Program 2018

The Landlord

Hal Ashby, USA 1970, 112’
Harold and Maude

Hal Ashby made his directorial debut in 1970, part of a much-needed influx of new blood in Hollywood. Unlike many of his peers, he was not a brash film school graduate but rather a soft-spoken veteran editor (he'd won an Oscar for In the Heat of the Night in 1967), whose cinematic vision was informed by both his years cutting for greatslike William Wyler and George Stevens, and his passionate political beliefs about everything from civil rights to the Vietnam War. Based on Kristen Hunter's novel of the same name and adapted by Bill Gunn (Ganja and Hess), The Landlord is arguably the most audacious, skilled and confident first film of this era, a commentary on race and class in America that is at once scathing, compassionate, and often hilarious. Beau Bridges plays the hapless, puppyish Long Island trust-fund kid Elgar Enders, who innocently buys a tenement building in Brooklyn's then African-American neighborhood of Park Slope, creating conflict in the lives of both the building's tenants and his own snooty family members. Bridges gives one of the best performances of his career, while in supporting roles, Diana Sands, Pearl Bailey and Lee Grant (the latter Oscar-nominated) are also excellent. The Landlord didn't set the world alight at the box office, however it was a critical success and set the stage for Ashby's extraordinary run of films through the '70s.

Hal Ashby

Hal Ashby, in full William Hal Ashby, (1929-1988), American filmmaker, one of the preeminent directors of the 1970s, who was especially noted for such films as Harold and Maude (1971), Shampoo (1975), and Being There (1979). 

Selected filmography

1970 Właściciel / The Landlord

1971 Harold i Maude / Harold and Maude

1973 Ostatnie zadanie / The Last Detail

1975 Szampon / Shampoo

1976 By nie pełzać na kolanach / Bound for Glory

1978 Powrót do domu / Coming Home

1979 Wystarczy być / Being There

Cast & Crew

director Hal Ashby
screenplay Bill Gunn
cinematography Gordon Willis
editing William A. Sawyer, Edward Warschilka
music Al Kooper
cast Beau Bridges, Lee Grant, Diana Sands
producer Norman Jewison
production Cartier Productions, The Mirisch Corporation
sales MGM
language English
colouration b&w
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