Alan Arkin directs Elliott Gould, Marcia Rodd and Vincent Gardenia in this black comedy based on the off Broadway stage play about a woman with a highly dysfunctional family who starts dating a closed-off, depressive outsider.
Probably the closest any American film has gotten to Buñuel… yet that doesn’t mean it was particularly funny or competent. You can’t take your eyes of the constant abrasive strangeness of it all but there’s little to enjoy… and a tragedy that strikes at the start of third act crippled the film for me rather than reinvigorated it. That shock doesn’t come completely out of blue – the movie is at its best showing a mad, violent world (a society slowly giving up on any airs and graces) in the mid-ground. Little Murders is a cult item of family disharmony that maybe has too over inflated a reputation as an overlooked gem. Good Donald Sutherland cameo as a hippy preacher.
Perfect Double Bill: Joe (1970)
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