6.7/10
333
21 user 11 critic

Play It As It Lays (1972)

A Hollywood actress undergoes a psychic breakdown and recalls the traumatic events which led to her stay at a sanitarium.

Director:

Writers:

(novel), (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Reviews
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Helene
...
Ruth Ford ...
Carlotta
Eddie Firestone ...
Benny Austin
...
Susannah
Paul Lambert ...
Larry Kulik
...
Abortionist
...
Abortionist's Assistant
Severn Darden ...
Hypnotist
...
Johnny Waters
...
Les Goodwin
Elizabeth Claman ...
The Chickie
Mitzi Hoag ...
Patsy
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Storyline

Maria Wyeth, an ex-model and B-movie actress, strolls on the grounds of a mental hospital, recalling the traumatic events which led to her breakdown. She is married to an unfaithful, self-engrossed director, Carter Lane. Neglected by her husband, Maria is engaged in a series of one-night stands and becomes pregnant. Her husband divorces her, and she has an illegal abortion. Maria's only friend is B.Z., a homosexual movie producer. World weary, he tells Maria that he has discovered the meaning of life is nothing. He invites her to commit suicide with him. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Maria's life was a search for the ultimate answer even after she found there was none.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Play It as It Lays  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Peckinpah was to have worked with Joan Didion on this screen adaptation of her novel but this plan did not materialize. See more »

Quotes

Maria Wyeth Lang: ...existentially, I'm getting a hamburger.
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Super 8½ (1994) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Engulfing
16 March 2001 | by (California) – See all my reviews

This film, as the previous reviewers have said, is a real gem, namely for two reasons. First off, it is basically a character study of an individual who has been consumed by the lifestyle which she has adopted for herself. In the part of this tortured person, Tuesday Weld gives an exceptional performance. Her body language and facial expressions all convey the feeling of a person lost in this world that she has come to loathe. Anthony Perkins is also excellent in his role of B.Z. and he, and Weld counteract with each other beautifully.

The other main reason why this film is so intriguing, is the way it is edited and pieced together. The viewer basically goes from one scene to the next without any serious concern for continuity. Because of this fractured, choppy approach to the storytelling, some really impressive sequences are pulled off simply, yet effectively. There is one particularly impressive sequence involving Weld's character driving down a freeway, while a camera above pulls back to show the twisted, snake-like formation of the southern California freeway system. There is also the final scene, with it's haunting final message, which is certain to linger in one's mind days after seeing the film. Indeed, a very unique and special piece.


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