review for All Night Long on AllMovie

All Night Long (1981)
by Craig Butler review

The recipient of some truly dreadful reviews when first released, All Night Long is actually a moderately entertaining and amusing film, albeit one that does not live up to its promise. Much of the blame goes to director Jean-Claude Tramont and writer W.D. Richter, for the film is not as focused as it must be to make its quirky and often appealing separate components (such as almost every scene in the drug store) come together into a satisfying whole. Barbra Streisand also contributes to the film's unevenness. Her performance actually is quite good, a departure from the kind of role she usually plays and one that calls for a fairly subtle approach, as well as a genuine sexiness. The actress handles all this well, but she's still too large a presence for what is at heart a supporting role. This disrupts the delicate balance of the story and takes attention away from the main character, George. Gene Hackman is very good, making George an endearing, put-upon sad sack that captures the viewer's heart. His performance is carefully modulated, allowing him to move comfortably between extremes as necessary. It's one of his nicest, most appealing performances. On the whole, All Night Long is a decent film with some surprising rewards.