Rick’s Journal    —    MY FILM CAREER


WUSA     Stuart Rosenberg     1970
with Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward and Anthony Perkins

This is the first time I can remember not enjoying every moment of Newman’s and Woodward’s screen time together.  Variety‘s reviewer says a lot in one telling sentence:  “Script is not always lucid and director Stuart Rosenberg’s pacing is numbed by needless Newman-Woodward scenes which drag pic.”  There appears at times something almost self-indulgent about the Newman-Woodward scenes, something uncharacteristic of both of them, professionally and personally.

I never understood the character played by Anthony Perkins nor his project, and thanks to a poor sound track I never heard a lot that was said.

The film is too long and too talky and at times enamored of its own verbiage.  Screenplay is by Robert Stone from his novel.

Paul Newman considered this his greatest film.

*          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *          *


—   and in lots of books

“I have never slept in a cinema before.”

Mr. Howard and a French acquaintance Nicole are trying to smuggle five children past the occupying Nazis and out of France.  They spend one night with other refugees in the local movie theater.  “I have never slept in a cinema before.”  …  “The seats had all been removed, and around the walls were palliasses stacked, filled with old straw…the long, sloping floor was lit by one dim blue light over the door.  Dark forms lay huddled upon palliasses here and there…The pleasant, easy life that he had known in England seemed infinitely far away.  This was his real life.  He was a refugee, sleeping upon straw in a disused cinema with a German sentry at the door, his companion a French girl, a pack of foreign children in his care.  And he was tired, tired, dead tired…Presently they left the Cinema du Monde.”  (from the novel Pied Piper, Nevil Shute, c1941, 1942), filmed as THE PIED PIPER in 1942, directed by Irving Pichel.)


Until then,
See you at the movies
(as in Get up and go out and see one),

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s