A tribe of primitive "mudpeople" encounter a croquet ball, rolling through their forest. Following it, they find themselves on a vast, deserted Long Island estate. Entering, they begin to become civilized and assume the stereotypical roles and dress of people at a weekend party. There follows an allegory of upper-class behavior. At last, they begin to devolve toward their original status, and after a battle at croquet, they disappear into the woods. Written by
Arguably one of the most bizarre films Merchant-Ivory ever produced, "Savages" is definitely a product of its times (the late '60s/early '70s), yet it still holds certain charms. James Ivory may have come up with the original idea, but it's screenwriters Michael O'Donoghue and George Swift Trow who made the most of the concept, offering up examples of all types of physical and verbal savagery.
The film's a little slow at the start -- after the opening credits it runs like a silent black and white film (with title cards and everything) for some time -- but stick around long enough and it becomes sepia-toned and finally full color as the Mud People take on the outward appearances of high society while still retaining their primitive identities.
Recommended for fans of O'Donoghue's acid wit and anyone who isn't afraid of satire.
13 of 15 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?