6.5/10
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25 user 13 critic

Play It As It Lays (1972)

A Hollywood actress undergoes a psychic breakdown and recalls the traumatic events which led to her stay at a sanitarium.

Director:

Frank Perry

Writers:

Joan Didion (novel), Joan Didion (screenplay) | 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:
Tuesday Weld ... Maria Wyeth Lang
Anthony Perkins ... B.Z.
Tammy Grimes ... Helene
Adam Roarke ... Carter Lang
Ruth Ford ... Carlotta
Eddie Firestone ... Benny Austin
Diana Ewing ... Susannah
Paul Lambert ... Larry Kulik
Norman Foster ... Abortionist
Chuck McCann ... Abortionist's Assistant
Severn Darden ... Hypnotist
Tony Young ... Johnny Waters
Richard Anderson ... Les Goodwin
Elizabeth Claman Elizabeth Claman ... The Chickie
Mitzi Hoag ... Patsy
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Storyline

Maria Wyeth, an ex-model and B-movie actress, strolls on the grounds of a mental hospital, recalling the traumatic events which led to her breakdown. She is married to an unfaithful, self-engrossed director, Carter Lane. Neglected by her husband, Maria is engaged in a series of one-night stands and becomes pregnant. Her husband divorces her, and she has an illegal abortion. Maria's only friend is B.Z., a homosexual movie producer. World weary, he tells Maria that he has discovered the meaning of life is nothing. He invites her to commit suicide with him. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Maria's life was a search for the ultimate answer even after she found there was none.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Sam Peckinpah was to have worked with Joan Didion on this screen adaptation of her novel but this plan did not materialize. See more »

Goofs

Full-screen version shows boom mic in the outdoor sequence where Maria is shooting an actual gun on the movie set; boom mic also visible when B.Z. talks with Maria in the motel room while she is looking at crime scene photographs with a magnifying glass. See more »

Quotes

Maria Wyeth Lang: ...existentially, I'm getting a hamburger.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold (2017) See more »

User Reviews

 
Aching for a decent copy
21 January 2007 | by ohmemercylardSee all my reviews

I watched this movie a lot during the first decade+ after it was released. It would show up occasionally at rep houses in NYC or SF, and I always tried to see it. The last few viewings were at the Roxie in SF, and the boom was always visible in that print; I hated that, b/c people laughed at the movie. i'm a huge didion fan (love the book), an equally huge tuesday fan. this movie captures a moment in my life, a naive moment when I tho't these chars. represented glamour and sophistication; now, having lived, I see how depressed they were. Still, it's full of great lines & has an odd nostalgic pull for me. TV versions were always tragically aborted (so to speak), and it's never been avail. to possess in any format. i shudder to think that there's no extant print, what w/studio not having one & perry gone. i've hoped to own it for so long. i was sick to hear it's on Sundance this wkend (which I don't get). why are so few people interested in seeing this movie become available? it's one of the few left on my wish-list never to be released. should any reader ever hear news of its release, please please let me know! thanks.


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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

19 October 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Play It as It Lays See more »

Filming Locations:

Las Vegas, Nevada, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$1,000,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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