EVERYTHING ABOUT A MOVIE?
|THE ARRANGEMENT (director/writer: Elia Kazan; screenwriter: based on the novel by Elia Kazan; cinematographer: Robert Surtees; editor: Stefan Arnsten; music: David Amram; cast: Kirk Douglas (Eddie Anderson/Evangelos), Deborah Kerr (Florence Anderson), Faye Dunaway (Gwen), Richard Boone (Sam, Eddie's Greek father), Michael Higgins (Michael Anderson), Hume Cronyn (Arthur), Carol Rossen (Gloria), John Randolph Jones (Charles), Harold Gould (Dr. Leibman), Clint Kimbrough (Ben), Charles Drake (Finnegan), Michael Murphy (Father Draddy); Runtime: 120; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Elia Kazan; Warner Bros.; 1969)|
|"Overlong, glum, pretentious and glossy
by Dennis Schwartz
Elia Kazan's ("On The Water"/"A Streetcar
Named Desire"/"Baby Doll") first pic since America,
America (1963), is a dud. It's an overlong, glum,
pretentious and glossy soap opera. It's much like a
trashy Harold Robbins novel, telling about a wealthy
middle-aged ad executive having a mid-life crisis and
trying desperately to find meaning in his empty life.
Kazan bases it on his 1967 novel. It wastes a talented
cast. To make matters worse, Kazan's attempts at
1960's mod film-making techniques of zooms and
flashbacks was awkwardly executed.
mansion residing Eddie
Anderson (Kirk Douglas) is an advertising executive,
sitting atop the world, and with a nagging but
beautiful, intelligent and loyal wife in Florence
(Deborah Kerr). Wifey even tolerates hubby's
extra-marital affairs. But apparently not all's well
with second-generation Greek immigrant Eddie and his
rise to the top, enabling him to live a life of
privilege, as he unsuccessfully tries to kill himself
by driving his sports car into a truck on the
rush-hour freeway. After hospitalized, Eddie comes
home and through flashbacks we observe how his
liberated married ad executive mistress Gwen (Faye
Dunaway), who he fathered a son with, clues him in
that he sold his soul to the devil to get rich off
doing creative ads for his tobacco client. The
recuperating Eddie refuses to return to work, and his
mistress abandoned him a year ago when she refuses to
be controlled by him. Eddie now spends his days
reflecting on what went wrong in his life plan.
The result is a muddled,
contrived, vapid and overwrought melodrama. It's as
meaningless as its unlikable protagonist's search for
meaning in his empty life. Its banal characters have
nothing worthy to say.
Other supporting actors of note include Richard Boone as Eddie's driven merchant father, Harold Gould as a therapist and Michael Murphy as the priest giving "last rites."
REVIEWED ON 5/25/2013 GRADE: C
Dennis Schwartz: "Ozus' World Movie Reviews"
© ALL RIGHTS RESERVED DENNIS SCHWARTZ