This is beluga caviar for cinephiles: an angry New Hollywood film telling a story about a grotesque precedent of the entertainment industry, written with heartbreaking cynicism and enlivened by characters who are both pathetic and grandiose at the same time and interpreted by actors who were born to play them. I enjoyed every minute of it.
Un film d'une grande densité émotionnelle pour un splendide et magistral jeu des principaux acteurs. Néanmoins, face à la force et à la richesse du court et puissant roman d'Horace Mac Coy, la réalisation ne peut que paraître timorée et banale. Une intense étude sociologique d'une période dramatique des States... www.cinefiches.com
The film focuses on four couples that take part in a dance marathon set in the depression era, and all they gotta do to win is be the last couple dancing. I meaaaan the plot alone is perfection, as the characters, among them a pregnant woman, try not to pass out or die and some literally go mad in the duration of the competition. An underrated masterpiece for sure.
Masterpiece. One of the best and most riveting films about the Great Depression. Sydney Pollack never made a finer film than this. What starts as a fun contest turns into a grotesque reflection of America and the will to survive. The performances are unforgettable. The period look is remarkable. It's one of the most captivating films of the late 60s - and that is saying something. Susannah York is transcendent.
Has enough juice to keep it interesting for the first half an hour. After which, upon establishing a clear allegory for Depression era, it never fully develops neither its socially engaged nor satirical view of it. What comes out is a just a repetitive soft-exploitation film that doesn't know where to evolve from out-of-place confused bunch of faces.
Beautifully enhances the story Horace McCoy so poignantly told in his novel. The choices people had to make to get food on the table during the depression, the relationships formed in the competition, and the revelations made shrink into a miniature America. The ending, which also explains the title, is haunting and quite possibly one of the best endings in both literature and cinema. Quiet but so full of meaning.
The atmosphere of the story is beyond oppressive, pained, and grim to the point of despair. But if it's a heaviness one has breathed in real life, then what more can a work of art do but offer the bleak evidence? Certainly, it would offer some relief by contrast. And who hasn't felt the unbearable press of time bear down on one's shoulders, as we lace up our ill-fitting blades and take to the ice again and again?