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David and Lisa

A big "little" film. Prior to this, there had been many films like THE SNAKE PIT and THE THREE FACES OF EVE, but the understated charm of DAVID AND LISA is what set the movie apart from so many other attempts at depicting the problems of the mentally ill. Dullea is a bright young man who cannot bear to be touched by anyone. His overly protective mother and father, Patterson and McMurray, leave him at the private school with da Silva, the intelligent doctor who runs the institution which caters to children with mental problems. Margolin is a very troubled schizophrenic who talks in rhyme and is deeply ensconced in her shell. The two meet, and the gradual falling-in-love story is what forms the basis for the film. As they begin to trust each other, Dullea is able to be touched and Margolin feels secure enough to reveal her emotions. The story was based on a real case history by Dr. T.I. Rubin, and Eleanor Perry handled the screenplay with tact and subtle care that avoids mawkishness. This is a thoughtful, poignant film with a documentary feel; there are enough comic moments and a welcome absence of psychiatric jargon. Frank Perry's direction won an award at the Venice Film Festival in 1962. Margolin and Dullea were honored as best actress and actor at the San Francisco Film Festival.