Solar Crisis (film)

Solar Crisis is a 1990 Japanese-American science fiction film directed by Richard C. Sarafian (credited as Alan Smithee). The screenplay was written by Joe Gannon and Tedi Sarafian (credited as Crispan Bolt), based on the 1980 novel Crisis 2050 by Takeshi Kawata. The cast features Tim Matheson as Steve Kelso, Charlton Heston as Adm. "Skeet" Kelso, Peter Boyle as Arnold Teague, Annabel Schofield as Alex Noffe, Corin Nemec as Mike Kelso and Jack Palance as Travis. The executive producers were Takeshi Kawata and Takehito Sadamura. FX cinematographer Richard Edlund and veteran sound editor James Nelson were its producers.

Solar Crisis
Solar Crisis FilmPoster.jpeg
Film poster
Directed byRichard C. Sarafian (as Alan Smithee)
Produced byRichard Edlund
James Nelson
Screenplay by
Based onSolar Crisis
by Takeshi Kawata
Music byMaurice Jarre
CinematographyRussell Carpenter
Edited byRichard Trevor
  • Gakken Co. Ltd.
  • Japan America Picture Company
Distributed byTrimark Pictures (US)[1]
Release date
  • 1990 (1990)
Running time
111 minutes
Budget$43 million[1]

Plot summaryEdit

To stop a solar flare from destroying the Earth, Steve Kelso is tasked to drop an artificially intelligent bomb on the Sun from the spaceship Helios. Arnold Teague, who believes the danger to be overstated, attempts to sabotage the mission so he can profit from the panic. Teague's agents on Earth clash with Kelso's father, Admiral "Skeet" Kelso, and his son, Mike.



Solar Crisis began shooting in November 1989 with an announced budget of $30 million. Nippon Steel, one of the investors, announced a Japanese theme park based on the film.[3] Scientist Richard J. Terrile served as a technical advisor for the film. He at first tried to convince the filmmakers to avoid sending a crew to the Sun, calling it unscientific. When it was explained to him that audience would demand such a plot point regardless of scientific accuracy, Terrile said he realized his job was to make impossible situations sound more plausible.[4] TV Guide quoted the final budget as $43 million. The film opened in Japan in 1990. When it underperformed, the producers extensively recut and reshot scenes to secure an American distributor. Sarafian had his name removed from the credits and replaced with the Director's Guild of America alias "Alan Smithee". Sarafian's son, Tedi, who performed rewrites, was credited as "Crispan Bolt".[1]


TV Guide rated it 2/5 stars and wrote, "Enjoy its awesome visuals or scorn its slipshod execution, Solar Crisis amounts to one small step for cinema, one giant leap for Alan Smithee."[1]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b c d "Solar Crisis". TV Guide. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  2. ^ a b "KURAISHISU NIJU-GOJU NEN (1990)". British Film Institute. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  3. ^ Pond, Steve (1989-11-10). "'TALKING' ABOUT BLOCKBUSTERS". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2017-07-13.
  4. ^ Kirby, David A. (2011). Lab Coats in Hollywood: Science, Scientists, and Cinema. MIT Press. pp. 147–149. ISBN 9780262294867.

External linksEdit