US suburbia boredom is treated in an original manner in this cross between a sci-fi opus, a thriller, a suspense pic and a parable on certain aspects of American middle-class life.
US suburbia boredom is treated in an original manner in this cross between a sci-fi opus, a thriller, a suspense pic and a parable on certain aspects of American middle-class life.A middle-aged man has lost contact with his wife. His only daughter is married and gone. Even his work, which was his mainstay in life, seems to pall. Into this comes a strange call from a supposedly dead friend to come to a certain place. He finds himself in a mysterious big business surgery corporation with some disquieting features of a room full of listless men. He is told he can be redone surgically to become a young man and start life over again. He decides to go through with it and after surgery wakes up as Rock Hudson. This has some intriguing aspects on the yearning for youth and a chance to live life over again by many men. But this Faustian theme is barely touched on and the hero’s tie with the past is also somewhat arbitrary. Film [from the novel by David Ely] does not quite come off as a thriller, sci-fi adjunct or philosophical fable. [Pic’s ‘European version,’ which has a slightly longer nude party sequence, was released on homevideo in 1997.]
Joel/Frankenheimer/Paramount. Director John Frankenheimer; Producer Edward Lewis; Screenplay Lewis John Carlino; Camera James Wong Howe; Editor Ferris Webster, David Newhouse; Music Jerry Goldsmith; Art Director Ted Howarth
(B&W) Available on VHS, DVD. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 108 MIN.
Rock Hudson Salome Jens John Randolph Will Geer Jeff Corey Richard Anderson
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