That Cold Day in the Park (1969)

R   |    |  Drama, Thriller

That Cold Day in the Park (1969) Poster

A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again.


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14 October 2017 | BuddyBoy60
| A Movie that will Reward the Active Moviegoer
A rich but lonely spinster, Fraces Austen (Sandy Dennis) invites a stranger, young man (Michael Burns) to her home and lets him live with her.

This movie sounds intriguing because the plot and the promotional materials suggest the subject matter of sex even more so involving an older woman, but if viewed through today's standard, this would likely confuse and could potentially garner the worst rating from its audience. And that is because this movie is totally something different. I say this pertaining to how the story was executed. More recent films tend to spoon-feed moviegoers to avoid alienating them from the story of the movie, but at the expense of losing the audience's active participation. I have realized that the movie holds up because it does not follow that trend. It offers so much more beneath the surface for the thoughtful and patient viewer. This is certainly a film that would get better upon repeated viewings. The performance of Sandy Dennis alone is a testament to that. With her almost blank facial expression, her performance adds to the emotional depth of the character. She is perfect for it. The direction of then newcomer Robert Altman (who would later direct classic films such as Nashville and M.A.S.H.) is rightfully subtle. He was able to both reveal and conceal elements for the benefit of the material.

If you are looking for a movie with straight forward storytelling and a clear quick payoff to enjoy and relax to, this might exhaust and bore you to tears. But if you are interested with unconventional narratives that will make you more an active watcher and immerse you in the subject of psychology or simply in how people in the same position think and behave, this will pass as entertaining to you or even more than that. You will surely be rewarded one way or another.

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