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Lilith (1964)

Director:
Robert Rossen
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
Lilith
RUNNING TIME
114 minutes
Producer:
Robert Rossen
Screenwriter (based on the novel by J.R. Salamanca):
Robert Rossen


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Vincent Bruce Warren Beatty
Lilith Arthur Jean Seberg
Stephen Evshevsky Peter Fonda
Bea Brice Kim Hunter
Laura Jessica Walter
Norman Gene Hackman

 

Review

Warren Beatty allegedly made such a nuisance of himself on the set of Lilith that Robert Rossen eventually drank himself to death. That is obviously the extreme version, but there is at least no doubt that Rossen had all kinds of problems keeping this potentially interesting tale alive. Beatty, for all his offscreen hassle, looks and sounds great in his newly developed brandoish mumble. It's ironic or perhaps a testament to Beatty's foresight that his at the time criticized mumbling comes off as the most natural piece of diction in the film. With that said, his smug, overthought performance still is an annoyance to watch. He and Seberg may seem to harbour a fascinating depth to them, but if so, Rossen is never able to call this to the surface. Instead Lilith remains a detached, soporific film full of psychoanalytical babble and alleged symbolic interpretations all very beautifully shot on location in Maryland. Seberg is sexy as hell in the title role, but has little more than that mischievous look to offer. Gene Hackman steals his one scene as the jovial husband of Beatty's ex-girlfriend. If you're interested in filmatic portrayals from psychiatric institutions, Milos Forman's eleven years junior One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest is a film with far more power and purpose than this oddity.

 
Copyright 8.3.2010 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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