“To hell with his poetry! I want to make him a useful, social human being.”
Genres, Themes, Actors, and Directors:
Poor Woodward receives the brunt of Samson’s anger at all turns — and watching the domestic violence taking place in their home is harrowing. It’s infuriating to see her portrayed as a resolutely loyal (albeit gritty and resilient) dame willing to put up with it all given her husband’s supposed “genius”.
Indeed, everything about this dated film smacks of misogyny and juvenile glorification of sex and violence, from an early scene in which Samson seduces a (what else) ditzy secretary (Sue Ane Langdon) while allowing a carpet cleaning machine to fill up an office with suds (funny – not):
… to his belittling words and demeanor at a women’s social event for which he’s being paid to present:
… to numerous sequences in which he either swings at or literally knocks out his wife:
… to his break-in and destruction of the office of the surprisingly unfazed therapist his wife has paid.
Naturally, he also manages to seduce women left and right as he continues to avoid being served process papers and being taken out by a few hitmen; among his conquests are Colleen Dewhurst’s silver-haired Prussian nurse:
… and O’Neal’s neglected, sexually frustrated wife (Jean Seberg).
This is all really a mess, and worth skipping.
Notable Performances, Qualities, and Moments: