Review: ‘The Group’

The principal problem Sidney Buchman had to face in adapting Mary McCarthy's very successful college classmates novel was to transfer its colorful characterizations and story-telling without overloading his script with the mass of novelistic detail. His script does not completely solve this.

The principal problem Sidney Buchman had to face in adapting Mary McCarthy’s very successful college classmates novel was to transfer its colorful characterizations and story-telling without overloading his script with the mass of novelistic detail. His script does not completely solve this.

There’s little tampering with the original storyline but the filmscript concentrates on the story of Kay (Joanna Pettet), the first girl to be married and the one meeting the most tragic end. Throughout, she and Larry Hagman, as her philandering playwright husband, have the longest roles. However, if less important, the characters played by Joan Hackett and Jessica Walter, thanks to their performances, register as strongly as does Pettet. Hackett, particularly, is provided with a wide range of emotional changes.

Biggest letdown, and doubly so because her few scenes are so effective and played so well, is the part played by Candice Bergen. As Lakey, the ambisextrous leader of the Group (and the novel’s most memorable character), her treatment in Buchman’s script will puzzle the audience, as her few scenes at the beginning and at the end don’t match with the billing she receives.

The Group

Production

Famartists/United Artists. Director Sidney Lumet; Producer Sidney Buchman; Screenplay Sidney Buchman; Camera Boris Kaufman; Editor Ralph Rosenblum; Music Charles Gross (sup.); Art Director Gene Callahan

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1966. Running time: 150 MIN.

With

Candice Bergen Joan Hackett Elizabeth Hartman Shirley Knight Joanna Pettet Jessica Walter
Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

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

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com 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 )

Google+ photo

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

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading