Blast from the Past (film)

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Blast from the Past
Theatrical release poster.
Directed by Hugh Wilson
Produced by Hugh Wilson
Amanda Stern
Renny Harlin
Screenplay by Hugh Wilson
Bill Kelly
Story by Hugh Wilson
Starring Brendan Fraser
Alicia Silverstone
Christopher Walken
Sissy Spacek
Dave Foley
Music by Steve Dorff
Cinematography José Luis Alcaine
Edited by Don Brochu
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release dates
  • February 12, 1999 (1999-02-12)
Running time
112 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $35 million
Box office $40,263,020

Blast from the Past is a 1999 American romantic comedy film based on a story and directed by Hugh Wilson, and starring Brendan Fraser, Alicia Silverstone, Christopher Walken, Sissy Spacek and Dave Foley.


In 1962 an eccentric scientist who, like so many people at the time, thinking that a nuclear war between the U.S. and the Soviet Union was possible, has built an incredibly large fallout shelter in his back yard deep underground. During the Cuban Missile Crisis, when he thought things were going to escalate, Dr. Calvin Webber takes his pregnant wife into the fallout shelter. When a fighter jet flying over loses control, the pilot bails out and the plane crashes into their house causing intense heat from the fire which "knocks out all of his surface indicators". Calvin then, thinking the worst has happened, sets and activates the shelter's locks (designed not to open for 35 years). Everyone assumes the entire family was killed in the accident as no one knew of Calvin's secret fallout shelter with two hidden entrances (both entrances are mentioned in the movie but the movie focuses on the entrance in his back yard with the service elevator. The other entrance is presumed to have caved in.). Calvin's wife Helen gives birth to a boy whom they name Adam. Adam grows up being taught and exposed to all culture up to 1962 such as watching reruns of The Honeymooners and listening to Perry Como and Dean Martin. When the locks open 35 years later, they're so shocked to see how the world has changed they decide to stay inside. However their supplies have run out, so Adam goes out to get some more but gets lost and is helped by a girl called Eve.

Adam meets Eve Rustikoff (Alicia Silverstone) when he tries to sell his father's classic baseball cards at a hobby shop. She stops the store owner from trying to buy the cards for much less than their collectible value and is immediately fired. Adam asks Eve to drive him to a Holiday Inn in exchange for a baseball card. The next morning Eve has an attack of conscience and returns the card to Adam. When she mentions that she must find a new job, Adam asks her to help him purchase supplies. Unaware of the value of money, Adam immediately agrees to her request for $1,000 a week pay. He also asks Eve to help him find a wife from Pasadena, California (per his mother's advice), who is "not a mutant"; he uses the term literally, but she mistakes it for the modern slang usage. Adam meets Eve's gay housemate and best friend, Troy (Dave Foley), who is amused by Adam's naiveté but offers advice and gives Adam a fashion makeover.

Eve and Troy take Adam to a 1940s style nightclub to find him a wife. Immediately gains the attention of several desirable women, including Eve's flirtatious rival, Sophie (Carmen Moré). Eve becomes jealous and reconnects with her ex-boyfriend Cliff (Nathan Fillion), but leaves after Cliff goads Adam into an altercation. Troy later returns home alone, and explains that Adam went home with Sophie. Adam returns later, explaining that he politely rejected Sophie's advances. They kiss, but Adam insists on telling her the truth about his past and states that he wants to take her "underground". She asks him to leave. When he returns the next day, Eve is waiting with a team of mental health professionals to have him committed. He sadly cooperates at first, but escapes as they leave the house. He asks that Eve collect his things for him and pay his hotel bill. Troy and Eve find toiletries and clothing manufactured in the early 1960s. They realize that Adam was telling the truth. They track Adam back to the ghetto where Eve throws herself into his arms.

Adam tells his parents that he and Eve can't stay. He asks them to set the lock timer for only two months this time, and then he will return for them. He and Eve use the money from selling stocks his father felt worthless due to nuclear holocaust to build his parents a new home in the country, identical to the home that was destroyed, with an interior that resembles the homey interior of the fallout shelter.



Critical reception[edit]

The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film had an overall score of 58% of the comments positive based on 78 reviews.[1] On Metacritic has a score of 48%. Roger Ebert gave the film 3 out of 4 stars saying "the movie is funny and entertaining in all the usual ways, yes, but I was grateful that it tried for more: that it was actually about something, that it had an original premise, that it used satire and irony and had sly undercurrents."[2]

Box office[edit]

Blast from the Past opened in North American theaters on February 12, 1999 and took in $7,771,066 earning it 5th place at the box office for the weekend.


  1. ^ Blast from the Past at Rotten Tomatoes
  2. ^ "Blast From The Past :: :: Reviews". February 12, 1999. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 

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