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That Cold Day in the Park

USA 1969. Dir: Robert Altman. 112 min. 35mm

Early Hollywood North: Focus on Robert Altman
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Robert Altman’s second studio picture and first truly personal work was this undervalued rarity, shot in Vancouver in 1968, and made just before M*A*S*H, his commercial breakthrough. A take on the psychological horror film, and an unsettling study of sexual repression and obsession, it’s one of a number of idiosyncratic Altman works (including Images and Three Women) exploring the psychopathology of lonely women. Sandy Dennis, fresh off her Oscar win for Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, plays a frustrated spinster who invites a young drifter (Michael Burns) into her home, only to then make him her prisoner. Altman, of course, would also shoot 1971’s masterful McCabe and Mrs. Miller in Vancouver. Restored 35mm print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive. Restoration funding provided by The Film Foundation and the Hollywood Foreign Press Association.