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That Cold Day in the Park

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

That Cold Day in the Park
Poster of the movie That Cold Day in the Park.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byRobert Altman
Produced byDonald Factor
Leon Mirell
Written byPeter Miles (novel)
Gillian Freeman
StarringSandy Dennis
Music byJohnny Mandel
CinematographyLászló Kovács
Edited byDanford B. Greene
Distributed byCommonwealth United
Release date
8 June 1969 (US)
Running time
113 minutes
CountryUnited States

That Cold Day in the Park is a 1969 suspense film directed by Robert Altman and starring Sandy Dennis. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Miles and adapted for the screen by Gillian Freeman, it was filmed on location in Vancouver, British Columbia, where the events occur. The supporting cast includes Michael Burns, Luana Anders, John Garfield, Jr., and Michael Murphy. The picture was screened at the 1969 Cannes Film Festival outside of the main competition.[2]


Frances notices a nineteen-year-old boy sitting in the rain in the park outside her house and invites him inside. The boy does not speak but appears to understand everything. Frances allows him to bathe and eat, then buys him new clothes the next day. That night the boy visits his parents and younger siblings then returns to his small apartment with his older sister Nina and explains what has happened to him.

The next day the boy returns bearing homemade cookies and unexpectedly encounters the maid, Mrs. Parnell. Frances invites him in and sends Mrs. Parnell away. Mrs. Parnell remarks that the cookies are burnt before leaving but Frances opens an expensive bottle of wine to accompany the cookies. She holds one-sided conversations and flirts with the boy, developing a strong attachment. The following day the boy allows his sister Nina to use Frances's bath while Frances is away having a contraceptive diaphragm fitted and dispensed at a local family planning clinic.

When Charles, an older suitor from Frances's lawn bowls group, visits that night, Frances locks the door to the boy's room while she rebuffs the man's advances until he leaves. She then inserts the diaphragm and enters the boy's room and asks him to make love to her but is distraught to find that the bed is merely stuffed with dolls.

The boy sneaks back into his room at Frances's house and sleeps until the next day, when he finds that all of the doors and windows are nailed shut. He confronts Frances and she apologizes but insists that she wants things to remain as they are, leaving him locked in the house as she goes out to a bar. She notices a woman sitting alone and invites her to come spend the night with the boy but the woman becomes upset. A man overhears and helps Frances find a prostitute named Sylvia at a nearby diner. Frances brings Sylvia home and locks her in the room with the boy then listens through the door as they have intercourse. Overcome with emotion, Frances enters the room and stabs Sylvia through the heart, killing her. The boy desperately searches for an exit but Frances tells him that he can stay with her and that he does not have to be afraid.



Writer Frank Caso identified themes of the film as including obsession, schizophrenia and personality disorder, and linked the film to director Robert Altman's later films Images (1972) and 3 Women (1977), declaring them a trilogy.[3]

See also


  1. ^ 'Park' a Lark in Vancouver Loynd, Ray. Los Angeles Times 22 Dec 1968: b26.
  2. ^ "Festival de Cannes: That Cold Day in the Park". Retrieved 2009-04-10.
  3. ^ Caso, Frank (2015). "Strange Interlude". Robert Altman: In the American Grain. Reaktion Books. ISBN 1780235526.

External links

This page was last edited on 22 May 2020, at 22:07
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