6.2/10
400
8 user 18 critic

Such Good Friends (1971)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 23 March 1972 (UK)
While awaiting the outcome of her husband's surgery, Julie Messinger discovers he has been having affairs.

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Lois Gould (based on the novel by), Elaine May (screenplay) (as Esther Dale) | 1 more credit »
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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dyan Cannon ... Julie
James Coco ... Timmy
Jennifer O'Neill ... Miranda
Ken Howard ... Cal
Nina Foch ... Julie's Mother
Laurence Luckinbill ... Richard
Louise Lasser ... Marcy
Burgess Meredith ... Kalman
Sam Levene ... Uncle Eddie
William Redfield ... Barney
James Beard James Beard ... Dr. Mahler
Rita Gam ... Doria
Michael Giordano III Michael Giordano III ... Matthew
Oscar Grossman Oscar Grossman ... The Doorman
Nancy Guild ... Molly
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Storyline

Julie Messinger has it made. She is a New York housewife whose husband, Richard, is an editor for a prominent photography magazine. They have a small circle of friends, including well-meaning, but inept Dr. Timothy Spector, photographer Cal Whiting and Cal's live-in girlfriend Miranda. Julie's mother spends her days getting pedicures and manicures, applying make-up and fake eye-lashes and buying expensive clothes, all the while criticizing her daughter for her looks and behavior. When Richard goes into the hospital for a minor mole-removal surgery, Julie gets more than she bargained for. Richard suffers from complications and goes into a coma, supposedly caused by a rare surgical factor, and she gathers friends and family together, culminating in a hilarious "quasi-cocktail-party" scene in the blood donation center of the hospital. While dealing with red tape, hospital bureaucracy and clueless doctors, Julie discovers her husband's "little black book," which contains the names of her ... Written by thustlebird

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The little black book that became a national bestseller. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

23 March 1972 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Amantes Desconhecidos See more »

Filming Locations:

New York City, New York, USA

Company Credits

Production Co:

Otto Preminger Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

According to John Gregory Dunne, eight screenwriters altogether worked on this film's screenplay, although only two were credited, one under a pseudonym. Dunne was himself one of the six others, his wife Joan Didion another. See more »

Quotes

Nurse: [taking notes for a prospective blood donor] Have you ever had hepatitis?
Molly Hastings: No.
Nurse: Have you ever had venereal disease?
Molly Hastings: Well... how would you classify syphilis?
Nurse: I'd classify it as a venereal disease.
Molly Hastings: Oh... you know I think I did have hepatitis.
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the film's opening, three red-colored "legs-crossed icons" (the trademark that Saul Bass created for the film, as seen on the poster) converge on a blank screen to form one whole icon. The title appears and then below the title, it reads "AN OTTO PREMINGER FILM". Cast and crew are credited in the closing, but nowhere else. Preminger was the only one credited in the opening. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bass on Titles (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

Suddenly It's All Tomorrow
Sung by O.C. Smith
Music by Thomas Z. Shepard
Lyrics by Robert Brittan
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Dissipated urban humor
1 January 2001 | by moonspinner55See all my reviews

A sharp, deadpan-hilarious dark comedy which never found its audience, probably because there are so many different targets set up by the material: modern marriage, adultery, doctors, hospitals, the literary world, sexual fantasies, sexual positions, Jewishness, lesbian experimentation, revenge (maybe feminist revenge) and, of course, the hard work of dying--which brings everything full circle by the finale. Director Otto Preminger chases after the pungent satire in Elaine May's script (under a pseudonym) in every direction, and yet the film doesn't feel scattershot; it is a rude, wicked rose in constant bloom. The wife of a celebrated writer and magazine editor in New York City finds out her husband's been cheating on her within their circle of friends--and this discovery comes while he's in the hospital dying after having had a mole removed! Dyan Cannon delivers one of her best performances; she's glib, bitter, sexy and naughty, which helps viewers overlook the fact the tone of the movie sometimes has an icy pallor. One of Pauline Kael's complaints was that Cannon's character goes after men without seeing the irony of her actions--that she has no self-respect--and this in fact may be true. We never learn where the wife's priorities lie; she's a good mother to her boys, she's a good listener when her friends come around to bitch, but she's too encompassed in thoughts of the past or in trying to stay strong to figure out how being cheated on really makes her feel. Preminger gets fine performances out of a colorful cast, and there are big laughs in the film, but cutting-edge comedies can also cut too deeply without nimble handling. Preminger isn't very careful, but that may be intentional. ***1/2 from ****


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