Review: ‘Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon’

Otto Preminger has given this tale [from Marjorie Kellogg's novel] of a trio of handicapped, scarred, emotionally and psychologically marred humans a somewhat bland mounting to miss the poetics inherent in the tale.

Otto Preminger has given this tale [from Marjorie Kellogg’s novel] of a trio of handicapped, scarred, emotionally and psychologically marred humans a somewhat bland mounting to miss the poetics inherent in the tale.

Liza Minnelli is Junie Moon, who has had acid poured over her face and arm by a perverted date when she laughs at him for making her undress in a cemetery for weird kicks. Robert Moore is a young man brought up by a queer (Leonard Frey) and wounded in an accident on a hunting trip with a friend at whom he made a pass. Ken Howard had been sent to homes as retarded.

They’ve met in the hospital and, being orphans in a sense, decide to live together afterwards. Moore is the brains, Minnelli the heart and spunk, and Howard the apparent breadwinner.

Pic reaches for such symbols as blacks being also handicapped in the social system, with the apparently gay cripple having his first woman via a lovely intellectual black girl (beautifully played by Emily Yancy).

All this is well mounted and lensed but sans the right dramatic flourishes to get human depth, melodramatic gusto or humane symbolism into the right focus.

Tell Me That You Love Me, Junie Moon

Production

Paramount. Director Otto Preminger; Producer Otto Preminger; Screenplay Marjorie Kellogg; Camera Boris Kaufman; Editor Henry Berman, Dean O. Ball; Music Philip Springer; Art Director Morris Hoffman

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1970. Running time: 112 MIN.

With

Liza Minnelli Ken Howard Robert Moore James Coco Kay Thompson Ben Piazza
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