by Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Tempest (1982) is an offbeat modern comedy inspired by Shakespeare's The Tempest.

John Cassavetes plays a prominent New York architect, married to an actress (Gena Rowland). They have one daughter named Miranda. As the film opens, the "prosperous" father and Miranda (Molly Ringwald) are living on a small Greek island with Raul Julia as an assistant named Kalibanos and Susan Sarandon as a live-in friend.  Sarandon and Cassavetes have a sexless relationship, but Sarandon would much rather it wasn't. Molly Ringwald is well into puberty, and looking for almost any man, but there is nobody else on the island.

Then there is a series of flashbacks, explaining how Cassavetes, in the throes of male menopause, got tired of his New York life and decided to move to Greece to find his roots. Ringwald was allowed to follow for the summer, after which she was to return home to mommy and mommy's new boyfriend, whom Ringwald couldn't stand. When the time came to go home, Ringwald refused. The father and daughter had met Sarandon by then, and the trio moved to the small Greek island to hide. Naturally, mom and her entire entourage come looking for them.

The film is not without some problems in the writing and direction. The plot is decidedly not a cliff-hanger, the film is a little long at 140 minutes, and the multiple flashbacks make the narrative structure distracting. But that's all overcome by the characterization, which is consistently engaging. This is a case where a talented ensemble cast made the most of a so-so script. Cassavetes plays the slightly bent dropout effectively, and Raul Julia is wonderful as Kalibanos. Being a modern equivalent of Shakespeare's Caliban, he plays to his goats with a clarinet instead of pipes. Molly, as she did in 16 Candles, nailed the "cute little girl becoming a woman" schtick. (Tempest was her first feature film.) I wish Sarandon had been given more to do, but she looked wonderful and brightened the screen whenever she was on camera.

  •  readers say 6.2, a respectable score for an offbeat comedy. .
  • Rotten Tomatoes gives it 71.
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Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


I am partial to Susan Sarandon, and like Molly in anything before Pretty in Pink, so I was predisposed to like this film, and I did.




* widescreen anamorphic

* no significant features






It was nominated for two Golden Globes for acting (Molly Ringwald and Raul Julia). In addition to those, Susan Sarandon and director Paul Mazursky  won some festival prizes.

71 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)


3.4 IMDB summary (of 10)


Box Office Mojo. It opened in fifth place with $1.6m in 659 theaters, and finished with a gross of $5m. The opening weekend was not among the top 100 of 1982.


  • Susan Sarandon shows her right breast in a downblouse and also appears braless in a soaked t-shirt.