HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Vast of Night, The
Furies, The
Days of the Bagnold Summer
Black Power Mix Tape 1967-1975, The
Apartment 1BR
1776
Parasite
Looking On the Bright Side
Take Me Somewhere Nice
Simon
Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn
Gentlemen Broncos
To the Stars
Lady Godiva Rides Again
Angelfish
Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ
Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, A
This is a Hijack
Loved One, The
Jumanji: The Next Level
Krabi 2562
Call of the Wild, The
Diary of a Country Priest
Sea Fever
Throw Down
Grudge, The
Green Man, The
Specialists, The
Convoy
Romantic Comedy
Going Ape!
Rabid
Infinite Football
Little Women
Camino Skies
Ema
Another Shore
Cry Havoc
Legend of the Stardust Brothers, The
Mystery Team
   
 
Newest Articles
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
I Can See for Miles: The Man with the X-Ray Eyes on Blu-ray
Too Much Pressure: The Family Way on Blu-ray
The Alan Key: Alan Klein and What a Crazy World on Blu-ray
A Japanese Ghost Story: Kwaidan on Blu-ray
The Zu Gang: Zu Warriors from the Magic Mountain on Blu-ray
Reality TV: The Year of the Sex Olympics on DVD
The Young and the Damned: They Live By Night on Blu-ray
Mind How You Go: The Best of COI on Blu-ray
Der Kommissar's in Town: Babylon Berlin Series 3 on DVD
The End of Civilisation as We Know It: The 50th Anniversary
The Whalebone Box: The Andrew Kotting Interview
Being Human: The Elephant Man on 4K UHD Blu-ray
It's! Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 3 on Blu-ray
Put the Boot In: Villain on Blu-ray
The Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 2: Vic Pratt Interview
All the Lonely People: Sunday Bloody Sunday on Blu-ray
Desperate Characters: Beat the Devil on Blu-ray
Chansons d'Amour: Alfie Darling on Blu-ray
   
 
  Lovers and Other Strangers Wedded Bliss?
Year: 1970
Director: Cy Howard
Stars: Michael Brandon, Bonnie Bedelia, Diane Keaton, Joseph Hindy, Richard S. Castellano, Bea Arthur, Cloris Leachman, Gig Young, Anne Jackson, Harry Guardino, Anne Meara, Bob Dishy, Marian Hailey, Anthony Holland, Bob Kaliban, Conrad Bain, Jerry Stiller
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Mike (Michael Brandon) and Susan (Bonnie Bedelia) are getting married in three days' time, but he is getting cold feet, and is spending the hours they have together trying to persuade her to call off the ceremony. That's quite a few hours, as they live together in a small apartment, but she knows he loves her really and it's his nerves talking - once the big day is here, he will settle down. However, the families they belong to are not so confident in their marriages, which are littered with tension and potential break-ups, indeed Mike's brother Richie (Joseph Hindy) and his wife Joan (Diane Keaton) are in the process of separating and divorcing, despite the anguish of his parents...

Lovers and Other Strangers was based pretty closely on a play written by actors Joseph Bologna and Renée Taylor, you could tell it was faithful because for the most part, director Cy Howard simply pointed his camera at the cast speaking their lines with only the occasional burst of life, such as a sequence where everyone was dancing. Not even his use of a handheld camera at certain points was able to disguise how dialogue heavy this was, making it resemble a television adaptation, except American TV of the day would not have included fairly frank sex talk, brief nudity or a smattering of strong language. For that reason, twenty-first century audiences may not get on with this.

Not least because relationships have moved on in the decades since this was an admittedly influential hit, but just look at its rival from the same year, Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice, and you see that too looked its age and had done for some time. What was cutting edge had become the norm, and then moved past that as the years rolled by, rendering both those once zeitgeisty films relics that would really only be returned to out of curiosity, whether you had seen them a long time before or not. What they both had in common, aside from the obvious, was a theme song that had gone on to be an easy listening classic, in this case The Carpenters' smooth favourite For All We Know.

Except it wasn't The Carpenters performing it in the movie, and despite securing this its only Oscar, the tune was merely heard in a short burst halfway through and over the end credits, which were a lot more skimpy than the opening credits (those had a different, non-award-winning song). But if the cast were somewhat exposed in the less than imaginative presentation of their performances, every so often there would be a scene that reminded you why this succeeded so well for audiences of the day, and if the attempts to tickle the funny bone grew tedious in too many places, those moments where the action calmed down and allowed a more measured conversation conjured up some nice examples of acting from some of the less frantic performers. Yet it was anchored to 1970 throughout.

In fact, you could say it came across as something from the previous decade, which was when the play was staged after all, and given how quickly the culture moved in the seventies as the sexual revolution took hold and a generation gap widened, you may wonder why so many of the characters have any tolerance for the behaviour of the others. Richard Castellano and Bea Arthur played Mike's parents as some kind of Italian-American stereotype, to the extent you want the divorcing couple to get as far away from them as possible, yet even they had a scene or two which offered nuance: Castellano, best known from The Godfather now, was especially good when he was allowed to calm down. Meanwhile the richer Susan's family have troubles of their own, as her father (Gig Young) is cheating on her mother (Cloris Leachman), though oddly we spent more time with her wackily pretentious cousin (Marian Hailey) who Mike's best man Bob Dishy is trying to seduce. Interestingly, in a "life goes on" manner, a lot of this was left hanging, with us only certain Mike and Susan have a future. Music by Fred Karlin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 441 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
  Hannah Prosser
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Butch Elliot
  Rachel Franke
Paul Smith
   

 

Last Updated: