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Scarecrow on Seattle: SEVEN HOURS TO JUDGMENT

For the past few years, Scarecrow Video has been contributing reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest to the Seattle Office of Film + Music's e-newsletter (you may have seen some of them when we had our Scarecrow on Seattle rental section up last year). We're now proud to be able to share these reviews on our site as well.





Seven Hours to Judgment (1988)
There are a few reasons why Beau Bridges is best known as an actor and not a director. This movie is one of them. Bridges not only directs but also stars in Seven Hours to Judgment as a smug judge named John Eden whose wife is kidnapped by a TV salesman named David Reardon (Ron Leibman). You see, Ravin' Reardon (as he is known in his commercials) blames Judge Eden for not prosecuting the gang who murdered his wife due to lack of evidence. David grants the judge seven hours to find the proof needed or Reardon will murder Mrs. Eden. Bridges' directorial style never builds much tension and his character seems to spend most of the film aimlessly running around the wino filled streets of Seattle with a panicked look on his face. The picture seems to be set in an alternative reality version of the city. Bizarro World Seattle has an underground mass transit system! Also the downtown streets are given alphabetical names so Pine Street becomes C Street. There are no ferry rides or Kingdome drive-bys, and the ubiquitous Space Needle can be barely glimpsed during a car chase. Still, lots of familiar landmarks are spottable for the trained Seattleite's eye: A "Joe" ice cream truck; several views of downtown from the perspective of Doctor Jose Rizal Park; a political rally at the Sorrento Hotel and a pointless chase unfolds near the Pike Place Market. What's more, the finale is set in a warehouse next to present day CenturyLink Field, the judge's house is one of those mansions on Prospect Avenue next to Volunteer Park, there's a senseless chase through "underground" Seattle and a cop car accidentally jumps off the old Lenora Street bridge to nowhere for a splash landing into Elliott Bay. Bridges returned to Seattle the next year for the much more satisfying The Fabulous Baker Boys.
-Spenser Hoyt


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