Robert Altman’s 1969 thriller “That cold day in the park” is one of the more neglected movies by this great American director.
For movie buffs it is interesting to observe Altman’s interest in female psychology, which the director later explored in 1972’s “Images” and 1977’s “3 Women” further.
The storyline is as simple as it is bound leading to disaster: a rich but lonely woman, Frances Austen, one day invites a homeless young man from a nearby park to her apartment and offers to let him live there. However, she has no intention of ever letting him leave again. Sandy Dennis is the superb lead actress here.
The film operates on many levels,e.g. questioning the possibilities – or non possibilities – of communication and the psychodrama showing a woman lost between the bourgeois respectability of her mother’s generation, and the new freedoms of the ’60s.
The film got overall negatively reviewed, “cold”, “implausible” are repeating criticisms.
I do not share these sentiments and recommend this early Altman title most highly.