12:01 PM is a 1990 short film (27 minutes) directed by Jonathan Heap.
Myron Castleman (Kurtwood Smith) is a businessman, who is in an obviously agitated mood as he walks into a park on his lunch break. He sits on a bench next to an artist named Dolores. Moved by her sympathetic manner, Myron tells Dolores the horrible truth: the world is stuck in a time loop. At 1 p.m. every day, the whole universe resets back to 12:01 and repeats the last hour. No one in the world realizes this, except for poor Myron, whose consciousness is independent of the time loop and who is fully aware of what is happening, even as he resets along with everyone else.
Adapted from a 1973 short story by Richard Lupoff. Much more loosely adapted into a 1993 TV movie also called 12:01 PM—which also happened to be the year that Groundhog Day made this story conceit famous.
- Creator Cameo: Richard Lupoff is an extra.
- Downer Ending: There is no escape for Myron, not even death. No matter what, he will repeat the same hour forever.
- Driven to Suicide: After Prof. Rosenbluth tells him that there is no hope of escape, that the time loop will repeat forever, a despairing Myron shoots himself. And even that doesn't work.
- A God Am I: A hysterical Myron pronounces himself "GOD!!!" after realizing that he is the only one who can make change in a universe that otherwise is caught in an identical one-hour loop.
- "Groundhog Day" Loop: Myron is stuck in a particularly unpleasant one. He starts his hour in a traffic island in the middle of the street, hungry for lunch. And because it's only an hour, he can't even go very far or do very much before he resets. Heap and Lupoff thought the makers of Groundhog Day ripped them off, but the trope actually dates at least as far back as a 1945 British film called Dead of Night.
- Precision F-Strike: When the stress really starts getting to Myron he lashes out at his annoying secretary, saying "Why don't you just shut up you stuck up little bitch?"
- Ripple-Effect-Proof Memory: Although Myron wishes his weren't. Rosenbluth later explains that consciousness is an "independent variable" that might not be subject to the loop.
- Time Title: Its "Groundhog Day" Loop starts at the titular time.
- Trust Password: Prof. Rosenbluth is in the process of dismissing Myron as a loon when Myron repeats back the line about consciousness being an "independent variable". The professor, who never told anyone that, realizes that Myron is telling the truth.
- Who Wants to Live Forever?: "I don't want to live forever. Not like this." So says a desperate Myron to Professor Rosenbluth.
- Worst News Judgment Ever: Well, sure, Professor Rosenbluth turned out to be right about the time loop. But that still doesn't explain why a newspaper ran with a headline about his prediction.