The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (... See full summary »
The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (Bridges) vast riches if he'll help him escape. Written by
Steve Crook <email@example.com>
According to Melvyn Bragg's biography of Richard Burton, Robert Redford was considered for the part of Billy Breedlove. Burton watched some movies in which Robert Redford starred and came to the conclusion that Redford, then in his early thirties, hadn't become a star because he lacked a certain panache or charisma. Burton didn't want Reford for the film and was glad when the part instead was offered to, and accepted by, Beau Bridges. Of course, within a year of the release of "Hammersmith is Out," Redford was a superstar, the #1 box office attraction in the America (a mantle he would wear another two times in the Seventies), and would soon cop an Academy Award nomination for the blockbuster hit "The Sting." See more »
[taking Hammersmith back to the asylum]
It's the end of a chapter, Hammersmith; time to turn the page.
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By the time Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton made this film in 1972, they were the most famous stars in the world as well as the richest. In short, they could do anything they wanted and at this point in their career they did one odd thing after another and this film may well be the oddest. There may be a parallel for it, but I cannot think of any. As the film progressed I kept thinking how odd the story was and also how original. I cannot think of a single film before it that comes as close to how original this film is. I can certainly understand why Taylor and Burton decided to do it. It simply was unlike anything they had ever done before. Telling the story in a review is pointless because it is virtually impossible to actually tell it, there are so many twists and turns and I think this is the one thing that is compelling about the film is the fact you just do not know what happens next and when it does happen you are always surprised. And it definitely keeps you at the edge of your seat but at the same time it is also very funny so I think it can at least be called a black comedy.
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