A Matter of Time (1976)

Genres - Drama  |   Run Time - 99 min.  |   Countries - Italy, United States  |   MPAA Rating - PG
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Review by Craig Butler

Rarely has a film boasting talent the equivalent of Ingrid Bergman, Charles Boyer, Liza Minnelli, and Vincente Minnelli been such an unmitigated failure as A Matter of Time. An almost total disaster, Time is a chore to sit through, even at only 99 minutes; it's not even the kind of bad movie that provokes perverse glee at how awful it is. Vincente Minnelli disowned the film before its release, claiming that the producers had completely destroyed it with their editing. It's true that the resulting film is unbelievably choppy and poorly constructed, but based on what is on view it's hard to believe the director's original cut would have been substantially better. Performances are poor with Bergman struggling mightily and succeeding by sheer force of will in creating a few moments that are affecting and involving. Liza Minnelli is in fairly good voice (although her two new John Kander-Fred Ebb songs are of negligible quality), but her overall performance is disjointed, unappealing, phony, and annoying. Boyer is essentially at sea, and the rest of the cast ranges from uninspired to irritating. Time is a sad finale for director Minnelli's career; even fans of this gifted man are advised to skip this one altogether.