Lilith is a about a mysterious young woman in an elite sanitarium in Maryland, who seems to weave a magical spell all around her. A restless, but sincere young man with an equally obscure ...
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Eva Marie Saint,
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A bright satirical comedy about an innocent high school girl granted her wishes by a student prodigy. A broad satire of teenage culture in the sixties, its targets ranging from progressive education to beach movies.
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Lilith is a about a mysterious young woman in an elite sanitarium in Maryland, who seems to weave a magical spell all around her. A restless, but sincere young man with an equally obscure past is seemingly drawn into her web. As time passes, their relationship deepens and intensifies, and the differences between them begin to blur, leading to a shocking, but oddly logical conclusion. Written by
Rhea Worrell <email@example.com>
According to Kim Hunter: "The tensions on the set contributed to his (Rossen's) death. I don't think I want to talk about it. Since then, Warren has grown so; at that time, he wasn't ready to be a star. He knew it and was scared! In rehearsal, he'd be great. The closer he got to the camera, the more he'd retreat. He'd cut half his lines, which made Warren interesting and the rest of us talky as hell! He gave Jean no help whatsoever. She was damn good in a demanding role. At the wrap party, a group of people threw Warren into a stream". See more »
When Stephen is clinging to the rocks his eyeglasses disappear then reappear. See more »
How wonderful I feel when I'm happy. Do you think that insanity could be so simple a thing as unhappiness?
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Jean Seberg was a woefully inadequate actress in almost every role in which she was cast but she seemed born to play Lilith, the unstable, deeply amoral 'heroine' of Robert Rossen's last film. It's an extraordinary performance and it's extraordinary because it doesn't appear to have anything to do with 'acting'; it just seems to exist. The theme of the film is madness, not 'mental illness' but madness in the truly Shakespearean sense of the word, and everything about the film is heightened, a little unreal. Eugen Schufftan photographs the film in a hazy monochrome with the emphasis on white. We peer at the characters through shafts of sunlight, (and there is a lot of water on view, too).
And Seberg isn't the only extraordinary performance. There is excellent work, too, from Warren Beatty as the young nurse drawn into Lilith's web, Kim Hunter as the woman who runs the institution where Lilith is housed and Peter Fonda, (the best of his early performances) as another patient obsessed with Lilith. Indeed the whole cast, (which includes a brilliant, early cameo from Gene Hackman), is working at the top of their form.
The film is an adaptation of a J R Salamanca novel but Rossen renders it in wholly visual terms. He uses his camera the way an artist uses his canvas to convey the inner lives of his characters. It isn't a total success. There are times when it dissolves into hysteria and the symbolism tends to get a bit top-heavy, but it is still a fearless, totally uncommercial movie, possibly it's director's best, and a key American movie of the sixties.
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