Review: ‘Savages’

Savages, first US film by producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, is about members of a primitive tribe who are lured by the appearance of a rolling croquet ball to an old deserted mansion where they dress in clothes and take on 'civilized' societal behavior, only to return to the forest and their primitive behavior the following morning.

Savages, first US film by producer Ismail Merchant and director James Ivory, is about members of a primitive tribe who are lured by the appearance of a rolling croquet ball to an old deserted mansion where they dress in clothes and take on ‘civilized’ societal behavior, only to return to the forest and their primitive behavior the following morning.

The playing has flair and grace, sans woodenness from everyone, with Walter Lassally’s excellently balanced b&w lensing for the primitive days and color for the so-called civilized times a great asset, as are the editing and music. The only carp might be a tendency to overplay an act.

But no denying an almost hypnotic charm and fascination in this offbeat, insouciant look at mankind and his climb to civilization and fall.

Savages

Production

Angelika/Merchant-Ivory. Director James Ivory; Producer Ismail Merchant; Screenplay James Ivory, George Swift Trow, Michael O'Donoghue; Camera Walter Lassally; Editor Kent McKinney; Music Joe Raposo; Art Director Charles E. White III, Michael Doret

Crew

(Color) Available on VHS. Extract of a review from 1972. Running time: 105 MIN.

With

Louis J. Stadlen Anne Francine Thayer David Susan Blakely Russ Thacker Salome Jens
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