David and Lisa

The portrait of Geo. Washington presides over the school where two children frightened out of their wits gradually enter adulthood and sanity.

So much for the psychiatric and other “stumbling blocks in this film” described by Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, who was sympathetic.

Well-treated by Variety in its review, which also followed with difficulty.


Ladybug Ladybug

An elementary school “go home” drill made real by a yellow Civil Defense signal indicating a probable “nuclear attack within one hour.”

The walk from school through Eastern farmland certainly echoes Hitchcock’s The Birds.

The bomb shelter finale is furthermore stated in Rod Serling’s “The Shelter” and “One More Pallbearer” (dir. Lamont Johnson for The Twilight Zone).

The film is therefore situated on the satirical plane of Clément’s Jeux interdits.

Bosley Crowther of the New York Times, “too slight in dramatic structure and too prosaic, really, to carry much punch.”

A “disaster” in The American Cinema (Andrew Sarris).

TV Guide, “successfully illustrates the harm undue panic and thoughtlessness can provoke.”

Sandra Brennan (Rovi), “thought-provoking and only slightly heavy-handed anti-war tract”.

Prelude to David and Lisa.


A Christmas Memory

Somewhere between F. Scott Fitzgerald and Miracolo a Milano, Perry finds the accurate rendition, not that it matters. The atmosphere and the acting are the field in which the material is deployed.


The Thanksgiving Visitor

An altogether different proposition, in color for one, with a large cast ponied up nevertheless by Perry for the camera as before, singly.

The bully and thief steals dross, a nostalgic escape.


The Swimmer

A locus classicus of surrealism, a man’s whole life, a man who “never got around” to building a swimming pool, The Man Before the Law.


Last Summer

“What’s the difference between America and France?”

“I don’t know, what’s the difference between America and France?”

“In America, your goose is cooked, and in France, your cook is goosed!”

Between Clouzot’s La Vérité and Bertolucci’s The Dreamers, this study.

Careless, foolish, stupid youth, n’est-ce pas? Only it turns out to be, inconscient, the mystery of Robbe-Grillet’s Le Voyeur.

Even the sea gull, a delightful performer.


Diary of a Mad Housewife

A Smith College grad, the female equivalent of Rod Serling’s executive in “A Stop at Willoughby”, even more vague, feckless and incapable, sinking into madness like the manicurist in Polanski’s Repulsion.

Critics side with her against the husband in whose world she has a tenuous existence, against the lover she takes as well.

And speaking of Polanski, how much like Rosemary she is, a disaffected New York type.

Harvard lawyers who live the good life and ballsy writers much in demand have their place in the universe, she has not.

A fish out of water, drowning in air, with deleterious effects on those around her, a reed not to be leaned upon.

Or call her a middle-class girl sunk by conspicuous consumption and professional promiscuity, whatever, so she find her niche.



A very comical view of the OK Corral in Tombstone, viewed as straight drama.

Wyatt Earp is running for sheriff, Johnny Ringo is the culprit, he’s running with the gutter trash Clantons, Earp tries to make a deal.

Holliday has an adobe pied-à-terre with Katie Elder, it all reminds him of days gone by.

A masterful Western, first-rate, beyond criticism, but some flurries of very fast editing render the critics hors de combat.



Play It as It Lays

One of the most beautiful films ever made, to accompany its satire.

B.Z. Mendenhall (Anthony Perkins), the producer, has a priceless history. He kills himself on the lap of a neurotic actress, formerly a model (Tuesday Weld), because there’s nothing.

The director (Adam Roarke), her husband, is a knight in armor who gets the shot every blessed day.


Critics had not the one idea what it was all about.

Oscar nominations were everywhere, but none came from the Academy.

The Bad and the Beautiful, certainly Two Weeks in Another Town, and Inside Daisy Clover.


Rancho Deluxe

All the living hell of latter-day Western horseshit just washes off in the latter rain and uncovers a pair of cheeky rustlers in it for the sport, one as you may say of each kind, plus the yokels who are inside men.

A superb analysis of Easy Rider.


Mommie Dearest

A sublime caricature in a bitching hatchet job. Joan Crawford would have played the part herself, the punchline is so very like Castle’s Strait-Jacket.



An American priest takes up a machine gun, a mistress, and mob money, in the service of the Vatican.

Here, then, is the lens of Church politics on the great mystery, “because He can jig”.


Hello Again

A version of Perry’s own Diary of a Mad Housewife to accommodate the critical view of that masterpiece, the occasion is an evident wish or wager to make a film even worse than Tony Richardson’s The Hotel New Hampshire, if that is what is wanted, arranged with every possible timeliness of tackiness and a star of Cheers, which is to comedy what Nick’s Place is to Martini’s.

“The movie is a Disney production,” wrote Hal Hinson in the Washington Post, “and it has that special brand of tony brazenness—the new Disney touch—that a lot of its recent films have had. (If things keep up like this, Tinker Bell will have to exchange her wand for a sledgehammer.)” Tinker Bell was subsequently redrawn entirely, as a retard.