A Delicate Balance

1973

Drama

121
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 493

Synopsis


Downloaded 4,646 times
May 18, 2019

Cast

Joseph Cotten as Opening Narration Spoken by
Lee Remick as Stella
Paul Scofield as Tobias
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.08 GB
1280*720
English
NR
23.976 fps
133 min
P/S N/A / N/A
2.1 GB
1920×1080
English
NR
23.976 fps
133 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by wlawson60 9 / 10 / 10

The Gentle Terror

There is no music in this superb autumn melody. The words in the mouths of the characters are by Edward Albee and that is music enough. Katharine Hepburn plays Agatha, a close relative of the actress if I ever saw one, Paul Scofield is amazing playing the mild volcano of a husband promising eruptions that when they come they are so civilized that, irrigate rather than decimate. Kate Reid, took over from the extraordinary Kim Stanley and as sensational as Miss Reid is I can't help wondering what Stanley would have done with "a" alcoholic like Claire. Lee Remick is the perfect offspring for Hepburn and Scofield. Selfish, tenuous, childish, rich failure. Joseph Cotten and Betsy Blair are the catalysts, they and their fear, their plague coming to contaminate the contaminated. For film and stage gourmets this is an unmissable treat.

Reviewed by bkoganbing 10 / 10 / 10

Their Well Ordered Lives

Probably were it not for the American Film Theater, that noble project which ultimately did fail of bringing productions of classical American works to film, we might never have seen A Delicate Balance. It's like a lot of O'Neill's work, it's all in the creation of the characters. Certainly a play which consists of six characters sitting around and talking would not be considered anything film-able today. A Delicate Balance for me seems to take off in the same directions as Edward Albee's other classic, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf and also bears no small resemblance to O'Neill's Long Day's Journey Into Night. Both of those films however had bigger budgets and were made more cinematic by having the players move into various locations. The one set technique just doesn't work here. This is not for instance a story as gripping as Alfred Hitchcock's Rope or Rear Window. My guess is that the budget was blown on getting the high priced stars. Paul Scofield and Katharine Hepburn play a pair of sixty somethings married and living in a posh Connecticut suburb, the kind of place Hepburn grew up in and knew well. Living with them is Hepburn's leach of a sister Kate Reid who they keep well supplied with alcohol and who lives there at Hepburn's insistence. Otherwise Scofield would have tossed this one out with the trash years ago. But he bows to Hepburn's wishes to keep peace and order, a delicate balance if you will. They get two intruders in their well ordered lives one day. Their neighbors and long time friends, Joseph Cotten and Betsy Blair just ring the bell and announce that something unknown has frightened them in their home and they need to move out and move in with them. Scofield offers them his daughter's room. But then daughter announces she's moving back after failed marriage number four. Needless to say that causes the balance to go out of whack. Lee Remick is the daughter and she's a selfish and spoiled suburban princess. After this everybody grates on each other's nerves. Short and on plot, but deep on characterization is A Delicate Balance. It explores the problems of old age and loneliness. Cotten and Blair have no children and Scofield and Hepburn take little comfort in Remick. Perhaps if there were grandchildren things might be different for both couples. There was a son who died for Hepburn and Scofield and that seems to have cast a permanent pall over both of them. Though Remick is blood kin, Hepburn and especially Scofield have more in common with their neighbors. How it all works out is for you to see A Delicate Balance for. The film's saving grace is the wonderful performances by the cast. The original Broadway production ran for 132 performances in 1966-1967 and starred Hume Cronyn and Jessica Tandy in the Scofield-Hepburn roles. But certainly Kate and Paul were going to sell more tickets than either of the other two worthy players. Not that A Delicate Balance did much business back in the day. These films were for limited release in any event and if it's making money it's now in video sales and rentals. Still we can thank the American Film Theater for its preservation with some of the best preservers around.

Reviewed by film_ophile 10 / 10 / 10

a tremendous tour de force

What a tremendous production! I had avoided seeing it because I thought it might be too brutal. It is certainly merciless in the dialogue between hateful sisters, but there is much more to the film than that. The writing is so very many-splendoured; some of the lines (Katharine Hepburn has the best ones) sound like Shakespeare and Albee even makes a self-referential joke about that after one of Claire's declarations.The cinematography contributes greatly to the liveliness of this stage drama; it is never dull or boring. Mesmerizing performances all around; terrifically complex and deep questioning of life's meaning and the value of love, loyalty, friendship, family. An unqualified 10 for me. The DVD has very interesting contemporary interviews with Albee and the cinematographer, and text from a very helpful review.

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