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Images (1972)

7.2
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Ratings: 7.2/10 from 2,336 users  
Reviews: 40 user | 27 critic

Schizophrenic housewife, engulfed by terrorizing apparitions, kills off each, unknowing if these demons are merely figments of her hallucinatory imagination or part of reality.

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Title: Images (1972)

Images (1972) on IMDb 7.2/10

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Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 2 wins & 4 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
Hugh
Marcel Bozzuffi ...
Rene
Hugh Millais ...
Marcel
Cathryn Harrison ...
Susannah
John Morley ...
Old Man
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Storyline

Like Polanski's heroine in Repulsion, Susannah York's character is one that is seemingly haunted by memories of undisclosed magnitude. These memories are perhaps rooted in some sort of past sexual turmoil that causes York's character to see men as inherently the same. Written by Ed <repulsion2000@yahoo.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A motion picture of the extra senses.

Genres:

Drama | Fantasy | Horror

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

18 December 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Sombra do Duplo Amante  »

Box Office

Budget:

$807,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Susannah York first read the script whilst holidaying in Greece. See more »

Connections

Featured in Z Channel: A Magnificent Obsession (2004) See more »

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User Reviews

 
An Awkward Attempt By Altman to Tackle the Psychological Thriller
23 April 2007 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Altman applies the same widescreen canvas he had previously used to capture the chaotic communities of a Korean War MASH unit and a primitive Pacific Northwest mining town to the quieter but no less chaotic internal workings of a troubled woman's psyche in this unsettling and uneven psychological thriller.

Susannah York plays Cathryn, wife of a distracted husband (Rene Auberjonois), whose affairs with two men (one a family friend) and her inability to have children become obsessive memories that haunt her and drive her over the brink of insanity during a stay at a quiet country home (the country is never identified, though the movie was filmed in Ireland). She begins the film as a wounded and hunted animal, jumping at every sound and image she hears or sees. One of her past lovers appears as a ghost, the other arrives at the country home with his daughter and gropes Cathryn when her husband's back is turned. The two lovers are vaguely threatening and abusive; her husband is dismissive and treats her like a child. Cathryn realizes that she can take control and kill off her unpleasant memories -- but at the same time she loses the ability to distinguish between reality and her own feverish imaginings.

On a first viewing, "Images" is absorbing and oddly fascinating, but it doesn't hold up well. For one, Cathryn isn't a compelling character, and that dooms the project from the start, since there's barely a scene in the film that doesn't revolve around her. She begins the film unhinged and really has nowhere to go from there except more unhinged. We don't learn much about her, and her illness isn't placed in any context. Susannah York delivers a shrill performance, all screeches and irrational outbursts; the male characters all come across as asses. Altman seems to be trying his hand at a feminist text, but he goes about it in the clichéd way that male artists too often address "female" issues. I think he's making some point about the way movies objectify women, turning them into "images" for the consumption of male viewers. After all, Cathryn is little more than something for the men in the film to enjoy, and cameras figure prominently in the film's mise-en-scene (Cathryn's husband is an amateur photographer). At one point, she fires one of her husband's guns (that universal symbol of male sexual power) at the ghost of her dead lover, and finds that she has instead destroyed her husband's camera. Nice try Altman, but awfully heavy handed if you ask me.

I'm a champion of Robert Altman's films, and he's never failed to fascinate me with any of his experiments, but such is the nature of experimenting that some are going to succeed more than others. "Images" came on the heels of a marvelous trio of films ("MASH," "Brewster McCloud" and "McCabe & Mrs. Miller") with which Altman announced his arrival as an important figure in American cinema, and he would follow it with four more ("The Long Goodbye," "Thieves Like Us," "California Split" and "Nashville") that would reinforce that claim, but "Images" itself is a weak link in the chain.

The stars of "Images" are the mesmerizing production design and the sterling cinematography by Vilmos Zsigmond.

Grade: B


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