Cinema: Where Were You When The Lights Went Out?

In eight states and parts of Canada, on the evening of Nov. 9, 1965, lights started to flicker and fade. The Big Blackout had begun. Before the Northeast groped its way back to normalcy, more than 4,000,000 man-hours of productivity were lost. The total is incomplete; it cannot be fully tabulated until Where Were You When the Lights Went Out? ends its run. Figure 1½ wasted man-hours per viewing.

Like the actual event on which it is tenuously based, the picture begins brightly. A company treasurer (Robert Morse) is in the process of absconding to Brazil with the company funds when the...

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