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Killing of Sister George
Director Robert Aldrich (The Dirty Dozen) turns up the heat in this steamy, provocative and "expertly executed movie" (Los Angeles Times) starring Beryl Reid and Susannah York. Sexy, "sensitive [and] darkly humorous" (Boxoffice), The Killing of Sister George is a racy romp that's "entertaining" (Leonard Maltin), "explicit and sensational" (Life).June (Reid) is the star of a TV soap opera and she has the ego to prove it. But when she begins to suspect that the network is planning to kill off her characterand that her boss is out to seduce her beautifulyoung lover (York)June spirals out of control. And as she's transformed from demanding diva intohair-trigger harridan, TV's grandest of dames proves that underneath it all'she ain't no lady.
"Sister George" of the title is Britain's best-loved soap opera character, played by actress June Buckeridge (Beryl Reid). Buckeridge has become so identified with her character--a sweet old Miss Marple-ish nurse who putters around her quaint little village on a motor scooter--even her friends call her George. But outside the studio she's a hard-drinking, hot-tempered, foul-mouthed lesbian living with an immature young thing she's nicknamed "Childie" (Susannah York, who makes her memorable entrance in a sheer baby-doll nightie). At her worst Sister George is an abusive monster (in a moment of rage she forces Childie to eat the butt of her cigar), but beneath the bluster is an insecure television actress. When the studio decides to kill her character off and an executive makes a play for Childie, the soap star desperately clings to her young lover. Director Robert Aldrich, best known for his tough action films and gothic thrillers, brings his fierce vision of human nature to Frank Marcus's play. In its best moments the film simmers in angry suspicion and helpless frustration, brought to life by Reid's vivacious performance, but other scenes are overlong and stage-bound and would have benefited greatly from judicious trimming and tightening. The caricatured portrayals of lesbian life have aged rather poorly--an inevitable sign of the times--but this acidic show biz drama still carries a hefty emotional punch. --Sean Axmaker --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
and follows the breakdown of one such
relationship between an middle-aged
radio actress and her much younger partner
The dialogue and acting was excellent
SISTER GEORGE came by its notoriety legitimately. A number of gay and lesbian themed movies were coming out in the late 60s. Unlike, say, THE FOX or THERESE AND ISABELLE, though, KSG was unabashedly garish. No literary pretensions here. Whether it was simply trading in stereotypes is a subject of some debate. It is clear that ultimately, "George" is meant to be a sympathetic character; her plight--losing her job and her lover on the same day--is one we're supposed to identify with. Some will, of course, but the failure of the movie is that many more will not. Aldrich and co. mean to portray George in all her complexity, but we never really find out what makes her tick.
And that is much of the trouble with "camp classics": characters like George are supposed to be sympathetic and ridiculous at the same time. To say nothing of being bitchy, bitchy, bitchy. It's a lot to ask of any script writer, or any actress.
Beryl Reid's acclaimed performance is indeed the best thing about the movie. She does suggest some of the character's inner conflicts and self-doubt. But she is all too often in full-harangue mode. It's ultimately wearying. As for Susannah York, she never mangages to project the vulnerability that her child-woman character is supposed to possess.Read more ›
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