Just before the Salem Witch Trials, an embittered old woman, who has learned witchcraft, teams up with the Devil, and brings a scarecrow to life as part of her diabolical revenge on the judge who was once her lover.
Skip and Harry are framed for a bank robbery and end up in a western prison. The two eastern boys are having difficulty adjusting to the new life until the warden finds that Skip has a ... See full summary »
Georg Stanford Brown
An abridged award-winning TV adaptation of a famous play about an aging traveling salesman who's on the verge of a nervous breakdown. His job is gone and his family hates him for never being there. He tries mending things with them.
Comic genius shines through in Zero Mostel's brilliant and hilarious portrayal of Senor Carlos de Refugio, a wealthy landowner known for his roguish and selfish acts. Refugio's desire for ... See full summary »
Harry Evers and Marvin Ellison have been playing poker Thursday nights with their friends for years. When a disagreement breaks up the game, they decide to continue meeting and doing ... See full summary »
Originally an absurdist play by Eugene Ionesco, Rhinoceros tells the story of a French town plagued by rhinoceroses. These are not ordinary rhinoceroses, but people who have been victims of "rhinoceritis." Or is it something else entirely? But, why are they turning into rhinoceroses and what is Ionesco trying to tell us about society? Written by
Jeff Schoner <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Rhinoceros is not the best of American Film Theatre's films, but it does grow on you. When I saw this in the cinema, I had already read Ionesco's play, so I was in a mood to be critical of every change notably the change of setting.
Over the years, I have come to see that Ionesco can be transmogrified, and that most of the changes work quite well. Zero Mostel and Gene Wilder turn in dynamite performances, and the rest of the cast does nicely as well. Karen Black actually has the hardest job, turning her sweet and sexy character into a rhinoceros, but she carries it off gracefully. This is real acting!!
The most objectionable part comes with political references, like a picture of Richard Nixon, or a "Remember Pearl Harbor" lapel button. Not only is all this too heavy-handed, it dates the movie unnecessarily. The music is also quite low-quality 70's kitsch, especially the song "What did you do to yourself?". This song however accompanies a great dream-sequence. I must also say that the theme accompanying the final scenes is quite moving.
Ultimately, Rhinoceros is one of the great dramatic works of the twentieth century, and this movie will be for most people their only chance to see it (now that it can be bought on video). For those who don't know anything about it, it's about a town where the citizens start getting a strange malady that turns them into rhinoceroses. It starts out as a slapstick comedy of manners, but this is Ionesco's way of softening us up so we're more vulnerable to the horrific elements later on. Those of you who enjoyed Dr. Strangelove and Brazil should get a charge out of this.
16 of 18 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?