he believes are his final days finally starting to live in the here and now. He buys a red sports car, spends time with his son, and reconciles with his wife. He also reveals to his partner (Matt Frewer) his genuine respect and affection for him. The latter, mystified at this strange behavior, does an investigation of his own, and soon finds out what has happened.

By the time he has found out, however, Simpson has gotten involved in a running shootout with a heavily armed robber. The chase ends with both of them balanced on a window washer's scaffold, high on a skyscraper. Simpson's partner reveals to him that he is not going to die, but it is apparently too late: Simpson's adversary falls to his death, and Simpson falls after him.

The final scene occurs at a funeral, first revealing Simpson's family and partner. However, Simpson is also present; the funeral is actually for the bus driver (who died of his condition). Simpson has attended out of respect for the man who "gave me back my life". A photo in his partner's possession shows what happened: although Simpson did fall from the scaffold, his leg became entangled in some ropes, and he wound up dangling upside-down.

Cast[edit]

Dabney Coleman as Burt Simpson

Matt Frewer as Ernie Dills

Teri Garr as Carolyn Simpson

Barry Corbin as Captain

Joe Pantoliano as Scalese

Xander Berkeley as Stark

The film reunites Coleman and Garr in their second pairing together following their performances in Sydney Pollak's classic 1982 film Tootsie. In that film however, Coleman and Garr share no screen time together, as opposed to here where their characters interact heavily with one another.

DVD Releases[edit]

The film was released on Region 2 DVD by Carlton International Media UK in 2002. It has only had a VHS release in the USA and never released on Region 1 DVD.

Rating[edit]

Short Time was rated PG-13 by the MPAA in America and rated M in Australia.

External links[edit]