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Lilith (1964)

Not Rated | | Drama | 15 January 1965 (Italy)
A war veteran gets work at a mental institution where he meets the beautiful, but eccentric, Lilith.

Director:

Robert Rossen

Writers:

Robert Rossen (screenplay), J.R. Salamanca (novel)
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview:
Warren Beatty ... Vincent Bruce
Jean Seberg ... Lilith Arthur
Peter Fonda ... Stephen Evshevsky
Kim Hunter ... Dr. Bea Brice
Anne Meacham ... Mrs.Yvonne Meaghan
Jessica Walter ... Laura
Gene Hackman ... Norman
James Patterson ... Dr. Lavrier
Robert Reilly Robert Reilly ... Bob Clayfield
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Storyline

Lilith is a about a mysterious young woman in an elite sanitarium in Maryland, who seems to weave a magical spell all around her. A restless, but sincere young man with an equally obscure past is seemingly drawn into her web. As time passes, their relationship deepens and intensifies, and the differences between them begin to blur, leading to a shocking, but oddly logical conclusion. Written by Rhea Worrell <rworrel@ibm.net>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

You will understand Lilith more than anyone! See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

15 January 1965 (Italy) See more »

Also Known As:

Lilith - La dea dell'amore See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

While filming, Robert Rossen took time out to present the award for annual creative cinema sponsored by the Society of Cinematologists. The three winners were George Houston, Robert Shaye, the future head of New Line Pictures and one Martin Scorsese. See more »

Goofs

When Stephen is clinging to the rocks his eyeglasses disappear then reappear. See more »

Quotes

Lilith Arthur: If you should discover that your god loved others as much as he loved you, would you hate him for it?
See more »

Connections

Featured in From the Journals of Jean Seberg (1995) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Is this Rossen's best movie?
23 July 2006 | by MOscarbradleySee all my reviews

Jean Seberg was a woefully inadequate actress in almost every role in which she was cast but she seemed born to play Lilith, the unstable, deeply amoral 'heroine' of Robert Rossen's last film. It's an extraordinary performance and it's extraordinary because it doesn't appear to have anything to do with 'acting'; it just seems to exist. The theme of the film is madness, not 'mental illness' but madness in the truly Shakespearean sense of the word, and everything about the film is heightened, a little unreal. Eugen Schufftan photographs the film in a hazy monochrome with the emphasis on white. We peer at the characters through shafts of sunlight, (and there is a lot of water on view, too).

And Seberg isn't the only extraordinary performance. There is excellent work, too, from Warren Beatty as the young nurse drawn into Lilith's web, Kim Hunter as the woman who runs the institution where Lilith is housed and Peter Fonda, (the best of his early performances) as another patient obsessed with Lilith. Indeed the whole cast, (which includes a brilliant, early cameo from Gene Hackman), is working at the top of their form.

The film is an adaptation of a J R Salamanca novel but Rossen renders it in wholly visual terms. He uses his camera the way an artist uses his canvas to convey the inner lives of his characters. It isn't a total success. There are times when it dissolves into hysteria and the symbolism tends to get a bit top-heavy, but it is still a fearless, totally uncommercial movie, possibly it's director's best, and a key American movie of the sixties.


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