Adapted from Robert Stone's novel A Hall of Mirrors, this is a sophisticated political satire set in New Orleans, with Newman as a DJ on a right wing station (it's being used to propagandise a neo-Fascist movement) whose tough cynicism finally shatters his relationship with a timid girl he picks up (Woodward). The film is intelligent and well directed, but what makes it exceptional is Anthony Perkins' extraordinary performance as the neurotic liberal Rainey, which builds - after a few rather shaky scenes - into an agonisingly real force in the narrative. Someone had the astonishingly appropriate idea of taking Norman Bates out of Psycho and turning him into a torn and anguished liberal/revolutionary: it's less a character study than a kind of visible expression of the raw liberal conscience, a twitching, convulsive mass of uncertainty and pain. Newman's visual, verbal and structural dialogue with Perkins throughout the film is so impressive that it makes this one of the more important political statements to have come out of Hollywood in the early '70s.
Cast and crew