Seven mini-stories of adultery: "Funeral Possession," a wayward widow at her husband's funeral; "Amateur Night," angry wife becomes streetwalker out of revenge; "Two Against One," seemingly... See full summary »
Vittorio De Sica
To prove that he still is strong and powerful, Philippe Douvier decides to kill Clouseau. Once news of his "death" has been announced, Clouseau tries to take advantage of it and goes undercover with Cato to find out who tried to kill him.
Movie company wants to shoot a science-fiction film using an Army barracks as location, and its soldiers as actors. Of course, the Commander doesn't like it a bit, and persuades the crew to use a nearby haunted house instead.
As someone who usually does not like movies soliciting compassion for alcoholics or drug addicts I was surprised how much I liked A Day at the Beach. The title's promise is fulfilled in the best way possible. A young, intelligent alcoholic takes his little niece to a small seaport for a day. The man is most of the time looking for booze or ingesting it, occasionally rendering verbal outbursts which often sound very lucid. The girl is left to her own devices most of the time but fiercely loyal to her uncle.
From the technical side the movie is virtually faultless. Foreground and background are always in very sharp focus, except for two brief episodes with POV shots of the very drunk main character. The drabness of the place (it is always raining or overcast) is occasionally contrasted by bright, vivid colors. It looks all very controlled and there can be no doubt that a true master is behind this picture. The cast is brilliant down to every secondary character. I found Peter Seller's contribution as a fairy unnecessary and superfluous, though.
I watched the DVD release from Odeon Entertainment. There is an informative booklet about the movie, but Roman Polanski's involvement in the actual shooting is not clear. According to the booklet Polanski left the film while the final editing was in progress. Doesn't this mean that the effectively directed the movie? I would not be surprised if this were the case, in my opinion it very much looks like a Polanski movie. Its stunning how timeless his work is!
A Day at the Beach would never have attracted a mass audience, and from the look of it (and the choice of actors) it probably was never meant to be a blockbuster. But everybody who can stand this difficult and rather depressing subject matter (men preferring drugs to other humans) this is a rewarding and aesthetically satisfying movie. It's great that they made it available on DVD.
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