Rhinoceros

  • 1974
  • Movie
  • PG
  • Comedy, Drama

When Joseph Anthony directed this as a play in 1961, it was hailed as a good example of "theater of the absurd," so who better than Julian Barry, the head of the avant garde Living Theatre, to write the adaptation? Before his death in 1985, Barry had squired his charges through many weird plays. He will also be recalled for his portrayal as the knife-thin,...read more

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When Joseph Anthony directed this as a play in 1961, it was hailed as a good example of "theater of the absurd," so who better than Julian Barry, the head of the avant garde Living Theatre, to write the adaptation? Before his death in 1985, Barry had squired his charges through many weird

plays. He will also be recalled for his portrayal as the knife-thin, pasty-faced killer in THE COTTON CLUB. Mostel starred on Broadway and repeats his role here as one of a coterie of people who are turning into rhinoceroses. It's a farce with metaphors and symbolism tossed in for bad measure. A

bunch of people sit around and talk about their plight while we hear the pounding hooves of hundreds of the huge animals going past. Just as Kafka's character became a cockroach, these people are on the verge of metamorphosing into rhinos and are trying to decide if they should allow that to

happen or fight it. Wilder is the one person who is not a caricature, while the others overplay their roles like high schoolers. O'Horgan, who directed flashy stage productions of "Jesus Christ, Superstar," "Hair," and "Lenny," tries a bit too hard to infuse cinematic techniques into the movie to

offset the long dialog passages. Mostel, without benefit of anything except his ability, turns into a human rhino on-screen--a treat to see. Otherwise, the picture is missable. Ionesco fans (and there are not all that many) may find something in this picture to like, but it's hard locating it

behind the allegory. This was one of several stage productions that Landau attempted to adapt en toto at a low enough price to make them worth shooting.

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  • Released: 1974
  • Rating: PG
  • Review: When Joseph Anthony directed this as a play in 1961, it was hailed as a good example of "theater of the absurd," so who better than Julian Barry, the head of the avant garde Living Theatre, to write the adaptation? Before his death in 1985, Barry had squir… (more)

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