7.0/10
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That Cold Day in the Park (1969)

R | | Drama, Thriller | 8 June 1969 (USA)
A rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again.

Director:

Robert Altman

Writers:

Gillian Freeman (screenplay), Peter Miles (novel) (as Richard Miles)
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Cast

Cast overview:
Sandy Dennis ... Frances Austen
Michael Burns ... The Boy
Susanne Benton ... Nina
David Garfield David Garfield ... Nick (as John Garfield Jr.)
Luana Anders ... Sylvia
Edward Greenhalgh Edward Greenhalgh ... Dr. Stevenson
Doris Buckinham Doris Buckinham ... Mrs. Ebury (as Doris Buckingham)
Frank Wade Frank Wade ... Mr. Ebury
Alicia Ammon Alicia Ammon ... Mrs. Pitt
Rae Brown Rae Brown ... Mrs. Parnell
Lloyd Berry ... Mr. Parnell
Linda Sorensen ... Prostitute
Michael Murphy ... The Rounder
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Storyline

Robert Altman's sadly neglected film that, along with his later "Images", fits into the unconventional psycho-thriller mold. A bizarre story with Sandy Dennis as a spinster who takes in a handsome young man (Michael Burns) who is pretending to be mute. She imprisons the boy and supplies his every need, including a prostitute (Luana Anders), whom she goes out and brings home for Burns' pleasure. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

A woman who never experienced a man! See more »

Genres:

Drama | Thriller

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

8 June 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Aquel día frío en el parque See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$500,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jack Nicholson was very keen on playing the role of 'the boy'. He even discussed it with Robert Altman in his office. But Altman turned him down: "Jack, I think you're just too old." See more »

Quotes

Frances Austen: I'm not going to get under the covers or anything. I'll just lay on top. I have to tell you something. If you feel that you want to make love to me, it's all right. I want you to make love to me. Please.
See more »

Connections

Featured in No Skin Off My Ass (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Spinster in Vancouver
16 October 2013 | by evanston_dadSee all my reviews

Robert Altman is one of my favorite directors, and I had succeeded in seeing all but two of the many films he made during his career: "Health" and "That Cold Day in the Park." Neither were available anywhere to see for the longest time, and then a month ago or so the Gene Siskel Film Centre in Chicago had "That Cold Day" on its calendar, so I finally got a chance to review it.

It's a much better movie than I had expected given its obscurity and the dismissive response from critics and audiences upon its release. It's the first of four dream films centering on the psychological distress of primarily female protagonists that Altman would make over the course of his career. Sandy Dennis plays a Canadian spinster who takes in a younger man who's only too happy to let her buy him clothes, food, etc. There is no sexual component to their transaction, but the sexual tension nonetheless builds to a breaking point, at which point Dennis's character goes off the rails in a macabre finale.

Dennis is quite good and tones down her mannered acting habits. The film stylistically bears many of the hallmark Altman traits, like images broken up and refracted in reflective surfaces or the roving camera that will zoom in on a particular detail. I quite enjoyed this film and think that it deserves more mention in discussions about Altman's canon than it customarily receives.

Grade: A-


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