“Forty-one year old Leslie… Not a perfect person, but he had integrity. He didn’t ask for it, he didn’t want it, but he had it — the way some people have B.O.”
Four Jewish intellectuals (George Segal, Jack Warden, Joseph Wiseman, and Sorrell Booke) drive across New York City searching for the funeral of their friend, Leslie Braverman.
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
- Black Comedy
- Death and Dying
- George Segal Films
- New York City
- Sidney Lumet Films
Peary gives a reasonably positive review of this Sidney Lumet film, praising its “comic tone”, occasional “hilarious moments”, and “witty performances”. At the same time, he concedes that “you may tune out on these men” — and, indeed, I found it difficult to care about any of the insufferable characters here (men or women), who screech and kvetch ad infinitum. The most irritating character is Booke’s Holly Levine (a procrastinating writer who is pathologically attached to his new red VW bug):
but the other actors — while turning in decent performances, especially Segal — don’t fare much better.
Though it’s beloved by a handful of fans who are clamoring for its release onto DVD, this film is clearly not for all tastes, and wasn’t for mine.
Redeeming Qualities and Moments:
- Some interesting cinema verite shots of New York streets