12:01 is a 1993 science fiction television film directed by Jack Sholder, and starring Helen Slater, Jonathan Silverman, Jeremy Piven, and Martin Landau. It originally aired on the Fox Network in the United States.
It is an adaptation of Richard Lupoff's short story "12:01 PM," published in the December 1973, issue of The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. The story had previously been adapted into the 1990 short film 12:01 PM starring Kurtwood Smith.
Barry Thomas is bored with his job and moons over high-profile scientist Lisa Fredericks, who is working on an particle accelerator that accelerates faster than the speed of light that is about to be shut down over the risks regarding it.
On the way home, Barry sees Lisa fatally shot and takes it very hard. While at home at midnight, he receives a strong electrical shock. The next morning the events of the previous day are repeating themselves and Barry is the only one who realizes that the world is stuck in a time loop. During several repetitions, Barry figures out how to save Lisa and get closer to her. His actions also get him fired and arrested for knowing too much about events. Barry and Lisa eventually learn that her boss, Dr. Thadius Moxley, has been conducting illegal and unethical experiments with the faster-than-light particle accelerator in the hopes of harvesting its extreme cheap energy with the intention of earning a lot of money with it. These experiments caused the time loop. In fact, it was Lisa's partial knowledge of Dr. Moxley's illegal activities that resulted in her murder by his henchmen. After getting involved with an undercover government agent, they must stop her boss from starting his experiment at the end of a loop or the world will be trapped forever repeating the same day.
Expanding on the original's premise of a one-hour time loop, this version saw the main character reliving the same 24-hour period, which would restart at one minute past midnight (rather than midday as in the other versions). It also contains a pseudo-happy ending, as the protagonist ultimately finds a way to correct the time loop over the course of the film’s 92-minute running time.Jonathan Silverman as Barry Thomas
Helen Slater as Lisa Fredericks
Jeremy Piven as Howard Richter
Nicolas Surovy as Dr. Robert Denk
Martin Landau as Dr. Thadius Moxley
Danny Trejo as Prisoner
The movie was released on DVD in the United States on November 28, 2006.
The film Groundhog Day, which has a similar time loop premise, was also released in 1993. The writers and producers of 12:01 believed their work was stolen by Groundhog Day.
According to Richard Lupoff:
A brilliant young filmmaker named Jonathan Heap made a superb 30-minute version of my short story "12:01 PM". It was an Oscar nominee in 1990, and was later adapted (very loosely) into a two-hour Fox movie called 12:01
. The story was also adapted—actually plagiarized—into a major theatrical film in 1993. Jonathan Heap and I were outraged and tried very hard to go after the rascals who had robbed us, but alas, the Hollywood establishment closed ranks. We were no Art Buchwald. After half a year of lawyers' conferences and emotional stress, we agreed to put the matter behind us and get on with our lives.