6.8/10
416
23 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 »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A housewife with an abusive husband has an affair with a writer.

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Richard Benjamin, Frank Langella, Carrie Snodgress
Crime | Mystery | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A small-town police chief investigating a murder is offered help by a self-described psychic. However, when the chief discovers that the "psychic" is in possession of information known only... See full summary »

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Cliff Robertson, Joel Grey, Dorothy Tristan
Last Summer (1969)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

During summer vacation on Fire Island, three young people--a girl and two guys--become so close that they form a sort-of threesome. When an uncool girl tries to infiltrate the trio's newly ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Barbara Hershey, Richard Thomas, Bruce Davison
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The emotional story of a young man in a mental institution for teens who begins to understand his psychosis in the environment of others with mental and emotional problems. He finds ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Keir Dullea, Janet Margolin, Howard Da Silva
Pretty Poison (1968)
Comedy | Crime | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

When a mentally disturbed young man tells a pretty girl that he's a secret agent, she believes him, and murder and mayhem ensue.

Director: Noel Black
Stars: Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld, Beverly Garland
The Swimmer (1968)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

A man spends a summer day swimming as many pools as he can all over a quiet suburban town.

Directors: Frank Perry, Sydney Pollack
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Janet Landgard, Janice Rule
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Staff and students at a rural school react to a warning of an imminent nuclear attack, not knowing whether it is real or a mistake.

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Jane Connell, William Daniels, James Frawley
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Lou Andreas Sand, a once famous model, recalls her past as she tries to make success in the modeling world of New York, her stressfull workdays, her affair with Mark, an advertising ... See full summary »

Director: Jerry Schatzberg
Stars: Faye Dunaway, Barry Primus, Viveca Lindfors
Loulou (1980)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

Maurice Pialat's portrait of contemporary France mocks prosperity as a substitute for social and sexual revolution. Nelly abandons her bourgeois friends and a steady relationship for the ... See full summary »

Director: Maurice Pialat
Stars: Isabelle Huppert, Gérard Depardieu, Guy Marchand
Rabbit, Run (1970)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

A crude man is stuck in a loveless marriage. One day he decides to run away from his life and family. First he finds a mistress, but just because a man runs away from one disappointment, doesn't mean he won't run into another one.

Director: Jack Smight
Stars: James Caan, Anjanette Comer, Carrie Snodgress
'Doc' (1971)
Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

One night of 1881, Doc Holliday, a famous poker gambler, enters the 'No Name Saloon'. There, he challenges a man to poker, betting his horse against his opponent's wife. Doc wins and from ... See full summary »

Director: Frank Perry
Stars: Stacy Keach, Faye Dunaway, Harris Yulin
Fedora (1978)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Down-on-his-luck Hollywood producer Barry 'Dutch' Detweiler attempts to lure Fedora, a famous but reclusive film actress, out of retirement.

Director: Billy Wilder
Stars: William Holden, Marthe Keller, Hildegard Knef
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Helene
...
Carter Lang
Ruth Ford ...
Carlotta
...
Benny Austin
...
Susannah
...
Larry Kulik
...
Abortionist
...
Abortionist's Assistant
...
Hypnotist
...
Johnny Waters
...
Les Goodwin
Elizabeth Claman ...
The Chickie
Mitzi Hoag ...
Patsy
Edit

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 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

19 October 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Play It as It Lays  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

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 »

Goofs

Full-screen version shows boom mic in the outdoor sequence where Maria is shooting an actual gun on the movie set; boom mic also visible when B.Z. talks with Maria in the motel room while she is looking at crime scene photographs with a magnifying glass. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Referenced in Drive (1991) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Puzzling lack of respect for this gem
5 December 2003 | by See all my reviews

The movie Play It as It Lays is, admittedly, not everyone's cup of tea. Even the book--as much as I liked it--was a hard sell to friends and family; most, especially those living outside the Southern California forcefield, simply could not grasp the essential Los Angeles flavor of Didion's dry economical language. The language of the Industry is spot-on (for a change) as are the depictions of the unusual alliances and estrangements of the characters in the film. One person I know who hated the film complained that it was too "faggy" and not like the real Hollywood at all (this person lives in Tucson); the B.Z. and Maria relationship at the heart of this movie may seem bizarre and pointless to auslanders, but it certainly reminded me of real life in LA circa 1972. Also of note is Tammy Grimes' performance as B.Z.'s wife--she got so many of the good lines ("Oh God my face--I can really see a difference"; "in what?"; "skipping my Lazslo for one day.") This movie should be available in VHS/DVD; does anyone know why it's been ignored? I'd love to know.


22 of 24 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Watch the Latest Episode of "The IMDb Show"

Paul Scheer lets us in on a secret in The Disaster Artist and answers your questions. Plus, we explore the origins of midnight movies and take a look at IMDb's Top 10 Stars of 2017.

Watch the show