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Success has James Brewster's name written all over it, and he also has his heart set on his boss's daughter. A con artist hires him to help out on a bank scheme, but then again, James will ... See full summary »
In a dreary North London flat, the site of perpetual psychological warfare, a philosophy professor visits his family after a nine-year absence, and introduces the four men, father, uncle, and two brothers, to his wife.
This movie chronicles the trials of the mentally ill and their care-givers in an over-crowded ward of a hospital. Dr. MacLeod (Robert Stack) is a new, optimistic doctor who attempts to ... See full summary »
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A paroled convict who bears a striking resemblance to the local District Attorney is hired by the mob to impersonate him, while the real District Attorney is kidnapped and held captive at a secret location.
A married, middle-aged woman is shocked to discover that her husband, who she thought was content in their marriage, has become infatuated with a beautiful younger woman and is planning to leave his family for her.
J. Lee Thompson
Aston (Robert Shaw), a quiet, reserved man, lives alone in a top-floor cluttered room of a small abandoned house in a poor London district. He befriends and takes in Mac Davies (Donald Pleasence), an old derelict who has been fired from a menial job in a café. In time Aston offers him a job as caretaker of the house. Aston's brother, Mick (Alan Bates) - a taunting, quasi-sadist - harasses the derelict when his brother is away, countermanding his orders. Eventually Aston, himself irritated by the cantankerous old man, puts him out.Written by
Donald Pleasence was nominated for the 1962 Tony Award (New York City) for Actor in a Drama for "The Caretaker" and recreated his role in this production. See more »
I could turn this place into a penthouse. For instance this room. This room could have been the kitchen. Right size, nice window, sun comes in. I'd have I'd have teal-blue, copper and parchment linoleum squares. I'd have those colours re-echoed in the walls. I'd offset the kitchen units with charcoal-grey worktops. Plenty of room for cupboards for the crockery. We'd have a small wall cupboard, a large wall cupboard, a corner wall cupboard with revolving shelves. You shouldn't be short of ...
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This three-hander piece has no plot to speak of and, given author Harold Pinter's (typically) obscure intentions, attention must be paid constantly (not an easy task, having to contend with both the heavy British accents on display and the rather low volume of the audio itself); after having gone through the various supplements on the exemplary BFI DVD, the meaning of it all is still very much open to interpretation!
The performances, however, are extremely impressive and the fact that all three actors had already appeared in the various stage versions certainly helped: Donald Pleasance and Alan Bates have showy roles that are often broadly comic, but a brooding Robert Shaw is unusually subdued for the most part - though the character's speech about his traumatic spell in hospital, where he suffered at the hands of a sadistic doctor, is as riveting as the actor's celebrated (and similarly quietly-spoken) one about the transportation of the Atom Bomb in JAWS (1975). Though making only minute concessions to cinematic conventions, Donner's handling (abetted by the stark cinematography of Nicolas Roeg and some weird ambient sounds by Ron Grainer in place of a score) ensures that the whole doesn't come across as merely a piece of filmed theatre; it still feels at odds even with the contemporaneous "Kitchen Sink" films of the British New Wave, with which style THE CARETAKER has forever been identified!
Pinter's dialogue - alternately scathing and compassionate - is remarkably adult for its time, and the project only came through with the intervention of some celebrated admirers of the play: Richard Burton, Leslie Caron, Noel Coward, Peter Hall, Peter Sellers and Elizabeth Taylor, among others! I've watched the following Pinter-scripted films: THE SERVANT (1963), THE PUMPKIN EATER (1964), THE QUILLER MEMORANDUM (1966), ACCIDENT (1967), THE BIRTHDAY PARTY (1968), THE GO-BETWEEN (1970), THE LAST TYCOON (1976) and THE FRENCH LIEUTENANT'S WOMAN (1981); however, only THE BIRTHDAY PARTY was adapted from his own work (also featuring Shaw and largely revolving around three eccentric characters) and it's similarly intractable - if still required - viewing.
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