Sunday, September 14, 2008

The Group (1966)

This award nominated movie by Sidney Lumet has not really positive reviews from critics’ and viewers, but who can resist an all female ensemble cast? Not me.

Basic Information
Director: Sidney Lumet
Screenplay and Produced by Sidney Buchman
Based on Mary McCarthy novel of the same name.
Cast: Candice Bergen (is her screen debut), Joanna Pettet, Jessica Walter, Joan Hackett, Elizabeth Hartman, Shirley Knight, and more.
Release date: January 1966
Detroit première: March 1966
Running time: 150/152 minutes
Production Company: Famartists Productions and Famous Artists Productions
Distribution Company: United Artists
Movie released only in VHS in September 1998 by MGM.
imDb Wiki TCM

In the 1930s, eight Vassar graduates — Lakey (Candice Bergen), Dottie (Joan Hackett), Priss (Elizabeth Hartman), Polly (Shirley Knight), Kay (Joanna Pettet), Pokey (Mary-Robin Redd), Libby (Jessica Walter), and Helena (Kathleen Widdoes) — search for love and happiness while keeping abreast of each others’ lives.

But this excerpt from the UK book Lesbian Film Guide: An Essential A-Z Guide to the Celluloid Lesbian by Alison Darren (works at the Museum and Heritage Industry) sounds more interesting: Lakey (Candice Bergen) is an art history major and soon departs to Europe to study (…) When she returns she has found herself a lover, the stylish but rather stern-looking Baroness Maria d”Etienne, who comes back to America with her. If you want to read about the film in the book go here.

Also if you want to read an article about the McCarthy's novel and the film, check SAQ Online.

The film was in-competition for the Golden Bear at the 1966 Berlinale and Joan Hackett was nominated as Best Foreign Actress at the 1967 BAFTA’s.

The first picture is the movie poster, the second one seems like it's the cover of the VHS release. Let’s hope that eventually is released in DVD as this seems like an interesting movie to watch because and beyond the genre.

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