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Louis Gossett Jr.,
A man wearing an expensive gray suit finds himself in Central Park in New York City not knowing who he is or how he got there. His amnesia even extends to the fact that he doesn't know how he takes his coffee. All he has on his possession are a crumpled piece of paper wrapped around a couple of pills, the paper also with a scribbled telephone number. He is also wearing a ring with a broken stone, the ring engraved from its giver with his or her monogram, G.V. The telephone number takes him to a woman who doesn't know who he is. Based on what she calls him and some item association, he begins to call himself Sam Buddwing if anyone asks him. As he wanders New York City in a daze, he believes he may be an escaped mental patient based on a newspaper story, his clothes and the monogrammed ring. But a vision of a young brunette makes him remember a woman in his life named Grace. He manages to spend time with a few women during the day, many times he believing that woman is Grace herself. ... Written by
In his memoirs "The Garner Files" (2011), James Garner rates this as his worst movie. His comment about it: "I'd summarize the plot, but to this day, I have no clue what it is. Worst picture I ever made. What where they thinking? What was I thinking?" (page 256) See more »
When Buddwing approaches Janet in the city, she sits on a park bench and the boom mic is plainly visible at the bottom of the screen. See more »
The whole feel of this film is great - soundtrack, cinematography, location filming
but ultimately, the storyline reveals its secrets well before the final
scene. The actors attracted me to this film, shown very early in the morning on Turner
Classic Movies. Late night viewing is perfect for a mid-sixties, black-and-white, jazzy sort of feature. For the first thirty minutes, I was quite intrigued by the plot. It reminds me of Gregory Peck's "Mirage," a similar (and superior) amnesia- based movie from the 60s. The location filming is perfect, though I know NYC is never that dead, having taken a walk by the Plaza Hotel at 7 in the morning, on a Sunday.
The actors cannot be at fault, and I'm certain that the original novel is quite interesting. Perhaps this particular amnesia variation just doesn't work on film.
After the first "flashback," involving Katherine Ross, her "real-life" presence simply vanishes, unlike the other two women who later provide Garner's
character with memory enhancers. This must be to initially throw us off track, as viewers. Incorrectly, I assumed Ross's character was a complete fabrication. Then, later in the film, Suzanne and Simmons are indicated to be real, as is
Lansbury's "Gloria." Garner simply uses their presence to reformulate images of his wife. There is also a bit of cheating regarding repetitive dialogue between the three women. The "real" Simmons repeats dialogue of the "imaginary"
Suzanne; this must be pure coincidence, as Garner cannot dictate what an
"actual" person says. (Believe me, this makes sense, if you've seen the film.)
The film is ultimately disappointing. By the half-way mark, I knew what the
outcome would be.
One side note - that scene with the cop in Washington Square is totally dated and ridiculous. And, PLEASE, can we avoid all NYC scenes involving
characters running into a dead-end alley?????? It has become one of the
major clichés of NYC-based films and TV series.
I don't know why this web site messes up my paragraphs and spacing!!?????
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