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
This was a gut-wrenching book you could not imagine being filmed. Maria is a fractured character, and the narrative is fractured to reflect her disintegration. Tuesday Weld gives the performance of her career, and Anthony Perkins achieves fully realized despair as BZ with his bottle of Seconal ever at the ready. With the dislocating changes of scene, Maria driving down the highway shooting at road signs, the back-room abortion with a chilling Chuck McCann, this is a hard film to take in at one sitting, as the book demanded more than one reading.
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