Final Jeopardy (TV Movie 1985) Poster

(1985 TV Movie)

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You have to pay! One way or ANOTHER!
JasonDanielBaker14 November 2014
Hard-working Martin Campbell (Richard Thomas) and his charming wife Susan (Mary Crosby) hit the big city for crucial business meetings which could make or break his career. She goes shopping and they plan to rendezvous for dinner later.

For his final meeting of the day he shows up at the wrong address. It also happens to be in the worst part of town and the joint closes at 7pm. Then Martin gets hit with another unwelcome realization - the parking lot he left his rental car in closed up even earlier.

His wife shows up just in time to be stranded with him as the cab driver who brought her speeds off. The cabbie and seemingly everyone else in the movie knows the area to be bad news for every kind of reason. For the unlucky tourists it is something they will discover the hard way as locals of a malevolent intent detect their presence and elect to give them a hard time for ill-begotten fun and profit.

A cinematic cliché used far too often is the one where city dwellers get stranded in a rural setting and get brutalized by demented inbreds. The juxtaposition wherein small-town folks find horror in the big city is far more believable and I speak as a city dweller who dreads going certain places downtown. Numerous big North American cities are host to large critical masses of people on illegal drugs or off of necessary prescription drugs or both.

Eventually after a nightmare of an evening Marty comes to blame himself because it is accurate that he is at fault. Susan tells him the mistake he made was one anybody could have made. In the year in which this film was produced it might well have been a mistake anybody could have made. But we have cellphones now, Google maps, GPS etc now.

The suspense depicted here seems very real. Richard Thomas - long typecast as a wholesome farm-boy from his years on 'The Waltons' gave one of his better performances in this production.Not only are there solid performances by the leads but the supporting cast is particularly convincing. Michael Cavanaugh, Jordan Charney, Jeff Corey and Jonathan Goldsmith were always great.
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A Dramatic Out of Towners
spideyy13 December 2003
I started watching this movie right after it started, so I didn't know what it was called or anything. I was on a cruise ship, and it was 2:30 in the morning, and there were no commercials, so until I got back home, I had no idea what it was. Thank God for IMDB. Anyway, I thought it was a serious dramatic remake of "THE OUT OF TOWNERS". It had almost the same plot, only not played for laughs. Every thing was played for suspense, and with Richard Thomas in the lead it was even more dramatic. I like watching him act, but he is so over the top dramaticly. But that's why I like watching him. The movie wasn't great, but it didn't suck either. I had to stay up till the end, because I was interested in the outcome, so that says something.

It revolves around Thomas' character going to the big city for a job interview, and he goes to the wrong bar to meet his would be boss. By the time he finds this out, it's an hour after the time they were suppossed to meet, and his car is locked in the parking area until six the next morning. His wife comes to meet him, and before he can tell her to stop the cab she brought, it leaves, and they are stranded. Now why they just didn't walk back to a more populated area is beyond be. I've been to New York and Chicago, and you can always get to a populated area, especially at seven in the evening, and also the fact that Thomas drove his car to the bar, that alone should say he knows how to get back. But then we wouldn't have the next hour of the movie where they get chased by gangs, dogs, and other such riff-raff.

All in all, not a great movie, but like I said it didn't suck. Spideyy
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7/10
Great little on the run at night movie
NewYorkRipper29 July 2017
A movie with tension from beginning to end, with an interesting method of fading to still black and white image every time there is a scene change or the location is changed.

This works all but once, when it is used in the middle of a busy chase scene towards the end.

If you like a movie set almost entirely at night, with some very lost and scared protagonists on the run and trying to make it back home, then this is one to check out.
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9/10
Rare classic
visualizeasian31 May 2014
Warning: Spoilers
At the time this movie was probably forgotten among the sea of classics from the 80s.

While I try not to spoil the plot of a thriller such as this, in some cases it is inevitable so please read cautiously.

Richard Thomas and the lovely Mary Crosby play a small town couple (Marty and Susan Campbell) who are visiting the city. Marty is here to create some business while Susan has come along for shopping and company.

The build up to the drama and threat that follows is rather well crafted, for example Marty's navigation and direction taking skills are shown to be 'not good' from the start and while his character is smart, his vulnerability due to the quick emotional decisions he makes its portrayed very well. Richard Thomas is no stranger to playing multi-layered characters and his performance in this raises the movie above the TV level standards.

I also liked the performance of Mary Crosby as Susan, she brings a very lovable innocence and strength to the character, again making the chase scenes more thrilling because you care about her character so much.

While some of the scenes do not follow the logic you think they should (ie why didn't they persist in calling a taxi or persist in calling the police? etc) the performances of the two characters are so well crafted by Richard Thomas and Susan Crosby (there is definitely a chemistry between them which is great on screen.) that you will care about Marty and Susan and their decisions become more believable within the context of the story.

There are some thrilling set pieces, such as the sewer sequence, the chase on the subway train, the phone booth sequence and the final chase.

Definitely worth a watch - a popcorn evening thriller with some nice drama.
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6/10
Not as bad as some reviews suggest.
englisch_im_taunus28 August 2018
Warning: Spoilers
Having read some devastatingly bad reviews of this film, I began to wonder whether my interpretation of it might be correct. I have often had dreams in which I have been in a strange place and was trying to return home. Not quite as dramatic as in this movie, but phones don't work, people don't respond to me or give me the wrong information, buses stop in the middle of nowhere, nothing goes right, everything is weird and I feel helpless and lost. I felt throughout this whole film that it was intended to be such a dream (or rather a nightmare) sequence, and lo and behold, when daylight comes, everything is back to normal - which is just how you feel when you wake up from such a dream. If you see it like that, and not as a believable portrayal of something that might actually happen, it should fare better on the points scale. Only thing was I thought that the character of Susan was too happy-go-lucky in the face of so many dangerous situations. She was always like 'Oh, I'm OK', even when being pursued by a gang of thugs or wandering aimlessly through the sewers, always looking as pretty as a picture, with not a hair out of place. The film certainly managed to keep my attention long enough to watch it all in one sitting, which is unusual for me!
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5/10
I got to see this movie being filmed
mikohn8 July 2007
This movie was filmed in Chicago Illinois. I was unemployed and looking for work when I stumbled upon this movie being filmed. The movie underwent many title changes before it was released. I think the plot was original but the way it was laid out could have been better. During the filming of this movie, both of the leads walked around downtown without bodyguards and melted into the crowd. It was as if nobody knew there were celebrities around. I got to meet both leads and I talked to Richard Thomas but he went to a limo and fell asleep before I could get his autograph. On the other hand, they called Mary Crosby to the set for a scene in which they thought she was needed but she wasn't. She went back to her trailer and en route, I tapped her on the shoulder (ok not a smart move but it worked out) and got her autograph. She was very nice about it. I'm sorry they were stuck in such a somewhat lame movie especially since they are very good actors and deserved better. I saw the finished product on TV and was pretty disappointed considering how hard the cast worked to make the movie a good one.
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1/10
Unbelievable
syko524L18 April 2005
Warning: Spoilers
Have you ever drove by an accident on the freeway or seen something like a train wreck and, even though you knew you didn't want to see what was there, you just couldn't help but look?

That is exactly what watching this film was like. I was watching a decent movie on a tape when this no name flick came on afterward. The first 1/4 of the movie had been taped over, but I still got to see almost all of it. Poor me. I wanted to scream. I wanted to gouge my eyeballs out. It is absolutely horrible. I don't think there is a word in the English language to describe the utter disaster that is this movie.

The over-acting is enough to make you want to die. The down-right bad acting doesn't help. But the real kicker is the fact that the plot has more holes than Iraq has sand. It's just unreal. From the classic "girl-falls-down-and-twists-ankle-during-the-escape" scenario to 1950s-style-greasers-as-street-hoods(an all white NY street gang in 1985 to boot) to an unlimited amount of just plain sloppy make-up and wardrobe goofs, this one has it all folks. If I were an actor, director, producer, writer, or even just a stuntman or grip, I would petition to have my name removed from this films credits.

Please don't watch this movie. It will truly scar you for life.
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7/10
Not too shabby.
TOMASBBloodhound16 July 2019
Kudos to whoever put the great-looking restored version of this up on Youtube. This is one of those TV movies (the 80s had plenty of them) that were good enough that you'd remember at least part of them as an adult. Final Jeopardy is like a tense version of The Out of Towners, or some such fish out of water type story. It involves a yuppie and his wife visiting some big American city (not sure they even named which one, but it mostly seemed to be Chicago) for a job interview and maybe a nice dinner before heading home to some unknown suburb to get back to reality. Maybe it wasn't an interview. On second thought, the guy may have been just looking for an investor for a business venture. Anyway, it hardly matters by about 10 minutes in. The first guy he meets isn't interested, and the next guy he is supposed to meet never shows up at the bar he expected him to be. Oh, well... maybe he can meet up with his wife and have a nice dinner... oops. This is before American cities started with urban renewal and having any sort of entertainment open downtown after about 7:00 pm. No sooner does our couple rendezvous, then they quickly realize they are stuck downtown with no hotels/buses/cabs available to them. It gets worse as four-person gang of muggers begins chasing after them. Will the couple be able to find a safe place to hide for the night? Can they even find a cop? Someone helpful? Anything?

Although many details of how this couple becomes isolated are contrived, and a bit hard to believe, the tension is successfully established early on. You have to keep in mind that many cities might have been this deserted at night back then. Since I've been an adult, every city I've been in has at least some kind of nightlife downtown until at least midnight. Later on the weekends. But back then who knows. So I will reserve intense criticism for the mostly-deserted streets they encounter. The little street gang is not terribly intimidating. How one meek-acting yuppie and a limping wife can keep them at bay is one of this film's credibility issues. Everyone else they encounter is either rudely indifferent, clueless, or hostile. The gang appears and disappears randomly when the script needs to increase tension. The direction is above average and the acting is generally excellent for such an endeavor. Richard Thomas is particularly good as the yuppie protagonist. He's had a long career. You may chuckle when you initially see him, though. He looks like a young Principal Ed Rooney from Ferris Bueller's Day Off! The wife is well-played by the attractive Mary Crosby; one of Bing's many children. Some interesting casting for peripheral characters. The guy playing the bartender in an early scene is "the most interesting man in the world" from the Dos Equis commercials. Too bad the yuppie didn't order one of those! Nobody played a Chicago cop like Dennis Farina, but his role is way too small. I love any scene in the movie with a train in it, even if the one here is impossible to believe.

If you have time to check this one out, go ahead and do so. After a few minutes of it, you may find you remember it from 1985. Seeing it again as an adult reminded me of being stranded outside of Madison Square Garden during an August blackout in 2003. My first day ever in NYC and THAT had to happen! Lots of indifferent people there too, but at least there were lots of cops. I was told by more than one official to check with Port Authority to see if they could get me where I needed to go. What the heck is that, anyway?? 7 of 10 stars.

The Hound.
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2/10
Dire, frankly
frmarcus-123 May 2015
Warning: Spoilers
Have just watched. Mainly 'cos of the acting, this sucks: Thomas's character comes over as slightly unhinged - though I don't think it was intended - cos he over-acts, just like the clichéd thugs so often portrayed in American movies of the 80s, which it feels very much of. Crosby is fine but has little to do other than accompany Thomas: she doesn't seem engaged with the movie as there was little for her to do; she seems one-dimensional.

Thomas's character comes over as a bit of a 'dick': he's meant to convey small-town naivety, per plot, but just seems gauche and foolish, such as the scene where he jumps in front of a truck, waving madly, to stop it for a lift... and just stands there, about to be mowed-down. Implausible. If I were Crosby I'd be leaving him to his fate!

Something to watch when doing the ironing, then - certainly not to look out for!
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4/10
Not totally bad but could have been better
Darren_1968200128 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The problem with this sort of movie is that you watch it and find yourself saying or thinking either what you would have done if you were in that situation or what the protagonists ought to have done. It is hard to just switch off and accept that the characters would really do what they are doing or that the events would unfold in the way that they do if they are implausible.

But, of course, when a possible way out of danger takes place only halfway through the movie, you know it is going to fail. The movie raised these questions for me: 1. Would everything really just grind to a halt like that as early as 7:00pm? 2. Would people really be that unhelpful in that part of town? 3. Would the streets really be so deserted? 4. Surely, sooner or later they would have stumbled upon a hotel/motel? 5. If someone offered to pay you to drive them somewhere that was a short distance away and they looked reasonably sane, wouldn't you at least try to negotiate? It reminded me of 'The Warriors', where the streets are made to seem more menacing by the use of camera angles and music. The street-gang seems hellbent on getting the couple for little more reason than taking a shine to the wife ... but was this enough motivation? They are all set to kill the husband when he had done nothing to provoke it. Only at the end are the police shown to be helpful. It was like in that part of town, you are only safe in daylight. But there is only 1 street-gang roaming these 'mean streets' and they are suitably toned down to TV movie level ... no guns, no foul language.

The Marty character seems a bit too unhinged too early ... he beats himself up because he went to the wrong bar for a business meeting and seems insecure that he is trying to make it in business on his own. It seems a little signposted that he is going to snap later. He ends up smashing store windows as if to be saying 'If this doesn't bring the police, then nothing will' and naturally it doesn't. The two main characters ask 'Why can't we just get out of this?' and you might share that frustration too. To rely on public payphones seems ludicrous today but one has to remember the movie was made and set in 1985 but I was cringing during the scene where Marty tries to get the police to come to his aid by saying he is near a building called 'Mill something Building' and the cop says 'You are near a mill?'. And the number of the payphone has numbers scratched out so that can't help either and the police can't trace the call very quickly. And then the police ring Marty back on the payphone (we assume it is the police) so they know which payphone he used but still don't send a squad car and the gang-member hears the phone ring. This is all supposed to add suspense and danger but is annoying.
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