January 18, 1982 12:00 PM

Jane Fonda and Kris Kristofferson try to save the world from an apocalyptic cash crunch when they uncover a plot by Arab moneymen to pull all their deposits from American banks (rather than “roll it over,” in financial jargon, by reinvesting in the U.S. economy). Alas, they can’t even save this luxuriously trashy, abrasive film from an apocalyptic plausibility crunch. Fonda is an ex-actress who takes over her husband’s giant petrochemical firm when he is murdered. Kristofferson is a banker who helps secure her rise with a $500 million loan and shows some fancy moves among the sheets, balance and otherwise. Director Alan J. Pakula is usually right on the money (Klute, Parallax View, All the President’s Men), but this is just a horror film: The monster is capitalist greed. David Shaber’s screenplay offers either fast-paced Wall Street patois that is infuriatingly esoteric or lines like these, from Kris: “The world is full of deals” and “We’re playing with the end of the world.” It isn’t easy, either, to go along with Fonda’s politics here, since her movie production company is using a profit-making (she hopes) $15 million epic to decry profit. At the end a worker in the bank’s frenzied trading room is near tears when she screams, “Gold is up to $2,000!” She’s crying for a hero. Can the monetary system come to the rescue? Will anyone understand what’s happening if it does? (R)

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