Sunday, December 20, 2009

The Arrangement (1969)

Director: Elia Kazan
Warner DVD OOP

The opening sequence of this one is pretty attention grabbing. Kirk Douglas plays a rich white guy that says goodbye to his wife, gets in his convertible, and then drives it under a semi for a suicide attempt. Well, unfortunately this is where the movie takes it's own turn for the worst and he lives. Now we are forced to suffer through two hours of whiny melodrama as we learn the nature of the attempt. I'll sum it up for you! He's a successful ad exec, his wife will tolerate anything, his mistress left, and he hates his dad. The end. What begins as a precursor to the more exciting films of the seventies that were full of existential dilemma, turns out to be nothing more than midlife crisis. Combined with the fact that the film starts with a feel and format similar to the new wave movements of the sixties (telling the story non-linearly, comic book style word balloons) and then moves into more typical storytelling methods makes it a painful two plus to sit through. Unless you're just a completest for some of the big name cast (Hume Cronyn anyone?) or a Kazan fan, please avoid at all costs. Even if you feel like you need to own it because it is out of print, don't watch it. Just let it collect dust.


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