The collapse, all of a sudden, of a long-standing middle-class marriage comes about when both mates undergo a fling, by a wonderful coincidence, on the same long night. Storyline, locale, even character relationships, all tend to be eclipsed by the Cassavetes visual style, which is quite accurately described in the movie's title. Only at the end, specifically on the staircase, does Cassavetes work the scene into the setting. Otherwise it is left to the hard-working actors, in brutal, grainy closeups, to take hold of the spectator's interest (or his shirtfront) by force. Lynn Carlin, in her first movie as the stunted wife, and Seymour Cassel, as the somewhat ragged gigolo who gets her to invite him home, are more forceful than others. With Gena Rowlands, John Marley, Val Avery. 1968.

Duncan Shepherd

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