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A Day at the Beach (1972)

 |  Comedy, Drama  |  May 1970 (UK)
6.8
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Ratings: 6.8/10 from 136 users  
Reviews: 9 user | 12 critic

Bernie, a self-destructive alcoholic, is given watch over his niece Winnie. He tests the patience of the various people he knows and Winnie is often left on her own.

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Cast

Credited cast:
Mark Burns ...
Bernie
...
Winnie (as Beatrice Edney)
Fiona Lewis ...
Melissa
...
Nicholas
...
The Collector
Joanna Dunham ...
Tonie
...
The Salesman (as A. Queen)
Graham Stark ...
Pipi
Eva Dahlbeck ...
Cafe Proprietress
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Lily Bacberg ...
Barmaid
Benny Bundgaard ...
Delivery Man
Lise Dietrich ...
Louis' Girlfriend
June Eelli ...
Gypsy Woman
Grith Fjeldmose ...
Passer-by
John Franklyn ...
Shopkeeper (as John Franklin)
Edit

Storyline

Bernie, a self-destructive alcoholic, is given watch over his niece Winnie. He tests the patience of the various people he knows and Winnie is often left on her own.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

May 1970 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Egy nap a tengerparton  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Peter Sellers is credited as "A. Queen" See more »

Connections

Featured in The Unknown Peter Sellers (2000) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well made but so obscure and unpleasant, there is no way the average person would care for this down-beat film.
24 May 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This film, as you'll read on IMDb, was misplaced for many years and was only recently discovered. It is perhaps because it was rather unceremoniously released on DVD that would account for no closed captioning or DVD captions--a problem if you are hearing impaired. And, in addition, there are no special features--just a reasonably high quality print of the movie.

As for the film, it's only the sort of movie a film snob would enjoy. People who go into raptures when they hear the word 'Polanski' will no doubt watch this film, whereas those who don't recognize him or only think of him as a dirty old man will likely never see this unimposing piece in the first place. Plus, it isn't exactly a pleasant film and is the sort of thing few non-devotees would chose in the first place. It takes a very unusual person to seek out this film. I picked it only because it featured a strange cameo by Peter Sellers as a very flamboyant gay man--and I'd watch anything with Sellers in it (though I must admit that his films vary tremendously in quality--particularly late in his career).

"A Day at the Beach" is a rather grim and simple tale of an incredibly irresponsible jerk who takes his niece for a day. While this little girl idolizes him, he's obviously an alcoholic, deals with underworld types, is a habitual liar and has few, if any, qualities you can admire. He seems like a great portrait of a sociopath--a very unambitious and weasel-like sociopath. And, oddly, unlike a normal film, there doesn't appear to be much of a plot--just a rambling series of events and encounters on a rainy day by the sea. The uncle loses the girl repeatedly, cheats many people, drinks a lot and only seems to sporadically care about his young charge. In his own weird way, he does care--but he's very, very, very limited in this and every other respect.

Overall, the film is well acted and well made...but also thoroughly unpleasant and difficult to enjoy. While not as unpleasant as films like "Leaving Las Vegas" or "Faces of Death", it is hard to watch and is rewarding only to a small and very select audience. As for me, I just wanted to see more Peter Sellers and just wanted the film to end after a while--it was like watching a very slow-motion train wreck.

By the way, regardless of what you'll think of the thing, you have to admire the perseverance of the actors on such a grueling shoot. Every second of it is wet, wet, wet! It's pretty sad, then, that this piece sat on the shelves for so long--Mark Burns and Beatie Edney, among others, went through hell for this movie and they must have had to have fought illness and mold as a result of the almost constant wetness they endured. And actually, while I think about it, I am surprised that anyone would allow or subject a young child to such shooting conditions.

By the way, I was really confused as all the main actors seemed to be Brits but it was obviously filmed in Scandinavia. It is a bit odd.


2 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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