6.6/10
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26 user 26 critic

Figures in a Landscape (1970)

Two escapees are on the run in the wilderness of an unspecified country. Wherever they go, they are followed by a menacing black helicopter.

Director:

Joseph Losey

Writers:

Robert Shaw (screenplay), Barry England (from a novel by)
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
Robert Shaw ... MacConnachie
Malcolm McDowell ... Ansell
Henry Woolf ... Helicopter Pilot
Christopher Malcolm ... Helicopter observer
Andy Bradford ... Soldier (as Andrew Bradford)
Warwick Sims Warwick Sims ... Soldier
Roger Lloyd Pack ... Soldier (as Roger Lloyd-Pack)
Robert East ... Soldier
Tariq Yunus ... Soldier
Pamela Brown ... Widow
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Storyline

Two escapees (Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell) are on the run in an unspecified but seemingly Latin-American country. Everywhere they go they are observed and hounded by a menacing black helicopter. Written by Jonathon Dabell <BC602070@pixie.ntu.ac.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Freedom isn't force. See more »

Genres:

Action | Thriller

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for some violence | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK | Spain | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 March 1971 (Spain) See more »

Also Known As:

Figuras en un paisaje See more »

Filming Locations:

Malaga, Andalucia, Spain See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Joseph Losey replaced Peter Medak See more »

Soundtracks

Cartagena
(uncredited)
Music by Julián Palanca
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Fascinating, but can't explain why ...
26 May 2008 | by CoventrySee all my reviews

"Figures in a Landscape" is definitely one of the weirdest and most unclassifiable movies I've encountered lately, and at the same time it's pretty difficult to explain why that is. Some movies are weird because they increasingly overpower the viewer with substantial twists and/or stylistic gimmicks, but still they constantly uphold the impression there's some kind of deeper meaning or hidden structure behind it. The films of David Lynch are like that, for example. Other movies, and "Figures in a Landscape" is definitely one of them, are weird because they never at one point feature abrupt story twists and never even seem to want to achieve a deeper meaning. Kind of like the 'what you see is what you get principle' and don't even bother asking background information. Based on Barry England's novel - that probably only very few people have read - "Figures in a Landscape" revolves on two escaped convicts nervously running across a desolate area. Pretty much like the title implies, they are, in fact, simply figures in a landscape. We're never explained where exactly the events take place (South America? East Asia?) or what crimes the two committed in the first place. They must have been quite serious, however, as MacConnachie and Ansell quickly find themselves besieged by a menacing black helicopter and later also by army patrols on foot. The helicopter plays a devastating mental and physical game with them, as it appears to be omnipresent and in absolutely no hurry to pick them up. This is the type of film where there are no characters to root for. You won't develop any sympathy for the fugitives as they commit some truly vile acts along their way and you can't really support the guys inside the helicopter, neither, as their faces aren't even properly shown. "Figures in a Landscape" is a brooding, moody and mildly unsettling film that doesn't always makes sense and doesn't bother to involve the viewer. But, if you manage to put all the unanswered questions aside from you, this also might turn out one extremely enchanting viewing experience. Every shot, every inch of the landscape seems precisely measured and re-considered at least a dozen times before featuring in the film. The choreography is simply wonderful and the filming locations – apparently Spanish – are almost continuously breathtaking. The performances of Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell couldn't be more apt and Joseph Losey's direction is very surefooted. After seeing only this and the even more unique "These are the Doomed", I'm more than anxious to check out Losey's further repertoire.


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