IMDb > Savages (1972)
Savages
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Savages (1972) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

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5.7/10   271 votes »
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Director:
Writers:
George W.S. Trow (screenplay) &
Michael O'Donoghue (screenplay) ...
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Savages on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
21 June 1973 (France) See more »
Genre:
Plot:
An allegory about humankind progresses from a savage state to a civilized form, that is only a cover for it's innate barbarism. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
Awards:
1 nomination See more »
User Reviews:
Merchant-Ivory's Best - And Most Atypical? See more (10 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)
Lewis J. Stadlen ... Julian Branch, a Song Writer (as Lewis Stadlen)
Anne Francine ... Carlotta, a Hostess

Thayer David ... Otto Nurder, a Capitalist

Susan Blakely ... Cecily, a Debutante
Russ Thacker ... Andrew, an Eligible Young Man

Salome Jens ... Emily Penning, a Woman in Disgrace
Margaret Brewster ... Lady Cora
Neil Fitzgerald ... Sir Harry
Eva Saleh ... Zia, the Child
Ultra Violet ... Iliona, a Decadent

Asha Puthli ... Asha, The Forest Girl

Martin Kove ... Archie, a Bully
Kathleen Widdoes ... Leslie

Christopher Pennock ... Hester

Sam Waterston ... James, the Limping Man
Paulita Sedgwick ... Penelope, a High-strung Girl
Lilly Lessing ... Narrator
Claus Jurgen ... Narrator

Directed by
James Ivory 
 
Writing credits
George W.S. Trow (screenplay) (as George Swift Trow) &
Michael O'Donoghue (screenplay)

James Ivory (based on an idea by)

Produced by
Anthony Korner .... associate producer
Ismail Merchant .... producer
Joseph Saleh .... executive producer (as Joseph J.M. Saleh)
 
Original Music by
Joe Raposo 
 
Cinematography by
Walter Lassally 
 
Film Editing by
Kent McKinney 
 
Production Design by
Jack Wright III  (as Jack Wright)
 
Costume Design by
Joan Hanfling 
Susan Schlossman 
 
Makeup Department
Martin Downey .... hair stylist
Gloria Natale .... makeup artist
Bernice O'Reilly .... wigs
Emanuel Olivericia .... assistant hair stylist
 
Production Management
Jean-Luc Botbol .... production manager
 
Art Department
George Jenson .... table settings (as George Jensen)
Charles White III .... illustrator (as Charles White 3rd)
 
Sound Department
Gary Alper .... sound
Jack Cooley .... re-recording engineer
John Flyn .... sound assistant
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Jeffery Bolger .... assistant camera
Robert Kenner .... assistant camera
Rick Raphael .... electrician
Dustin Smith .... electrician
Bob Vee .... chief electrician
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Janice Moore .... wardrobe
 
Editorial Department
Mary Brown .... assistant editor
Robin Schwartz .... assistant editor
 
Music Department
Don Ashworth .... musician: woodwinds
Bob Cranshaw .... musician: bass
Danny Epstein .... musician: percussion
Wally Kane .... musician: woodwinds
Jim Mitchell .... musician: giitar and banjo
David Nadien .... musician: solo violin
Joe Raposo .... musician: piano
Ed Shaughnessy .... musician: percussion
Alan Studman .... musician: solo cello
 
Other crew
Patricia Birch .... choreographer: sequence "Steppin' on the Spaniel"
Frank DiBari .... assistant to producer
Michael Doret .... title designer
Howard Goodman .... assistant to producer
S. Ruth Gringas .... assistant to producer
Jeffrey Jacobs .... assistant to director
Janet Kern .... continuity
Alice Marsh .... assistant to executive producer
Roger Moorey .... assistant to producer
Mohan Nadkarni .... assistant to producer
Mohan Nadkarri .... assistant to producer
Serge Nivelle .... assistant to director
Edward E. Robbins .... assistant title designer
Jessica Saleh .... assistant to producer
Nathaniel Tripp .... assistant to director
Stephen Varble .... assistant to director
Charles White III .... title designer (as Charles White 3rd)
 
Crew believed to be complete


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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
USA:106 min
Country:
Language:
Aspect Ratio:
1.78 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
First cinema film of 'Susan Blakeley'.See more »
Movie Connections:
Featured in The Wandering Company (1984) (TV)See more »
Soundtrack:
SavagesSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
19 out of 20 people found the following review useful.
Merchant-Ivory's Best - And Most Atypical?, 13 October 2004
Author: david melville (dwingrove@qmuc.ac.uk) from Edinburgh, Scotland

Was it de Tocqueville who wrote that America passed from barbarism to decadence with no civilization in between? If so, then he (or whoever else) deserves at least partial screen credit for Savages. A bizarre and blackly comic fable, this is Merchant-Ivory's most atypical film. It was also, probably, their biggest flop. Yet fans of the duo will find much recognise and admire. Non-fans may enjoy it even more!

Savages opens in dazzling sepia-toned black-and-white. A tribe of primitive forest-dwellers called the 'Mud People' find a mystical round orb that's fallen from an alien world. (In other words, a croquet ball.) They trace its path to an elegantly dilapidated Colonial-style mansion. As they explore the house, the prehistoric intruders start to play dress-up. Soon enough, the screen shifts into colour. The 'savages' transform into the denizens of a grandly decadent 1920s house party...

Chief among them are a formidable Auntie Mame-style hostess (Anne Francine), a toothy and spirited debutante (Susan Blakely), an elegantly faded 'fallen woman' (Salome Jens) and an exotic, eyelash-fluttering vamp (legendary Andy Warhol icon Ultra Violet). As usual in a Merchant-Ivory film, the women's roles are stronger than the men's. But a young Sam Waterston is on hand, rehearsing his 'detached and disenchanted observer' role for The Great Gatsby.

While that later film is little more than a parade of gorgeous costumes and opulent sets, Savages is considerably more. Ivory's eye for social nuance and period detail is as sharp here as in later masterworks like Quartet, Heat and Dust and A Room with a View. Yes, it may perhaps be possible to dismiss Ivory as a bland director - but only if you dismiss Jean Rhys, E.M. Forster or Henry James as bland authors. Or is it a crime to be a discreet and faithful adaptor of other people's work?

Savages is one of the rare films based on Ivory's own imagination. And what a perverse and mordant imagination it turns out to be! What little 'civilisation' the 'savages' acquire in the guise of Jazz Age socialites is, of course, a flimsy and feeble veneer. We can't be surprised when they revert to full-fledged barbarism. In fact, the honesty of that primal state comes as something of a relief.

Savages is impeccably acted, smoothly directed, wittily written, richly designed - and photographed with jaw-dropping splendor by Walter Lassally! It may be something of an aberration in the Merchant-Ivory canon. It is also, possibly, their best film.

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