The Arrangement (1969)

R   |    |  Drama, Romance

The Arrangement (1969) Poster

A suicidal advertising executive is forced to re-evaluate his life while dealing with his unhappy marriage, his mistress, and his aging father.

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  • Kirk Douglas and Richard Boone on the set of "The Arrangement"
  • Kirk Douglas and Faye Dunaway in The Arrangement (1969)
  • Kirk Douglas and Elia Kazan in The Arrangement (1969)
  • Kirk Douglas in The Arrangement (1969)
  • Faye Dunaway in The Arrangement (1969)
  • Faye Dunaway in The Arrangement (1969)

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Reviews & Commentary

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User Reviews

28 April 2005 | bwam2mil
| an interesting film, but not one of kazan's best..
A sort of precursor to American Beauty and other modern fillms about dissatisfaction, Kazan's The Arrangment is an interesting attempt to characterize a man's deconstruction. Kirk Douglas plays Eddie, an advertising executive coming to terms with his job, his family, and his life's direction. Kazan experiments with montage, split narrative, and time span as he tells the story of a man looking for something new in life. The result is a compelling and relevant story about modern happiness that is broken apart by bizarre construction and confusing shot arrangement. Kazan has some interesting ideas here, but not all of them work. His split-consciousness portrayal of Eddie is sometimes confusing and distracting, as is the switch between past and present. Douglas is good as the lead; I don't see why Kazan would have chosen Brando in retrospect as I don't think it would have made much of a difference. Overall, a film worth seeing if you're a Kazan-freak, but otherwise stick with Streetcar, Eden, or Waterfront..

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Did You Know?


Critics were overwhelmingly negative when the film came out, and it was the consensus that Elia Kazan should never have filmed his own best-selling novel, which was panned by most literary critics as trash when it was published in 1967. It was widely known that the lead role had been turned down by Marlon Brando, who had won three Academy Award nominations and one Oscar under Kazan's direction at the beginning of his film career and was the heart and soul of some of Kazan's best work as a movie director. By the late 1960s, after a string of flops, most critics felt Brando was through as a movie star and that he desperately needed Kazan to turn his career around, both as an artist and as a box-office star. When the film came out, Kirk Douglas' lead performance was roundly panned, and most critics felt that even Brando at his best couldn't save what was, in essence, a melodramatic potboiler. The failure of "The Arrangement" was the end of Kazan's own career as an A-list director.


Eddie Anderson: I want you to sell that house. And sell that place in the desert. Sell the cars, the paintings, that Bulgarian statue in the garden. Sell the books, the records, deep freezer, everything! Look, I'm the head of the house, that's an order: sell it!
Florence Anderson: ...


When Florence finds the pictures in Eddie's desk, she picks them up and starts walking towards Eddie. The prints appear to be about 4 x 6". However, when she goes to tear them up in front of him, the prints become much larger - almost twice the size.


Plot Summary


Drama | Romance

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