'Silver Skies': Film Review

Courtesy of Roar Productions

Underexposed veteran actors play residents of a doomed apartment complex.

A picture espousing the humane treatment of retirees that isn't able to practice what it preaches, Rosemary Rodriguez's Silver Skies offers a half-dozen or so Hollywood vets one more turn in the spotlight only to deliver a vehicle dumber than most of the duds they've endured in their post-stardom years. Hackneyed and unconvincing on almost every front, it is best suited for a daytime-cable slot — where one hopes it won't be inflicted on too many senior-center rec rooms.

George Hamilton may be the dapper figurehead of this ensemble as Phil, a Dean Martin-obsessed guy starting to lose his grip on the present, but fellow thesps like Barbara Bain get plenty of their own screen time in a film with enough subplots for a Love Boat two-fer. Most weave around a central conflict as old as any actor seen here: The apartment complex where all these low-income folks live is being turned into condos, and only those who can raise over a half-million dollars to buy in will be able to stay.

Chockablock with scenes that no halfway-critical viewer will believe, the picture doesn't make up for its dubious action with jokes — unless you count the "eight is enough" groaner delivered in a Dick Van Patten cameo. Some castmembers get dealt a better hand than others in Rodriguez's script — Mariette Hartley and Jack McGee go multiple scenes at a time without you feeling embarrassed for them — but when the director hands out dramatic solo moments in which actors like Hamilton and Valerie Perrine are meant to show they've still got chops, nobody walks away looking good.

A happy ending rolls in around the 80-minute mark, and a merciful film would end there. But Rodriguez invents an unnecessary final complication, keeping viewers who haven't nodded off captive for another quarter-hour.

Production company: Roar Productions

Cast: George Hamilton, Valerie Perrine, Barbara Bain, Mariette Hartley, Jack McGee, Alex Rocco, Jack Betts, Howard Hesseman

Director-Screenwriter: Rosemary Rodriguez

Producers: Enrico Natale, Rosemary Rodriguez

Executive producers: Fred Roos, Arthur Sarkissian, Nestor Rodriguez

Director of photography: Nancy Schreiber

Production designer: Rand Sagers

Editor: Francis Zuccarello

Music: Jim Coleman

Casting director: Beth Holmes

No rating, 96 minutes

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