Joan Fisk, daughter of the American ambassador to France, is bored with entertaining the wives of visiting V.I.P.s and decides to conduct an experiment. She accepts a date with an American ... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
As Aunt Alice, Ruth Gordon applies for the job of housekeeper in the Tucson, Arizona home of widow Claire Marrable in order to find out what happened to a missing widowed friend, Edna ... See full summary »
Ana, the Princess of Eboli, wears a black patch over her right eye, where she was blinded as a youth when fighting a duel in defense of her king, the despotic Philip. Thereafter she and the... See full summary »
Olivia de Havilland,
The lady is Mrs. Hilyard, a wealthy poetess who lives in a three-story city mansion and her cage is her elevator, which stops a dozen feet short of the main floor due to an electrical failure on a July 4th weekend. She rings her outside alarm, eventually noticed by a drunken derelict, who breaks into the house, ignores her plight and helps himself to various items and alcohol. He leaves with his loot but returns a while later with a plump prostitute and three teenage hoodlums, who proceed to terrorize Mrs. Hilyard as they wreck her home. Written by
First of two pictures in a row in which Olivia De Havilland stepped into a role originally announced for Joan Crawford; the following year, she replaced Crawford in Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte. See more »
The battery for the alarm is shown as it runs down; but later in the movie the battery works like new. See more »
Olivia de Havilland is a "Lady in a Cage" in this 1964 film also starring Ann Sothern, James Caan (in his debut), Jennifer Billingsley, Rafael Campos, and Scatman Crothers. de Havilland is an elegant, wealthy poetess who is recovering from a broken hip and is dependent on an elevator in the house - one of those European types that looks like a birdcage. After her son Malcolm has left for the weekend, an accident outside knocks out the power as she is going upstairs in the elevator. Though she hits an outside alarm, no one who can help hears it. The only ones that hear it? Any thief within a 5-mile radius. A homeless alcoholic (Jeff Corey) is first on the scene; he steals a toaster and alerts a cheap hustler, Sade (Ann Sothern, who resembles Suzanne Pleshette in this film). However, they're no match for the next bunch, played by James Caan, Jennifer Billingsley, and Rafael Campos, who seem like early Mansonites and decide everything is theirs. (Later a third group shows up, and they're the toughest yet.) All the while, the lady of the house sits in the elevator, powerless to do anything about the destruction around her.
This is a harrowing movie, very '60s in its music and the messages are familiar: the urban jungle, druggies, man's inhumanity to man, people not stopping to help, putting themselves and their own agendas first. The de Havilland character is driven to drastic measures - the movie will glue you to your TV set.
The beautiful de Havilland is excellent - as she always is - as the trapped woman who not only has to deal with enemies at the gate but the fact that one of the crooks finds an accusatory note from her son which ends with a suicide threat - and she has no idea there was a problem. "He sounds gay," one of them (Campos) says. James Caan is appropriately frightening, and so hairy it looks as if hair was taped onto his body. Jennifer Billingsley is good as his whacked out, drug-laden girlfriend. Sothern's story has a big continuity hole; it's never resolved. It's always a treat to see her in anything, and she plays this down and out loser very well.
Without de Havilland, this would have been a fairly lousy movie; with her, I think it's a cut above the horror films of other aging, classic film actresses like Crawford and Davis. If there is one thing de Havilland can always bring to a role besides great acting - and I write in the present tense because she's still alive - it's refinement, beauty, and class. Let's hope there's still a role she will agree to play.
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