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      The Balcony

      Released Mar 21, 1963 1h 24m Fantasy List
      60% Tomatometer 5 Reviews 47% Audience Score 50+ Ratings In an unnamed city, Madame Irma (Shelley Winters) runs a brothel where people explore role-playing and other sexual fantasies. When her police chief lover (Peter Falk) arrives, she learns that a violent revolution is brewing outside and many of the country's leaders have been killed in the uprising. Soon, the brothel's customers and employees are forced to take to the city streets in costume and impersonate the slain leaders in order to help restore sanity. Read More Read Less

      Critics Reviews

      View All (5) Critics Reviews
      Emanuel Levy EmanuelLevy.Com Well acted by Shelley Winter and others, Jospeh Strick's version of Genet's faous play is only semi-effective in conveying the politics and allegory of the original text. Rated: B- Mar 15, 2012 Full Review Jules Brenner Cinema Signals Rated: 0/5 Nov 21, 2004 Full Review Lori Hoffman Atlantic City Weekly Rated: 2/5 Feb 4, 2004 Full Review Carol Cling Las Vegas Review-Journal Rated: 4/5 Sep 26, 2003 Full Review John Esther Pasadena Weekly Rated: 3/5 Aug 2, 2003 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

      View All (6) audience reviews
      Audience Member The greatest 01 hour: and 24 minutes ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/11/23 Full Review Audience Member A surreal story of a house where men go to live their fantasies. The fantasies are sexual but involve a complicated setting - each unfolding in a room/ scenario destined to that effect. All movie unfolds in a rather silly manner, ironic but too far fetched to be anything but at tale. A satirical tone over our own morals. Some homosexual notes, which make the movie a bit daring for its time. Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/03/23 Full Review Audience Member In a brothel known as The Balcony the Madame provides a secure environment where clients can explore their fantasies through role-play. Directed by the award-winning Strick it is based on the play by Jean Genet, produced and published in 1956 as Le Balcon. As Strick explains in the notes with the DVD: “If you read gas meters for a living you can imagine yourself a bishop of the Church in The Balcony, complete with costumes, organ music (sorry!) and a charming female cohort. If you yearn to be a judge and punish impertinent thieves, this is the place you can act it all out. You can even take on the costume and appurtenances of a general of the armies, then exercise army discipline on a lovely woman-horse to your heart’s content.” Outside the bordello a contemporary European city is aflame with a revolution raging. This film is probably the closest that a US prodution has got to reproducing a piece of European theatre accurately and passionately. One forgets the type-casting of Leonard Nimoy (playing a revolutionary leader) and Peter Falk (playing a fascistic Police Chief) which is no mean feat in itself. The film explores complex philosophical issues of authority, status and the relationship between revolutionaries and the establishment. The costumed patrons of the brothel: a General, Lawyer and Bishop are gradually persuaded to adopt the roles in real life, filling the vacuum created by the deaths of the leaders of the City. Their roles are taken out of the bedroom and on to the streets. The film suggests that the distinction between reality and illusion may become blurred. Even the revolutionaries seem to prefer the replacements. The score for this risky, intriguing film is all Igor Stravisnsky and features L’histoire de soldat and his octet for woodwinds. www.countercultureuk.com Rated 3.5 out of 5 stars 02/08/23 Full Review jack c Loved the play, and Winters and Falk are very good... the actual movie itself, I'm not so sure. It's worth seeing though for being so damn challenging and terrific in its abstractions of desire and fetish and truth. Just dont expect a knockout. Rated 4 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Strange, muddled film, very existential. The question would be, even with talented performers like Winters, Falk and Grant, who was film made for? Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review Audience Member What a piece of pretentious garbage! The only plus thing for the film is a good job by the actors in the film, especially Lee Grant and Shelley Winters. The writing is dreadful, I have no idea why it was nominated for an Oscar in cinematography, there is nothing good about it. Rated 1.5 out of 5 stars 01/30/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Balcony

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      Cast & Crew

      79% 85% Juliet of the Spirits 78% 62% Jack the Giant Killer 86% 78% 7 Faces of Dr. Lao 90% 76% Peau D'ane 55% 62% Charly Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis In an unnamed city, Madame Irma (Shelley Winters) runs a brothel where people explore role-playing and other sexual fantasies. When her police chief lover (Peter Falk) arrives, she learns that a violent revolution is brewing outside and many of the country's leaders have been killed in the uprising. Soon, the brothel's customers and employees are forced to take to the city streets in costume and impersonate the slain leaders in order to help restore sanity.
      Director
      Joseph Strick
      Producer
      Ben Maddow, Joseph Strick
      Screenwriter
      Ben Maddow
      Distributor
      Continental Distributing Inc.
      Production Co
      City Films
      Genre
      Fantasy
      Original Language
      English
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Mar 21, 1963, Original
      Release Date (DVD)
      Aug 1, 2000
      Runtime
      1h 24m