The Final Countdown


1h 43m 1980

Brief Synopsis

Cold war era aircraft carrier is transported back to December 6, 1941 through a time warp.

Film Details

Also Known As
Final Countdown
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1980
Location
Monroe County, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m

Synopsis

Cold war era aircraft carrier is transported back to December 6, 1941 through a time warp.

Crew

Lynn Aber

Script Supervisor

Jim Allsop

Other

David Ambrose

Screenplay

Richard L Anderson

Sound Effects Editor

Fredd Baillie

Production Assistant

Cynthia Bales

Costumes

Frank Ballou

Transportation Coordinator

Donah Bassett

Negative Cutting

Mike Batzler

Production Assistant

Susan M Becton

Assistant

Maurice Binder

Special Effects

Bruce Bisenz

Sound

Bob Boettcher

Property Master Assistant

Steven Bridges

Production Assistant

Benjamin Bruce

Location Coordinator

Irving Buchman

Makeup

Judi Bunn

Production Coordinator

David L Butler

Director Of Photography

Fernando Carrere

Production Designer

Jim Coe

Photography

Robert Cosby

Boom Operator

Gerry Costello

Other

Bill Couch

Stunt Coordinator

George Craig

Music Supervisor

Gerry Davis

Screenplay

Joe Day

Special Effects

Leslie Dennis

Assistant Editor

Michael Dobie

Assistant Editor

Peter Douglas

Producer

Michael Durant

Production Assistant

Garry Elmendorf

Special Effects

Pat Elmendorf

Special Effects

Lyn Fink

Production Assistant

Stephen Hunter Flick

Sound Effects Editor

Gary Gero

Animal Trainer

Earl Gilbert

Gaffer

Anthony Gittelson

Location Coordinator

William Graves

Technical Advisor

Romaine Greene

Hair

Rhio Haessig

Best Boy

Warren Hamilton

Sound Effects Editor

Orwin Harvey

Stunts

Robert Horne

Camera Assistant

Alan Howarth

Sound Effects

Thomas Hunter

From Story

Thomas Hunter

Screenplay

B J Johnson

Location Coordinator

Kent Johnson

Property Master

Lloyd Kaufman

Unit Production Manager

Lloyd Kaufman

Associate Producer

Pat Kehoe

Assistant Director

Victor J Kemper

Director Of Photography

Douglas Kenny

Location Assistant

David J Kimball

Sound

Nikita Knatz

Production

Robert K. Lambert

Editor

Robert K. Lambert

Post-Production Supervisor

Stan Lazan

Camera Operator

Robert J Litt

Sound

Milton Lustig

Music Editor

William Maldonado

Construction Coordinator

Mark Mangini

Sound Effects Editor

Bob Marta

Camera Assistant

Rob Mays

Production Assistant

Mark Mcgann

Dga Trainee

Jim Mcmahon

Auditor

Ed Milkovich

Assistant Director

Richard Milligan

Technical Advisor

Bob Mills

Makeup Supervisor

Bob Mills

Makeup

Bruce Montgomery

Other

Pat Moseman

Other

Florence Nerlinger

Production Coordinator

Dennis Peebles

Set Decorator

Peter Powell

Screenplay

Peter Powell

From Story

Tom Pullinger

Editor

John Richards

Sound Mixer

Gaylin Schultz

Key Grip

Bernie Schwartz

Best Boy

Norman B Schwartz

Dialogue Consultant

Louis Schwartzberg

Photography

John Scott

Music

Colby Smith

Stunts

Richard R St Johns

Executive Producer

Ray Summers

Costumes

Virgil Tanner

Color Timer

Tony Tenreiro

Other

Robert C. Thomas

Camera Operator

Timothy Tobin

Assistant Editor

James W. Tyson

Costumes

Clair Ward

Production Assistant

Mark Winter

Location Assistant

Douglas E Wise

Assistant Director

Howard Wollman

Sound

Film Details

Also Known As
Final Countdown
MPAA Rating
Release Date
1980
Location
Monroe County, Florida, USA

Technical Specs

Duration
1h 43m

Articles

The Final Countdown


In the late 1970's one of Kirk Douglas' sons, Peter Vincent Douglas, began his career as a producer with a project based on a fantastic scenario; what if one of America's contemporary nuclear-powered aircraft carriers was catapulted back in time via a freak electrical storm and appeared in the Pacific Ocean just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? His producer credits would go on to include Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), and Fletch (1985), but what sets The Final Countdown (1980) aside from those popular films is a complicity between the Hollywood dream factory and the U.S. military to create a work that would entertain the masses and also act as a recruiting tool for the Navy. It's a timeless practice that would go on with films from Top Gun (1986) to any of the more contemporary Tom Clancy-based films that now lead the charge, but it's still interesting within the context of The Final Countdown because the two main stars, Kirk Douglas (as the captain of the U.S.S. Nimitz) and Martin Sheen (as a Defense Department expert), are famous for taking stands against the right-wing powers that be. Now toss into the mix the fact that this big spectacle film also hired to a production job Lloyd Kaufman, the man who would later launch the "aroma du Troma" behind such low-budget fare as The Toxic Avenger (1985) and Tromeo and Juliet (1996), and viewers might then wonder if time travel is really so odd when compared to the behind-the-camera crew on this film. Kaufman also gets a short cameo in the film and recalls Kirk Douglas telling him that "You're not a good actor, but you're a better actor than producer." Adding to such proceedings it's tempting to note, just for color, that director Don Taylor (1920 - 1998) helmed an episode of The Flying Nun in 1967, but that would be unfair to his larger body of work as both an actor (from 1943 to 1962) and his various helming duties (from 1955 to 1988).

The Final Countdown is not a special-effects laden time-travel piece like Back to the Future (1985) or any such ilk and, indeed, the pivotal "freak electrical storm" is not, visually, very convincing. Nor is it particularly heavy-handed in glamorizing the military, although the members of the Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron, who played key roles in the film, are quick to praise The Final Countdown for showing real missile launches and other authentic air maneuvers. What really works about the film is that it is a character-driven drama augmented by a bizarre scenario - and, admittedly, the fusion of fantasy with a certain amount of wish-fulfillment can carry unexpected power. The scene, for example, where two Japanese Zero fighter planes get their come-uppance when surprised by two modern F-14 fighter jets still reverberates on several levels. The current equivalent would be a time-travel film that posits a crack team of Green Beret soldiers suddenly transported onto hijacked planes before they hit their targets in 2001.

Blue Underground makes The Final Countdown available in a full screen dvd, a widescreen dvd, and a special two-disc limited edition set that comes with a hologram cover wherein the battleship can "disappear" with a twist of the wrist. Latter version includes audio commentary with Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper, theatrical trailers, and TV spots, while the bonus disc adds a 15-minute interview with Lloyd Kaufman, a half-hour interview with the Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron (who, among other things, note that you can make more money as a Teamster driving a van for film crew than risking your life as a fighter pilot), poster & still galleries, a short Kirk Douglas biography, and a Zero Pilot Journal (DVD-ROM).

For more information about The Final Countdown, visit Blue Underground. To order the limited edition double disc of The Final Countdown, go to TCM Shopping.

by Pablo Kjolseth
The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown

In the late 1970's one of Kirk Douglas' sons, Peter Vincent Douglas, began his career as a producer with a project based on a fantastic scenario; what if one of America's contemporary nuclear-powered aircraft carriers was catapulted back in time via a freak electrical storm and appeared in the Pacific Ocean just hours before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor? His producer credits would go on to include Something Wicked This Way Comes (1983), and Fletch (1985), but what sets The Final Countdown (1980) aside from those popular films is a complicity between the Hollywood dream factory and the U.S. military to create a work that would entertain the masses and also act as a recruiting tool for the Navy. It's a timeless practice that would go on with films from Top Gun (1986) to any of the more contemporary Tom Clancy-based films that now lead the charge, but it's still interesting within the context of The Final Countdown because the two main stars, Kirk Douglas (as the captain of the U.S.S. Nimitz) and Martin Sheen (as a Defense Department expert), are famous for taking stands against the right-wing powers that be. Now toss into the mix the fact that this big spectacle film also hired to a production job Lloyd Kaufman, the man who would later launch the "aroma du Troma" behind such low-budget fare as The Toxic Avenger (1985) and Tromeo and Juliet (1996), and viewers might then wonder if time travel is really so odd when compared to the behind-the-camera crew on this film. Kaufman also gets a short cameo in the film and recalls Kirk Douglas telling him that "You're not a good actor, but you're a better actor than producer." Adding to such proceedings it's tempting to note, just for color, that director Don Taylor (1920 - 1998) helmed an episode of The Flying Nun in 1967, but that would be unfair to his larger body of work as both an actor (from 1943 to 1962) and his various helming duties (from 1955 to 1988). The Final Countdown is not a special-effects laden time-travel piece like Back to the Future (1985) or any such ilk and, indeed, the pivotal "freak electrical storm" is not, visually, very convincing. Nor is it particularly heavy-handed in glamorizing the military, although the members of the Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron, who played key roles in the film, are quick to praise The Final Countdown for showing real missile launches and other authentic air maneuvers. What really works about the film is that it is a character-driven drama augmented by a bizarre scenario - and, admittedly, the fusion of fantasy with a certain amount of wish-fulfillment can carry unexpected power. The scene, for example, where two Japanese Zero fighter planes get their come-uppance when surprised by two modern F-14 fighter jets still reverberates on several levels. The current equivalent would be a time-travel film that posits a crack team of Green Beret soldiers suddenly transported onto hijacked planes before they hit their targets in 2001. Blue Underground makes The Final Countdown available in a full screen dvd, a widescreen dvd, and a special two-disc limited edition set that comes with a hologram cover wherein the battleship can "disappear" with a twist of the wrist. Latter version includes audio commentary with Director of Photography Victor J. Kemper, theatrical trailers, and TV spots, while the bonus disc adds a 15-minute interview with Lloyd Kaufman, a half-hour interview with the Jolly Rogers F-14 Fighter Squadron (who, among other things, note that you can make more money as a Teamster driving a van for film crew than risking your life as a fighter pilot), poster & still galleries, a short Kirk Douglas biography, and a Zero Pilot Journal (DVD-ROM). For more information about The Final Countdown, visit Blue Underground. To order the limited edition double disc of The Final Countdown, go to TCM Shopping. by Pablo Kjolseth

Ron O'Neal (1937-2003) - Ron O'Neal (1937-2003)


Ron O'Neal, the handsome, athletic black actor who shot to fame in the '70s for his role as the Harlem drug dealer "Youngblood Priest" in the cult flick, Superfly (1972), died of cancer in Los Angeles on January 14th. He was 66.

O'Neal was born on September 1, 1937 in Utica, New York, but he grew up in Cleveland. After graduating high school in 1955, he joined the city's widely acclaimed Karamu House, an experimental interracial theatrical troupe. During his nine-year stint with the playhouse, he had roles in such varied productions as A Raisin in the Sun, A Streetcar Named Desire and Kiss Me Kate.

After moving to New York City in the mid-'60s, he taught acting classes in Harlem and performed in summer stock. He came to critical notice in the off-Broadway production of Charles Gordone's Pulitzer Prize-winning No Place to be Somebody where he earned an Obie Award (the off-Broadway Tony) for his work. The producers of Superfly saw him in that production and cast him in the film's lead role of "Youngblood Priest". The film was a box-office smash, and O'Neal, looking slick and ultra-stylish in his big fedora hat, leather boots, flowing scarf, and floor length trench coat, became a pop culture icon of the "blaxsploitation" genre overnight.

O'Neal would try his hand at directing when he took on the sequel Superfly T.N.T. (1973). Unfortunately, his lack of experience showed as the poorly directed film lacked its predecessor's wit and pace, and proved a resounding commercial flop. Sadly, O'Neal's fame (as well as the blaxsploitation genre itself), would inevitably fade, and by the decade's end, O'Neal would be co-starring in such B-films as When a Stranger Calls, and the Chuck Norris actioner A Force of One (both 1979).

His fortunes did brighten in the mid-'80s with television, earning semi-regular roles in two of the more popular shows of the day: The Equalizer (1985-89) and A Different World (1987-93). Better still, as scholars and film fans rediscovered his performance in Superfly, O'Neal gathered some movie work again. He was cast alongside fellow blaxsploitation stars Pam Grier, Fred Williamson, Jim Brown and Richard Roundtree in the genre's tribute film Original Gangstas (1996); the film was a modest hit, and O'Neal made the rounds in a few more urban action thrillers, most notably his final film On the Edge (2002), co-starring rap and televisions star, Ice-T. O'Neal is survived by his wife Audrey Pool O'Neal, and sister, Kathleen O'Neal.

by Michael T. Toole

Ron O'Neal (1937-2003) - Ron O'Neal (1937-2003)

Ron O'Neal, the handsome, athletic black actor who shot to fame in the '70s for his role as the Harlem drug dealer "Youngblood Priest" in the cult flick, Superfly (1972), died of cancer in Los Angeles on January 14th. He was 66. O'Neal was born on September 1, 1937 in Utica, New York, but he grew up in Cleveland. After graduating high school in 1955, he joined the city's widely acclaimed Karamu House, an experimental interracial theatrical troupe. During his nine-year stint with the playhouse, he had roles in such varied productions as A Raisin in the Sun, A Streetcar Named Desire and Kiss Me Kate. After moving to New York City in the mid-'60s, he taught acting classes in Harlem and performed in summer stock. He came to critical notice in the off-Broadway production of Charles Gordone's Pulitzer Prize-winning No Place to be Somebody where he earned an Obie Award (the off-Broadway Tony) for his work. The producers of Superfly saw him in that production and cast him in the film's lead role of "Youngblood Priest". The film was a box-office smash, and O'Neal, looking slick and ultra-stylish in his big fedora hat, leather boots, flowing scarf, and floor length trench coat, became a pop culture icon of the "blaxsploitation" genre overnight. O'Neal would try his hand at directing when he took on the sequel Superfly T.N.T. (1973). Unfortunately, his lack of experience showed as the poorly directed film lacked its predecessor's wit and pace, and proved a resounding commercial flop. Sadly, O'Neal's fame (as well as the blaxsploitation genre itself), would inevitably fade, and by the decade's end, O'Neal would be co-starring in such B-films as When a Stranger Calls, and the Chuck Norris actioner A Force of One (both 1979). His fortunes did brighten in the mid-'80s with television, earning semi-regular roles in two of the more popular shows of the day: The Equalizer (1985-89) and A Different World (1987-93). Better still, as scholars and film fans rediscovered his performance in Superfly, O'Neal gathered some movie work again. He was cast alongside fellow blaxsploitation stars Pam Grier, Fred Williamson, Jim Brown and Richard Roundtree in the genre's tribute film Original Gangstas (1996); the film was a modest hit, and O'Neal made the rounds in a few more urban action thrillers, most notably his final film On the Edge (2002), co-starring rap and televisions star, Ice-T. O'Neal is survived by his wife Audrey Pool O'Neal, and sister, Kathleen O'Neal. by Michael T. Toole

Quotes

Trivia

Miscellaneous Notes

Released in United States Summer July 1980

Released in United States Summer July 1980