Solar Crisis (film)

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Solar Crisis
Solar Crisis FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed byAlan Smithee
(Richard C. Sarafian)
Produced byRichard Edlund
James Nelson
Screenplay by
Based onSolar Crisis
by Takeshi Kawata
Music byMaurice Jarre
CinematographyRussell Carpenter
Edited byRichard Trevor
  • Gakken Co. Ltd.
  • Japan America Picture Company
Distributed byTrimark Pictures (US)[1]
Release date
  • 1990 (1990)
Running time
111 minutes
Budget$43 million[1]

Solar Crisis is a 1990 Japanese-American science fiction film. The screenplay was written by Joe Gannon and Tedi Sarafian (credited as Crispan Bolt), based on the novel Crisis 2050 by Takeshi Kawata, and directed by Richard C. Sarafian (credited as Alan Smithee). The cast featured Tim Matheson as Steve Kelso, Charlton Heston as Adm. "Skeet" Kelso, Peter Boyle as Arnold Teague, Annabel Schofield as Alex Noffe, Corin Nemec as Mike Kelso and Jack Palance as Travis. The executive producers were Takeshi Kawata and Takehito Sadamura, with FX cinematographer Richard Edlund and veteran sound editor James Nelson as its producers.

Plot summary[edit]

In 2050, a huge solar flare is predicted to irradiate the Earth. Astronauts aboard the spaceship Helios must go to the Sun to drop a bomb equipped with an Artificial Intelligence (Freddy) and a Japanese pilot (as a backup if the Artificial Intelligence fails) at the right time so the flare will point somewhere else. Giant IXL Corp CEO Teague thinks the flare will not happen and wants the mission to fail so he can buy the planet cheaply while the scare lasts. Employee Haas prepares a surprise for the astronauts. While Steve Kelso commands the space ship where temperature rises, Steve's father Admiral 'Skeet' Kelso is searching the desert for Steve's son Mike who has gone AWOL to say goodbye to his dad but who inadvertently crossed the path of the guys from IXL after meeting desert-dweller Travis.



Solar Crisis began shooting in November 1989 with an announced budget of $30 million. Nippon Steel, one of the investors, announced a Japanese theme park based on the film.[3] Scientist Richard J. Terrile served as a technical advisor for the film. He at first tried to convince the filmmakers to avoid sending a crew to the Sun, calling it unscientific. When it was explained to him that audience would demand such a plot point regardless of scientific accuracy, Terrile said he realized his job was to make impossible situations sound more plausible.[4] TV Guide quoted the final budget as $43 million. The film opened in Japan in 1990. When it underperformed, the producers extensively recut and reshot scenes to secure an American distributor. Sarafian had his name removed from the credits and replaced with the Director's Guild of America alias "Alan Smithee". Sarafian's son, Tedi, who performed rewrites, was credited as "Crispan Bolt".[1]


TV Guide rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "Enjoy its awesome visuals or scorn its slipshod execution, Solar Crisis amounts to one small step for cinema, one giant leap for Alan Smithee."[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Solar Crisis". TV Guide. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  2. ^ a b "KURAISHISU NIJU-GOJU NEN (1990)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  3. ^ Pond, Steve (1989-11-10). "'TALKING' ABOUT BLOCKBUSTERS". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  4. ^ Kirby, David A. (2011). Lab Coats in Hollywood: Science, Scientists, and Cinema. MIT Press. p. 147–149. ISBN 9780262294867.

External links[edit]