A weary premise and a hackeneyed theme are given some wry, offbeat twists in All Night Long. Film has the distinction of being one of the few – if not the only – Barbra Streisand starrers which was not designed as a vehicle for her.
Plot is the same old middle-age-blues song, with Hackman chucking his dreary job, wife and lifestyle in favor of a younger woman and new reputation as a goofy carefree iconoclast. Familiar targets, such as uptight career businessmen, frivolous middle-class society ladies and sterile suburbia are knocked with easy precision.
With just one French feature, Focal Point, behind him, director Jean-Claude Tramont makes a good American debut here. Even though he has lived off-and-on in the US for years, he lends an appealingly different eye to the Southern California lifestyle.
Hackman brings even more to his role than might have been apparent in the script. Playing a clearly subordinate role which she took over from Lisa Eichhorn shortly after lensing began, Streisand is more subdued than usual and effective as such.