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The Landlord (1970)

 -  Comedy | Drama  -  20 May 1970 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.0/10 from 1,226 users  
Reviews: 25 user | 30 critic

At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »



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Title: The Landlord (1970)

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Mrs. Enders
Diana Sands ...
Walter Brooke ...
Mr. Enders
Copee (as Lou Gossett)
Mel Stewart ...
Professor Duboise (as Melvin Stewart)
Susan Anspach ...
Susan Enders
Peter (as Bob Klein)
Will Mackenzie ...
William Jr.
Gretchen Walther ...
Douglas Grant ...
Walter Gee
Stanley Greene ...
Oliver Clark ...
Mr. Farcus


At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his intention is to evict the black tenants and convert it into a posh flat. But Elgar is not one to be bound by yesterday's urges, and soon he has other thoughts on his mind. He's grown fond of the black tenants and particularly of Fanny, the wife of a black radical; he's maybe fallen in love with Lanie, a mulatto girl; he's lost interest in redecorating his home. Joyce, his mother has not relinquished this interest and in one of the film's most hilarious sequences gives her Master Charge card to Marge, a black tenant and appoints her decorator. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

tenant | landlord | mulatto | plans | love | See more »


Watch the landlord get his.


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

20 May 1970 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

The Landlord  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Hal Ashby:  bearded hippie/groom in opening shot. See more »


Elgar Winthrop Julius Enders: You know what NAACP means, don't you?
Joyce Enders: You tell me what it means.
Elgar Winthrop Julius Enders: It means "Niggers Ain't Always Colored People"!
William Enders Sr.: What did he mean by that?
Joyce Enders: He just called us niggers.
See more »


References Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (1967) See more »


God Bless the Children
Lyrics and Music by Jimmy Holiday
Sung by The Staple Singers
See more »

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User Reviews

12 November 2001 | by (Pennsylvania) – See all my reviews

I was pleasantly surprised with the complexity of "The Landlord". It was brilliantly directed. The cutting between different scenes was effortless and added depth to the storyline. There was plenty of symbolism, which is one of the things I always look for and enjoy in a film. For instance, when Elgar (Bridges) and his father are having an argument in the bathroom during a costume party, there is a quick cutaway to another man in the bathroom who has on a gun holster, which I thought was symbolic of the 'shootout' that was going on between Elgar and his father. In addition, the Enders family is constantly seen wearing white, and their home is decorated in white.

I thought the acting was top notch. Beau Bridges was very convincing as a naive, sheltered man learning to appreciate and embrace a different culture. But the movie is so much deeper than that... It dealt with people trying to break free from stereotypes, people struggling to be proud of who they are and be accepted for who they are, and some people not even knowing who they are, trying to find their niche.

I love the scene at the party that was supposedly in honor of Elgar, where more than one person tells him what it feels like to go from being an outcast to being the envy of everyone. If I remember correctly, they likened it to you having a mole in the middle of your forehead, and people are basically disgusted by it. But, then one day, that becomes the thing to have, and people begin to draw moles on their faces, but you have a real mole right there on your forehead, prominent for everyone to see, and suddenly you are "it", and your self esteem is taken to new heights. It seems like everything would be fine for you now, but I also interpreted that speech as saying that, at the time, blacks felt like they were a fad that might eventually fade out. I thought the words were very powerful, as well as the way the scene was carried out.

I don't think a film such as this could be pulled off properly now, because there is the constant threat of backlash if things aren't completely "PC", not to mention the fact that things are so different now. I think this film was made at the right time, but it still rings true 31 years later. And, thank goodness for the satisfying and realistic ending.

18 of 22 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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