Archive of films Bad Timing / Bad Timing

United Kingdom
1980, 123 min

Section: Tribute to Nicolas Roeg
Year: 2008

Late at night a young woman is rushed to hospital after apparently taking an overdose. Through a series of flashbacks, the story of a strange love affair slowly emerges with uncompromising frankness, in an abrasive analysis of male obsession and (erotic) relationships between men and women.


Late at night a young woman (Theresa Russell) is rushed to hospital after apparently taking an overdose. She is accompanied by her boyfriend, American psychiatrist Dr. Alex Linden (Art Garfunkel). The routine investigation conducted by inspector Netusil (Harvey Keitel) turns out to be much more complex, both for the inspector and, with him, the audience, as a story of sexual mania gradually unfolds through a series of flashbacks. “A sick film made by sick people for sick people” is how Bad Timing was described by an executive from the Rank Organisation who produced the film. Appalled by its content, the company responded by removing the Rank logo from all UK prints of the film and refused to screen it in their cinema network. The same film went on to win the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto IFF a few months later. It wouldn’t take long to find out why the film received such mixed reviews. The extremely graphic description of the relationship, in which love becomes an all-consuming obsession, balks at nothing – the sexual encounters, the point of mental breakdown or the vivid images from the emergency room. Roeg’s typical, fragmentary style, which totally ignores chronological sequence, is here taken to the very edge, bringing together moments, places and emotions far removed from one another in time and space according to inscrutable inner associations. Moreover, Roeg this time toys somewhat ironically with the latent voyeurism attributable to the viewing experience itself, and thus his unromantic analysis of male obsession and (erotic) relationships between men and women acquires even more abrasive undertones.


21 Stephen Street, W1T 1LN, London
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 207 255 1444
Fax: +44 207 436 7950
E-mail: [email protected]

Park Circus Limited
15 Woodside Crescent, G37UL, Glasgow
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 141 332 2175
Fax: +44 141 332 2133
E-mail: [email protected]

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Tribute to Nicolas Roeg
Director: Nicolas Roeg
Screenplay: Yale Udoff
Dir. of Photography: Anthony Richmond
Music: Richard Hartley
Editor: Tony Lawson
Producer: Jeremy Thomas
Production: Recorded Picture Company
Cast: Art Garfunkel, Theresa Russell, Harvey Keitel, Denholm Elliott, Daniel Massey
Contact: BFI, Park Circus Limited


Nicolas Roeg

Film Director


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