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  Steppenwolf Born To Be Mild
Year: 1974
Director: Fred Haines
Stars: Max von Sydow, Dominique Sanda, Pierre Clémenti, Carla Romanelli, Roy Bosier
Genre: Drama, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Harry Haller (Max von Sydow) is a man facing a mid-life crisis and decides to kill himself when he reaches fifty years of age. Then he gets involved with a young woman (Dominique Sanda) and goes out of his mind on drugs. Maybe.

Steppenwolf! Yeah! Git yer motor runnin'! Head out on the highway! Lookin' for ad - no, no, wait a minute. Not that Steppenwolf, this is Fred Haines' leaden, artificial adaptation of Herman Hesse's celebrated cult novel. He tackles this work of internal angst and self-discovery by jazzing it up with animation, special effects, camera trickery and, er, jazz.

Von Sydow has always had a knack for portraying men with complex inner lives, so is well cast here, but everyone around him seems stilted and just about every line is heaving with significance. You may find your eyes glazing over more than once - some books simply don't lend themselves to the cinema. The "trip" sequence that takes up the last half hour has dated badly. Presumably this film's cult consists mainly of those who saw it at a midnight showing back in the seventies, while suitably stoned. 10/10 for effort, though.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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