- ANAMORPHIC WIDESCREEN
- Rated: R
- Run Time: 1 hours, 47 minutes
- Video: Color
- Released: February 19, 2013
- Originally Released: 1969
- Label: Olive Films
- Encoding: Region 1 (USA & Canada)
- Aspect Ratio: Widescreen
Performers, Cast and Crew:
A lonely woman (the late Sandy Dennis) entices a young man (Michael Burns) into her home in a seeming act of kindness. Soon, her compassion for him becomes a dangerous compulsion and she decides to keep him as her possession. As he fights to keep her fantasy from becoming his reality, the situation becomes a deadly nightmare of obsession in this chilling, early Robert Altman film.
Robert Altman's first major film as a director--discounting 1968's COUNTDOWN, in which he was fired for overlapping characters' dialogue--is a disturbing study of one woman's loneliness and eventual descent into insanity. The film, set in Vancouver, follows Frances Austen (the late Sandy Dennis), who spends her days mixing with the older friends and relatives of her deceased mother. At a dinner party one afternoon, she notices through her window a boy sitting in the park on his own for hours. When her guests leave and it begins to rain, she offers the boy refuge in her apartment. The boy (Michael Burns) appears to be a mute, and Frances, grateful for his company, continues to take care of him. It turns but that he's actually a free spirit who is simply going along for the ride. Gradually, however, Frances's fear of losing him drives her to desperate behavior, and the depths of her infatuation finally erupt. Many of Altman's trademark stylistic devices are introduced in this dark, moody thriller, which stands as the debut of one of Hollywood's most original artists.
Essential Cinema |
Mental Illness |
Theatrical Release |
- The film was shown out of competition at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival, and was released theatrically in New York City on June 8, 1969.
- Originally scheduled to be shot in London, the filmmakers instead used Vancouver for budgetary reasons.
- "Old people disgust me with their feelings sometimes."--Frances Austen (Sandy Dennis)