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Rosebud (1975)

In a bold coup, a Palestinian terrorist group captures the yacht Rosebud and kidnaps the millionaire's five daughters on it. At first they demand film clips to be shown on major European ... See full summary »

Director:

Otto Preminger

Writers:

Erik Lee Preminger (screenplay), Joan Hemingway (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Peter O'Toole ... Larry Martin
Richard Attenborough ... Edward Sloat
Cliff Gorman ... Yafet Hamlekh
Claude Dauphin ... Charles-Andre Fargeau
John V. Lindsay ... Sen. Donnovan
Peter Lawford ... Lord Carter
Raf Vallone ... George Nikolaos
Adrienne Corri ... Lady Carter
Amidou ... Kirkbane
Joseph Shiloach ... Hacam (as Yosef Shiloa)
Brigitte Ariel Brigitte Ariel ... Sabine Fargeau
Isabelle Huppert ... Helene Nikolaos
Lalla Ward ... Margaret Carter
Kim Cattrall ... Joyce Donnovan
Debra Berger ... Gertrude Freyer
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Storyline

In a bold coup, a Palestinian terrorist group captures the yacht Rosebud and kidnaps the millionaire's five daughters on it. At first they demand film clips to be shown on major European television stations. Undercover Agent Martin is hired to hunt the terrorists down. Written by Tom Zoerner <Tom.Zoerner@informatik.uni-erlangen.de>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

24 March 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Operation Rosebud See more »

Filming Locations:

Corsica See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Oting SA See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Theatrical movie debut of ex-Mayor of New York City, John V. Lindsay, who plays millionaire U.S. Senator Donnovan, one of the fathers of the kidnapped girls. This was Lindsay's only movie role. See more »

Quotes

Larry Martin: The President is sitting all alone in his little oval office, trying to decide which way to go. If he allows the film to be shown, he loses the Jewish vote. If he forbids it, he loses every mother in the country. The arithmetic is on your side. Mothers are in the majority.
See more »

Crazy Credits

The opening credits consist of a single screen that bears the title, the statement 'an Otto Preminger Film' the copyright by United Artist and an illustration designed by Saul Bass. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Bass on Titles (1977) See more »

Soundtracks

I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City
(uncredited)
Written by Harry Nilsson
Performed by Kim Cattrall
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Preminger's Folly
1 October 2005 | by efitnessSee all my reviews

I had heard of this film for years, its reputation of being one of Otto Preminger's worst preceding it in every film reference book I'd encountered. Well, it certainly doesn't disappoint. "Rosebud" looks like a novice director's first effort, not the work of the man who gave us "Carmen Jones" and "The Man With the Golden Arm."

"Rosebud" unfolds awkwardly detailing the kidnapping of 5 millionaire's daughters by a Palestinian terrorist group and the attempts by the parents (among them former New York mayor John Lindsay in his film debut/swansong) to retrieve them without starting a holy war.

As ransom demands are made and we are forced to endure endless footage devoted to kidnap victims being trotted to and fro with bags on their heads, wizened secret agent Peter O'Toole is called in to save the day (Preminger seems to be engaging in a little joke by having the very chalky actor with the legendary booze problem drink milk in one of many pointless scenes).

Much talking and little acting (or action) ensues as we reach a finale that must have appeared idiotic and reactionary in 1975 but seems practically prescient in post-9/11 America.

"Rosebud" is almost alarming in its awfulness. The cluttered international cast is full of professional actors who come off as amateurs, and obvious amateurs coming off like…amateurs (If I'm not mistaken that's Preminger's son, Erik, by Gypsy Rose Lee in the role as a computer wiz. It is Erikwho is responsible for the leaden screenplay). The many clashing accents and laughable performances give the impression that many learned their lines phonetically.

Though the plot is not too bad (just hard to follow motives and motivations) and suffers from a needlessly slow and artless execution, it's the acting that really torpedoes "Rosebud." O'Toole looks like he's about to keel over any minute; as the villain, an Englishman converted to Muslim, Richard Attenborough unthreateningly lisps his way through his role; and as the kidnap victims, Preminger couldn't have assembled a more annoying and untalented group of girls. Were we intentionally supposed to wish for their execution?

Their scenes in their subterranean prison are laugh riots of high school level acting and bad blocking. Rather astounding to see a very young Isabelle Huppert embarrass herself as one of the pluckier debs…though she deserves an Oscar for the stomach churning scene in which she has to seduce and kiss the cadaverous bare chest of O'Toole. "Sex and the City"'s Kim Catrall makes her film debut here and makes clear why it took her over two decades to become a star.

For anyone out there who wishes to actually see this film- if just for the bragging rights to bearing witness to Otto Preminger's decline- here are a few things to look for to add to the fun:

1) The 70's clothes and "Brady Bunch" curly hairdo of the political activist character. 2) In the cat-fight between the kidnap victims; slaps are delivered and heard but never received. 3) The guys in the tennis togs (short shorts) air dropped onto the "Rosebud" 4) John Lindsay…nuff said. 5) The militant boy scouts with the knee-socks and bare chests. 6) Kim Catrall's a capella rendering of Nilsson's "I guess the Lord must be in New York City. 7) O'Toole's battle with the terrorist with the killer corkscrew.


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