One of the discoveries of the groundbreaking production company BBS was director Henry Jaglom. The fiercely idiosyncratic filmmaker—who would go on to have a decades-spanning career making independently produced female character studies—was first revealed to the film world with A Safe Place. In this delicate, introspective drama, laced with fantasy elements, Tuesday Weld stars as a fragile young woman in New York, unable to reconcile her ambiguous past with her unmoored present; Orson Welles as an enchanting Central Park magician and Jack Nicholson as a mysterious ex-lover round out the cast. –The Criterion Collection
Love him or hate him, there is no denying that Henry Jaglom is an auteur, one that has always made a profit on his quirky, low-budget, stream-of-consciousness pictures, often about loneliness and relationships. A scion of a wealthy Russian Jewish financier, he began his career in New York theater before moving to Los Angeles where he continued his affiliation with the Actors Studio and was signed as a contract player with Columbia-Screen Gems, working on series like Gidget and The Flying Nun (both starring Sally Field). His first foray behind the camera came during the Six Day War (Egypt vs. Israel) in 1967 when he shot a three-hour, 8mm, silent movie on the frontlines. The social gadfly in him had already cultivated friendships with such Hollywood personages as Jack Nicholson, Warren Beatty, Sally Kellerman, the screenwriter Carol Eastman and producer Bert Schneider of BBS Productions who saw his movie and hired him to help edit Dennis Hopper’s Easy Rider read more
A movie with lots of close-ups of Tuesday Weld can't be all bad, but this one comes pretty damned close.
Good on Criterion for releasing this movie, so that audiences could remember why they forgot it in the first place. A SAFE PLACE is the worst kind of American artsy crap from the late-60s/early-70s, riddled with faux-European pretensions & shallow hippie culture. Not even Welles and Nicholson can save it. Criterion's synopsis describes it as "overlooked," but actually it's a film that was forgotten with good reason.