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The Landlord (1970) - movie overview

The Landlord (1970)

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Plot Description

MPAA Rating

Running Time
1 hour, 52 minutes

Country USA

Studio Mirisch Company, United Artists

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Other Titles
• The Landlord
• Der Hausbesitzer (1970)

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Genre: Comedy, Society, Satire, Black Comedy, Marriage, Love

Plot: Elgar Enders (Beau Bridges), a rich but good-hearted dilettante, buys a tenement building in a run-down part of Brooklyn. He wants, with no evil intent, to evict all the African American tenants and rip out all the floors so he can hang gigantic works of art in his new home. When he moves into an empty apartment he meets the tenants, a colorful collection of 1960s types. Pearl Bailey and Lou Gossett stand out in their small roles. When Elgar starts to make repairs to the tenantís apartments, he slowly becomes involved with their lives. He becomes romantically involved with a married tenant, Fanny (Diana Sands), and a dancer, Lanie (Marki Bey), whom he meets at a local bar. This is contrasted with his interactions with his stiff upper-crust family, dominated by his mother (Lee Grant). Her visit to the tenement results in a delightfully comic scene with Bailey.

Directed by Hal Ashby, beautifully shot by Gordon Willis, and produced by Norman Jewison (for whom Ashby had edited IN THE HEAT OF THE NIGHT), this first feature by Ashby clearly shows his attraction to offbeat material, which would reach an apogee in HAROLD AND MAUDE, but it is also one of the few real attempts from this time period to explore, in a multifaceted manner, the issues of race and class in America. The film is

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 Directed by
Hal Ashby
Being There, Harold and Maude, The Last Detail
 Written by
Bill Gunn
Penelope, Ganja & Hess
Beau Bridges
The Fabulous Baker Boys, The Hotel New Hampshire, The Wizard
Louis Gossett Jr.
An Officer and a Gentleman, Jaws 3-D, Enemy Mine
Lee Grant
Mulholland Dr., Dr T and the Women, In the Heat of the Night
Diana Sands
A Raisin in the Sun, Ensign Pulver
Pearl Bailey
The Fox and the Hound, Carmen Jones, Porgy and Bess
Walter Brooke
The Graduate, Black Sunday, Yours, Mine and Ours
Marki Bey
Sugar Hill
 Music By
Al Kooper
King of the Corner

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Brewster McCloud (1970)
Ali: Fear Eats the Soul (1974)
Americanization of Emily, The (1964)
Together (2000)

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