Samson Shillitoe, a frustrated poet and a magnet for women, is behind in his alimony payments, and lives with Rhoda, a waitress who stands by him through all his troubles. Samson becomes belligerent when he cannot find the inspiration to finish his big poem so Rhoda tries to get him to see the psychiatrist Dr. West, who claims to be able to cure writer's block. Samson ends up being pursued by various women while trying to evade the subpoena servers and finish his poem. Written by
This nicely done adaptation of Eliot Baker's comedic novel (screenplay by the author himself) displays Sean Connery at his versatile finest. In the midst of his "Bond" persona (two years after "Goldfinger") Connery gives a brilliant, anti-typical performance as Samson, a poet to whom art is everything, and the polite fictions and civilities of society nothing. As a man, he is rude, crude, sexist and insensitive to the feelings of everyone, including himself. He is a monster in the mode of Gully Jimson [ "A Horse's Mouth" (1958)] or the real-life Dylan Thomas. A genius whose talent is little recognized, the poet reacts violently to the humdrum restraints of a culture that considers genius anti-social. That underlying tension, and his penchant for enjoying every attractive woman who happens to be in the vicinity, get him classified as a psychotic and put on the fast-track schedule for a pre-frontal lobotomy. Connery's talent and charm save this very funny movie from the somewhat offensive obnoxiousness of its hero, and clinch its optimistic argument about the ultimate triumph of artistic greatness. Also, don't miss the lovely performance by Coleen Dewhurst as a psychiatrist-seductress.
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