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That Cold Day in the Park (1969)

R | | Drama | 8 June 1969 (USA)
A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a boy from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there.

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Writers:

(screenplay), (novel) (as Richard Miles)
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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Frances Austen
Michael Burns ...
The Boy
Susanne Benton ...
Nina
David Garfield ...
Nick (as John Garfield Jr.)
...
Sylvia
Edward Greenhalgh ...
Dr. Stevenson
Doris Buckinham ...
Mrs. Ebury (as Doris Buckingham)
Frank Wade ...
Mr. Ebury
Alicia Ammon ...
Mrs. Pitt
Rae Brown ...
Mrs. Parnell
Lloyd Berry ...
Mr. Parnell
Linda Sorensen ...
Prostitute
...
The Rounder
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Storyline

Robert Altman's sadly neglected film that, along with his later "Images", fits into the unconventional psycho-thriller mold. A bizarre story with Sandy Dennis as a spinster who takes in a handsome young man (Michael Burns) who is pretending to be mute. She imprisons the boy and supplies his every need, including a prostitute (Luana Anders), whom she goes out and brings home for Burns' pleasure. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman who never experienced a man! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

8 June 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Aquele dia frio no parque  »

Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The original novel takes place in Paris not Vancouver. See more »

Quotes

Frances Austen: I'm not going to get under the covers or anything. I'll just lay on top. I have to tell you something. If you feel that you want to make love to me, it's all right. I want you to make love to me. Please.
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Connections

Featured in No Skin Off My Ass (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Suppressed emotions explode on screen in this early Robert Altman Classic
21 October 2004 | by (brooklyn NY) – See all my reviews

***SPOILERS*** Feeling alone and needing companionship as well as love Frances Austen, Sandy Dennis, keeps all these emotions inside as she goes through life as a popular young single lady who has many high class friends. But for reasons of her own deep insecurity she keeps them at arms length. As for Frances male friends non are anywhere near her age so that she won't have any reason to have any romantic involvement with them.

One early evening as Frances was entertaining some of her friends she spots outside her apartment window a young man, Michael Burns, sitting alone in the cold pouring rain. Feeling that he's homeless and alone after her friends leave Frances goes outside to the park and offers the young man shelter at her place until the rain subsides and even to stay over for the night at a guest bedroom that she has. You can see right away that Frances is more interested in just having the young mans safely out of the cold and rain then she wants to have him as a friend lover or even play-toy all for herself and as the movie progresses you see that you were right.

A really amazing performance by Sandy Dennis that in a way is very much like that of Kathy Bates' Academy Award performance in the movie "Misery" that was made in 1990 some twenty one years later. Frances thinking that the young man was alone and homeless and, later when she meets him, mute sees the perfect person for her to have as a true friend. He's in no way her equal or better then her like the friends that she has, doctors lawyers Indian chiefs, and thus is totally dependent on her. It later turns out that the young man is not the lonely and homeless person that Frances thought that he is. It's when she slowly finds out that he really doesn't need her as well as him manipulating her instead the other way around it sets off something in Frances' mind that turns out to be a compulsion of murderous proportions.

A really weird film by director Robert Altman that goes deep into the depths of loneliness and depression of the human mind. Actress Sandy Dennis is perfect as the Dr. Jekyll and Miss. Hyde personality in her acting as the lonely but at the same time dangerous Frances Austen and it's a pity that not only didn't she get an Academy Award for her role in the film but wasn't even nominated for it.

Like most Robert Altman movies there seems to be a lot of improvisation among the actors in the movie and ad lib dialog especially between the young man's sister Nina, Susanne Benton, and her boyfriend Nick, David Garfield. The only thing in the movie that I found confusing is when we see Frances go to a city clinic to have a full gynecological exam and tells the doctor that she expects to get married very soon. Was her husband to be the young man staying at her apartment? But besides that the movie sticks to the story pretty well and the ending is a real shock to the audience as well as the young man. When he finally, in the end, realizes that Frances is not only a bit off-the-wall but murderously insane as well.


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