Lilith

1964

Drama

1
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 86%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Upright 65%
IMDb Rating 6.9 10 2536

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 30, 2021 at 03:56 AM

Director

Cast

Gene Hackman as Norman
Jessica Walter as Laura
Warren Beatty as Vincent Bruce
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
1.02 GB
1280*694
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 3 / 15
1.9 GB
1920*1040
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 53 min
P/S 5 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by MOscarbradley 9 / 10

Is this Rossen's best movie?

Jean Seberg was a woefully inadequate actress in almost every role in which she was cast but she seemed born to play Lilith, the unstable, deeply amoral 'heroine' of Robert Rossen's last film. It's an extraordinary performance and it's extraordinary because it doesn't appear to have anything to do with 'acting'; it just seems to exist. The theme of the film is madness, not 'mental illness' but madness in the truly Shakespearean sense of the word, and everything about the film is heightened, a little unreal. Eugen Schufftan photographs the film in a hazy monochrome with the emphasis on white. We peer at the characters through shafts of sunlight, (and there is a lot of water on view, too).

And Seberg isn't the only extraordinary performance. There is excellent work, too, from Warren Beatty as the young nurse drawn into Lilith's web, Kim Hunter as the woman who runs the institution where Lilith is housed and Peter Fonda, (the best of his early performances) as another patient obsessed with Lilith. Indeed the whole cast, (which includes a brilliant, early cameo from Gene Hackman), is working at the top of their form.

The film is an adaptation of a J R Salamanca novel but Rossen renders it in wholly visual terms. He uses his camera the way an artist uses his canvas to convey the inner lives of his characters. It isn't a total success. There are times when it dissolves into hysteria and the symbolism tends to get a bit top-heavy, but it is still a fearless, totally uncommercial movie, possibly it's director's best, and a key American movie of the sixties.

Reviewed by Balthazar-5 10 / 10

One of the cinema's luminous masterpieces

When filmmakers are coming to the end of their lives, occasionally they make a film that transcends their place in cinema. Such a film is Lilith. Robert Rossen was a fine and highly competent director, but, even in 'The Hustler', there was no sign in his work that he could make anything quite as jaw-dropping as Lilith. Rossen was dying when he made this film, and his veteran cinematographer, Eugene Shufftan was also getting very old. It seems to me that they both thought 'we won't get another chance like this' and went for broke.

Lilith shows the very best of Rossen, the very best of Shufftan and the very best of Jean Seberg - the 60s' most luminously beautiful star. I have read J R Salmanca's novel, and it weaves a wonderful spell. In the up-market asylum, Salamanca found a metaphorical island somewhat like that in 'The Tempest' where pure aspects of the human psyche could be explored - particularly that most precious and fundamental aspect, love.

Indeed, the film deals in visual/conceptual metaphors in many ways - think, for example, of the analogy that is drawn between spiders and the inmates of the asylum. The Beatty character, Vincent, sees the beautiful Lilith as a victim of schizophrenia, being trapped in it, as if in a spider's web, but he ends up being trapped in her web.

Rossen does a fabulous job in keeping this really very static story moving and ensuring our identification with the central relationships. Vincent seems excessively mannered, but, like Travis Bickle, he is just back from the war and is trying to integrate back into society. We rarely see Vincent other than in a hospital environment until he has completely fallen for Lilith, so his attempts to re-integrate into society are, in effect, attempts to integrate into madness.

Seberg as Lilith is completely dazzling, her beguiling beauty hiding a gorgon in disguise as she plays each character off against the other until she has them helplessly reliant on her. She never looked, or acted close to this level before or after. Forget Breathless, forget Bonjour Tristesse or Saint Joan; forget even Birds Come to Die in Peru. This is essence of Seberg!

It is the visual aspect of the film, however, that is so wonderful, and that visual splendour is such that seeing the film on a television barely gives a small reflection of its qualities in this respect. Shufftan's black and white cinematography would get my vote for the greatest black & white cinematography of all time (Seven Samurai comes close...). On a cinema screen, you get the impression of being able to see every hair on the head of the central characters and light becomes a vehicle of meaning and wonder as in no other film that I can remember.

As the silent cinema came to an end, there was one monumental masterpiece that showed what was being lost in its passing - Dovzhenko's Earth. Now, as black and white cinema was coming to a close, Rossen and Shufftan showed what had been lost. There have been several major black and white films in the last forty years, but nothing that has the visual splendour of this magnificent work.

Reviewed by ztruk2001 10 / 10

One of cinema's most under-appreciated

Jean Seberg is absolutely captivating in this film. Yes despite the wig she wears, due to the fact her hair was cropped short for her previous films, she is as lovely as ever. One of my favorite films of all time and certainly the best one that deals with insanity in and honest and true way, not only avoiding the cliché' but completely reversing it and debunking the stereotype. Robert Rossen is a great director, one of history's most under-appreciated and few others could helm this story the way he does. Based on the novel by J.R. Salamanca, the story is of a young war vetern who returns home and seeks a job at the local mental institute. There he gets too involved with several of the patients and learns much about their past, which reflects the tragedy in his own life involving his mother.

It's true Warren Beatty does play the role blandly and stiff. While that's a turn off for many people watching the film, I think they fail to understand that just like Ryan O'Neil in Barry Lyndon, it's the character they're playing. Not the actor and certainly not the direction. Wonderful supporting cast from Kim Hunter and Peter Fonda as well as a brilliant cameo by Gene Hackman, which oozes of a marriage gone sour in his bit part.

It's a very hard film to figure out because so much is left untold and rightfully so leaving the audience to decide what happened. Playing on the fable of the past coming back to haunt us it plays deeply on buried memories and traumatic life experiences that were covered up rather than confronted. There is so much positive to say about this amazing film, but even so it's actress Jean Seberg that is the crown jewell in this picture. Criminally underseen, now that it is on DVD anyone interested in deep character studies should make it a point to watch this ASAP.

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