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.
American Walter Elbertson, in his late teens, is feeling lost within his family of overachievers. Thirty-something Englishwoman Lila Fisher is emotionally repressed. The two meet on their ... See full summary »
Alan J. Pakula
Don Jaime de Mora y Aragón
Pinter's semi-autobiographical play examining the surprise attraction, shy first steps, gradual flowering, and treasonous deception of a woman's extramarital affair with her husband's best ... See full summary »
A gang of street boys foil a master crook who sends commands for robberies by cunningly altering a comic strip's wording each week, unknown to writer and printer. The first of the Ealing ... See full summary »
Ishun is a wealthy, but unsympathetic, master printer who has wrongly accused his wife and best employee of being lovers. To escape punishment, the accused run away together, but Ishun is certain to be ruined if word gets out.
A timid bank teller anticipates a bank robbery and steals the money himself before the crook arrives. When the sadistic crook realizes he's been fooled, he tracks down the teller and engages him in a cat-and-mouse chase for the cash.
Work has been going with a bang for freelance assassin Hawkins but a job in England just after the war is a different matter. His apparently easy target, a pompous government minister, is ... See full summary »
Max is a surly pensioner who alternately venerates and vilifies his dead wife. Sam, his brother, is a supercilious chauffeur. Lenny is a smiling, snake-like pimp. Joey is a thick-witted, would-be boxer. These four men live together in a North London flat, the site of their perpetual sadomasochistic battle of words and sometimes physical violence. And then after nine years, Max's third son, Teddy, a philosophy professor living in California, comes back home for a visit. He brings his wife, Ruth. She is immediately drawn in to the family's ugly psychological games and quickly proves a worthy opponent. Soon, the game involves both of Teddy's brothers taking extreme liberties with Ruth, as the coiled Teddy obstinately refuses to spoil the malicious fun by objecting.Written by
MGM first announced this in 1967, with John Frankenheimer as director. See more »
How many rooms would this flat have?
I would want at least three rooms and a bathroom.
You wouldn't need three rooms and a bathroom.
She'd need a bathroom.
But not three rooms.
See more »
As the above comments reveal, this is a wonderful, deeply disturbing, but also riotously comic play. I did it for English 'A' level which was pure madness - difficult enough getting my head round it at my now considerably more advanced age. Having seen Ian Holm give a riveting performance in London as Max, I really leapt at the chance to see this as the local arts cinema and it was gripping. Ian Holm was fantastic, with more than a touch of the Del Boy about him (re-watch the play and see its Only Fools and Horses connections- the grotty flat, the brother-uncle-father dynamic, the dead worshipped prostitute mother etc) and Teddy was played with a wonderful swagger. The scene where all four of them stand in a corridor lighting their cigars was comic and tragic and menacing in the best way. But I really wonder how cinematic any of this was? You have the feeling of watching theatrical performance preserved in aspic rather than a film. The scene outside the flat was contrived and unnecessary and other than that pretty much all the action took place in one room. I feel we lost rather than gained from the live experience of watching a play. But, not having been alive when this film was made, it does mean I get to get a glimpse of a towering production of an amazing play. And that can't be a bad thing.
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