i find these type films interesting mainly because the story itself must be waterproof and entertaining enough that we forget, accept, or even enjoy the fact that its all taking place in one location throughout the entire film. im sure many ‘one location’ films are adapted from plays which have few stage sets and all take place around a specific location.
12 angry men
the breakfast club
one could argue that Osmosis Jones takes place inside Bill Murray (one location).
the new film ‘buried’.
then you’ve got films that aren’t entirely shot in one location but usually a second location in the end;
whos afraid of virginia woolf
one flew over the cuckoos nest
what else? also, whats your take on the concept of making a film (1.30+ h) in one location, what are the pitfalls and what could work to its advantage (other than financially).
Gouttes d’eau sur pierres brûlantes
Steve Buscemi’s Interview
12 Angry men I thought was very good.
I also enjoyed Rope.
I would think that the story and the acting have to be pretty intense. In 12 angry men Henry Fonda goes up against some solid acting and strong characters that he eventually wins over to his thinking. In the process everything is laid out and the one guy who comes out the worse is the guy who just wants to go home and get it over with.
Rope is all about the tension of having the body in the room and the two guys playng mind games with everyone in the room at the expense of the victem although the guy is dead, I suppose it’s just an ego thing on the part of one of the culprits.
I personally wish there was more of this kind of drama brought to the screen.
Dial M for Murder (based on a play).
Haven’t seen it, but I think My Dinner With Andre is all in one setting.
I would also add:
Dog day afternoon
The passion of Joan of Arc
It may be a stretch to call Inserts “best” but it is a very good if overlooked movie featuring Richard Dreyfuss, the wonderful Jessica Harper and Veronica Cartwright. Quite controversial at the time, I believe it was originally intended to be rated X, but relatively tame in retrospect. Almost the entire film takes place in Dreyfuss’s living room.
The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant
Altman’s Secret Honor
2 girls and a guy
a few that kind of count :D …
Glengarry Glen Ross
Hitchcock did that sort of thing the best:
DIAL M FOR MURDER
and REAR WINDOW is more or less in only one location as well, as far as I remember
“The Deathmaker” by Romuald Karmakar consists of a psychiatrist’s interview with convicted killer Fritz Haarman which takes place in one room. The only exception is a scene of the killer getting his mug shot taken.
And yet, the film is riveting.
What makes it work is that,
1: It is based on the actual transcripts so it adds a layer of reality nothing else can, much like with “Joan of Arc.”
2: Haarman was a manipulator and most likely psychotic, so his subtle maneuverings with the doctor countering become like a chess match.
3.The acting is impeccable. Goetz George was born to play Haarman; the actor who plays the doctor is likewise spot-on. Even the clerk writing down the interviews has a subtle but important role.
For this film, that is enough “meat” to the story. The one room becomes something positive, because you don’t want anything to interfere with what is going on.
Kurosawa’s THE LOWER DEPTHS takes place in that ghastly flophouse, and the outdoor area right next to it.
MARAT/SADE takes place in one cell in the asylum of Charenton.
COME BACK TO THE FIVE AND DIME JIMMY DEAN JIMMY DEAN and STREAMERS are films of single set plays, directed by Robert Altman.
RUSSIAN ARK takes place in the Hermitage.
SPIRITED AWAY – the magical bathhouse :)
THROUGH A GLASS DARKLY – the island of Fårö
David Mamet’s ‘Oleanna’
I have been on several sites exploring this topic. It seems to me that on movie is inexcusably left off the lists:
“Dog Day Afternoon”
This concept above all lends itself to claustrophobic thrillers, of which their has been a flurry recently, most of which owe their debt to Hitchcock (especially “Rope”), some of which have been quite good:
(not all of these are good)
Abigail’s Party (Mike Leigh)
The HBO movie, “Sunset Limited” starring Tommy Lee Jones (also directed) and Samuel L. Jackson, based on a play by Cormac McCarthy.
Two Years At Sea
Just saw it
I could probably name quite a few, but a severely underseen and overlooked one is Sidney Lumet’s Long Day’s Journey into Night.
Much agreed on Oleanna, Panic Room, Phone Booth and Abigail’s Party…
My favorite movie for this criteria would have to be Arsenic and Old Lace. There’s like three minutes at the beginning where they’re at a different place, but other than that it all takes place at one house. Classic movie, a great screwball comedy.
Tom Noonan’s The Wife and What Happened Was…
‘My Dinner with André’ mostly takes place in one location, with exception of the opening prologue and ending epilogue.
The Bitter Tears of Petra Von Kant is the greatest film of that particular type. I’m glad Kelvane mentioned it.
From a cosmic perspective all our little lives take place on this pale blue dot floating around in a vast unknown emptiness we can’t escape, so films like ‘The Incredible Shrinking Man’, ‘Woman in the Dunes’, ‘The Exterminating Angel’, ‘Moon’ and other one location films can also be viewed as a way to express something about this strange cosmic isolation we earthlings are born into.
Carl Sagan? Is that you?