Rollover movie Alan J Pakula

Rollover movie review

Did the panned ’80s flick foresee the financial meltdown?

Economists have, with some justification, been criticised for not foreseeing the current economic crisis. Hollywood, it seems, may have done a better job. Flawed financial thriller Rollover culminates in the collapse of world currencies as the value of stock markets plummets.

In 1981 when it was released Variety bemoaned the film’s “lack of reality”. Few would be so dismissive now. Its plot concerns a bank that’s brokered a $500m deal with conniving Saudi Arabians. Putting aside its racist overtones — borne of the era’s fear of Opec’s economic clout — it contains themes that still ring true. The dangers of accumulating huge debt and the fragile, interconnected state of global markets are ideas flushed out by director Alan J Pakula.

Of course it bombed at the box office, partly because of its complex plot and the woeful performances of Jane Fonda and Kris Kristofferson — onscreen lovers whose romance had all the fizz of day-old pop. It “works neither as love story nor as satire” complained The New York Times, but decades later Rollover has finally found its niche as a cautionary tale.

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A clip from Alan J Pakula’s flawed financial thriller Rollover (1981)

Year/cert 1981, 15
Genre Financial thriller
Director Alan J Pakula
Stars Jane Fonda and Kris Kristofferson