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The Big Cube (1969)

PG | | Thriller, Drama | 30 April 1969 (USA)
A former actress clashes with her wealthy and spoiled stepdaughter over their inheritance after the death of their protector.



(screenplay), (story) | 1 more credit »

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Complete credited cast:
Adriana Roman
Johnny Allen
Frederick Lansdale
Charles Winthrop (as Daniel O'Herlihy)
Karin Mossberg ...
Lisa Winthrop
Pamela Rodgers ...
Carlos East ...
Augusto Benedico ...
Dr. Lorenz
Víctor Junco ...
Delacroix (as Victor Junco)
Norma Herrera ...
Pedro Galván ...
University Dean (as Pedro Galvan)
The Finks ...
(as The Finks)
Regina Torné ...
Queen Bee (as Regina Torne)


Renowned stage actress Adriana Roman, the muse of playwright Frederick Lansdale, is retiring to marry tycoon, Charles Winthrop. The marriage does not sit well with Charles' daughter, Lisa Winthrop, who dislikes her new stepmother if only because she is the other woman for her father's affections. However, on her father's urging, Lisa tries to get to know Adriana, to who she slowly warms. Meanwhile, Lisa attracts the attention of Johnny Allen, a womanizing, fortune hunting medical student who uses the school lab to produce and sell acid among the hip, mod crowd he hangs around. He romances naive Lisa who falls under his spell. After an incident with Charles, Johnny, sensing an opportunity to abscond with at least some of the Winthrop fortune by using Lisa's mistrust of Adriana, manipulates Lisa into trying to make Adriana go crazy, in large part through the lacing of her sedatives with acid. Adriana begins to hallucinate that Lisa and Johnny are trying to kill her, which is what they ... Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Such nice kids. They wouldn't hurt a fly. Only people... people... people... people... See more »


Thriller | Drama


PG | See all certifications »





Release Date:

30 April 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

El Terrón de azúcar  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


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Did You Know?


Psychedelic signs at Lisa and Johnny's wedding said: Lisa and Johnny did Their Thing; Johnny is Lisa's Old Man. See more »


Johnny Allen: Hey - you're too much.
Lisa Winthrop: Too much what?
Johnny's Friend: Is this bird for real?
See more »


References Diane (1956) See more »


Lean on Me
Music by Val Johns
Lyrics by Howard Finkelstein
See more »

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User Reviews

You need to have survived the '60s and Lana Turner to survive this movie
10 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Lana Turner on an acid trip - a bizarre thought, but this low-budget Mexican production, "The Big Cube," is about just that - you know, "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds," the "Sugar Shack" - LSD. And what a bizarre trip it is for all involved.

Turner plays a great theater star, Adriana Roman, who retires to marry Charles Winthrop (Dan O'Herlihy) and comes up against his angry daughter Lisa (Karin Mossberg). No one explains why O'Herlihy's daughter has some sort of foreign accent. Everyone else is American. Anyway, Lisa falls for a sleaze drug dealer and soon to be ex-medical student (George Chakiris) who is after her money. When O'Herlihy dies in a boating accident, the Chakiris character hints to Lisa that they can hurry along the inheritance by - and this is really not clear - either driving Adriana nuts with LSD or using it to kill her. It falls to the playwright with whom Adriana has worked (Richard Egan) to rescue her from the clutches of these two connivers.

The plot is beyond muddled. One day Lisa hates her stepmother, and then the next day they're best buddies. One day Adriana has an acid trip while in a car, and Lisa and her boyfriend take her to a cliff, presumably to throw her over, and Adriana gets away from them and doesn't die. The next day, Adriana goes on another acid trip and tries to throw herself out a window, and Lisa saves her. Why did she save her when she tried to kill her the day before? It's a mess.

The movie is filled with psychedelic parties and horrible acting, particularly from Mossberg, Pamela Rodgers, Lisa's friend, and Carlos East, who plays an overly made-up artist named Lalo.

Turner, approaching 50, does her "Portrait in Black," "Imitation of Life" acting number wearing some horrific wigs. With a simple upswept hairdo, those enormous blue eyes, and petite figure, she's quite beautiful and glamorous, though dressed like she's supposed to be 18; with her hair down, she's a way over the hill ingénue; and with those gargoyle wigs, she looks just plain awful. Her closeups are shot through linoleum. I hate that older beautiful classic film stars had so few alternatives that they turned to these trash movies, but many did.

Campy though not on the camp level of a "Valley of the Dolls" or another Lana Turner film, "Portrait in Black" but some might find it fun. It was fun, but also a little sad for those who enjoyed Lana in "Slightly Dangerous," "Green Dolphin Street," and the Ross Hunter glossy melodramas of the '50s.

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