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Directed by Otto Preminger
USA
1971

 

Otto Preminger (Skidoo) directs this comedy-drama based upon the novel by Lois Gould and adapted by Esther Dale (Elaine May under the pseudonym). Julie Messinger (Dyan Cannon) is an intense woman who hides her wild emotions and desires under her conventional fašade. Her husband Richard (Laurence Luckinbill) checks into the hospital for a simple mole removal that goes seriously wrong. The stellar cast includes James Coco, Jennifer O’Neill, Ken Howard, Louise Lasser, Nina Foch, Sam Levine, Doris Roberts and Burgess Meredith.

***

Otto Preminger's "Such Good Friends" is a hard, unsentimental, deeply cynical comedy about life as it is lived, unfortunately, in New York City. It's Preminger's best film in a long time, probably since "Anatomy of a Murder" in 1959.

That isn't to say that Preminger hasn't created some good films and some great scenes in the years since. But his projects have so often been vast exercises in logistics, this time he spends his energy on the story of a few painfully realized days, and what has been wasted on width is now invested in depth.

The world he examines is the New York society of money-oriented creators: terribly bright, talented people who have arrived on a certain plateau because of their willingness (eagerness?) to lay everything on the line for success. Their success, like their lives, is totally present tense, Although they have histories and backgrounds and occasionally bow dutifully in the direction of their ethnic groups, they're essentially cut off from everything except high-powered performance. Death strikes these people as a particularly awkward embarrassment.

Excerpt from Roger Ebert at the Chicago Sun-Times located HERE

Posters

Theatrical Release: December 21st, 1971 

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DVD Review: Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC

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Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC
Runtime 1:42:18
Video 1.78:1 Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 6.29 mb/s
NTSC 720x480 29.97 f/s   

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate:

Audio English (Dolby Digital 2.0) 
Subtitles None
Features

Release Information:
Studio: Olive Films

Aspect Ratio:
Aspect Ratio 1.78:1

Edition Details:

• none 

DVD Release Date:  May 17th, 2011

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Chapters: 8

 

Comments:

I remember watching this on TV when I was quite young (maybe 15) - and I am sure I know why I recall it so... vividly. I can certainly appreciate Such Good Friends now - beyond Dyan Cannon - although admittedly she is still an enjoyable part of the film's landscape. This has elements of a 'black comedy' with some harsh satire and well-acted drama. It is an interesting film - but I don't think it's a great film.

This is another Paramount release by Olive Films and like WUSA - also from the early 70's - this is a bit of an oddball that deserves a revisitation.

This is a typical Olive Films release - dual-layered, progressive, anamorphic and looking pretty strong for the SD format. It is bare bones with no extras nor subtitles offered. This is competently transferred and supports the film well with a damage-free, transfer that shows a bit of inconsistency in some scenes but overall is quite watchable. Detail, contrast and colors are all solid. It looks decent, if not stellar. The sound is audible and clean.

I think this is worth a 'boo' for those that might be keen on this bold, unapologetic, 70's milieu. Students of Preminger certainly have a reason - ohh, and don't forget Miss Canon. It may be some of her best acting and her sexual charisma is also at an, undeniable, peak. A quote by her about Preminger and Such Good Friends;  "I was warned about him -- but could anybody really be that bad? Yeah, they could. Elaine May wrote a great screenplay. He took a piece of beauty and screwed it up. It was an incredible part and he destroyed it. I have been the victim of some killers in my time. He's one of the biggest. He's a horrible man. Phew" Well, well, well...    

Gary W. Tooze

 



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DVD Box Cover

   

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Distribution Olive Films - Region 1 - NTSC



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