This Property Is Condemned

 

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THIS PROPERTY IS CONDEMNED—-“no kidding” must have been the wag-word as this 1966 drama was batted between typewriters. Only three are credited, but sixteen writers had their mitts on this lemon squeezed out from a one-act play by Tennessee Williams.  With all  that toil it still doesn’t amount to the proverbial steaming bean hill as Robert Redford drifts into a 1930s Dixie townlet with the job of closing down the railroad stop. He sexes it up with the local tramp (Natalie Wood), gets into a pummeling brawl with area oafs and everyone tastes misery.  Director Sydney Pollack fails to stir excitement beyond a capital- L Low. this-property-is-condemned

$4,000,000 was expended, yet it all looks too fake and artificial. At least there are some sexy views of the curvy Ms. Wood, caressed by the camera of James Wong Howe. Despondent over her career stall in generally lame projects, battering from reviewers, and a private-life stew of depression, pills and booze, Wood attempted suicide during the filming, and took a three-year break after this condemned property staggered onscreen, got horsewhipped by the critics and whimpered with an anemic $4,840,000 gross, 56th for the year.

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While Wood retreated, Redford marked this as his first of seven collaborations with director Pollack.  110 minutes, with Charles Bronson, Kate Reid, Mary Badham, Alan Baxter, Robert Blake, Dabney Coleman and Jon Provost.  Love that adverteasin’ tag line,”Call her what you want. Do with her what you will. But remember… This property is condemned.

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