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The Landlord (1970)

At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his ... See full summary »

Director:

Hal Ashby

Writers:

Bill Gunn (screenplay), Kristin Hunter (novel)
Nominated for 1 Oscar. Another 4 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Beau Bridges ... Elgar
Lee Grant ... Mrs. Enders
Diana Sands ... Fanny
Pearl Bailey ... Marge
Walter Brooke ... Mr. Enders
Louis Gossett Jr. ... Copee (as Lou Gossett)
Marki Bey ... Lanie
Mel Stewart ... Professor Duboise (as Melvin Stewart)
Susan Anspach ... Susan Enders
Robert Klein ... Peter (as Bob Klein)
Will Mackenzie ... William Jr.
Gretchen Walther Gretchen Walther ... Doris
Doug Grant Doug Grant ... Walter Gee (as Douglas Grant)
Stanley Greene Stanley Greene ... Heywood
Oliver Clark ... Mr. Farcus
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Storyline

At the age of twenty-nine, Elgar Enders "runs away" from home. This running away consists of buying a building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. Initially his intention is to evict the black tenants and convert it into a posh flat. But Elgar is not one to be bound by yesterday's urges, and soon he has other thoughts on his mind. He's grown fond of the black tenants and particularly of Fanny, the wife of a black radical; he's maybe fallen in love with Lanie, a mixed race girl; he's lost interest in redecorating his home. Joyce, his mother has not relinquished this interest and in one of the film's most hilarious sequences gives her Master Charge card to Marge, a black tenant and appoints her decorator. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Watch the landlord get his.

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 May 1970 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

El casero See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Turner library print)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Hal Ashby: bearded hippie/groom in opening shot. See more »

Quotes

Fanny: If you didn't sweat so much, nobody'd take you for a landlord.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Oral Generation (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

A Man
Lyrics and Music by Al Kooper
Sung by Al Kooper
See more »

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User Reviews

Surprising
12 November 2001 | by gisele22See all my reviews

I was pleasantly surprised with the complexity of "The Landlord". It was brilliantly directed. The cutting between different scenes was effortless and added depth to the storyline. There was plenty of symbolism, which is one of the things I always look for and enjoy in a film. For instance, when Elgar (Bridges) and his father are having an argument in the bathroom during a costume party, there is a quick cutaway to another man in the bathroom who has on a gun holster, which I thought was symbolic of the 'shootout' that was going on between Elgar and his father. In addition, the Enders family is constantly seen wearing white, and their home is decorated in white.

I thought the acting was top notch. Beau Bridges was very convincing as a naive, sheltered man learning to appreciate and embrace a different culture. But the movie is so much deeper than that... It dealt with people trying to break free from stereotypes, people struggling to be proud of who they are and be accepted for who they are, and some people not even knowing who they are, trying to find their niche.

I love the scene at the party that was supposedly in honor of Elgar, where more than one person tells him what it feels like to go from being an outcast to being the envy of everyone. If I remember correctly, they likened it to you having a mole in the middle of your forehead, and people are basically disgusted by it. But, then one day, that becomes the thing to have, and people begin to draw moles on their faces, but you have a real mole right there on your forehead, prominent for everyone to see, and suddenly you are "it", and your self esteem is taken to new heights. It seems like everything would be fine for you now, but I also interpreted that speech as saying that, at the time, blacks felt like they were a fad that might eventually fade out. I thought the words were very powerful, as well as the way the scene was carried out.

I don't think a film such as this could be pulled off properly now, because there is the constant threat of backlash if things aren't completely "PC", not to mention the fact that things are so different now. I think this film was made at the right time, but it still rings true 31 years later. And, thank goodness for the satisfying and realistic ending.


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