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Images (1972)

Susannah York , Rene Auberjonois , Robert Altman , Greg Carson  |  R |  DVD
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Susannah York, Rene Auberjonois, Marcel Bozzuffi, Hugh Millais, Cathryn Harrison
  • Directors: Robert Altman, Greg Carson
  • Writers: Susannah York, Robert Altman
  • Producers: Greg Carson, Al Locatelli, Tommy Thompson
  • Format: Anamorphic, Closed-captioned, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
  • DVD Release Date: September 16, 2003
  • Run Time: 101 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00009Y3NA
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,774 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Images" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

Effectively a "lost film" soon after its original release, this dreamlike yet razor-sharp movie from the amazing early-'70s arc of Robert Altman's career was among the most mesmerizingly beautiful color films ever made. Where on this planet did Altman and cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond find such colors, such an awesome fairy-tale landscape? (Ireland, as it happens.) Even more extraordinary was the inside/outside landscape of the heroine's consciousness: this is a movie in which madness is inseparable from imagination. Susannah York gives a brave, supernally freaky performance as a married woman who may be an adulteress, may only be fantasizing about it, may be pregnant, may merely be giving birth to a world. René Auberjonois, Hugh Millais (McCabe and Mrs. Miller's fur-clad assassin), and Marcel Bozzufi play the men in her life, some of whom may be dead, some of whom are going to be. They all exchange names at various times as Cathryn meets herself coming and going, in search of unicorns. --Richard T. Jameson

Product Description

"One of the most important American directors of our time" (Life), Oscar(r) nominee* Robert Altman delivers a "fascinating [and] compelling" (Interview) thriller that delivers an "original cinematic jolt" (Playboy)! Susannah York, who won the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival for her role, is "spellbinding" (Filmex) as a woman whose psychological demons are becoming quite real! Suffering from schizophrenia, Cathryn (York) can't seem to shake her hallucinatory apparitions. Unable to bear the torture any longer, she decides there's onlyone way to clear her mind: Kill the people haunting her in her visions. So one by one, she offs herghosts. But are the people she's killing just figments of her imagination or are they real? *Director: Gosford Park (2001), Short Cuts (1993), The Player (1992), Nashville (1975), M*A*S*H (1970); Best Picture: Gosford Park (2001, with Bob Balaban, David Levy), Nashville (1975)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating Psychological Portrait August 15, 2004
Susannah York gives a fantastic performance as Cathryn, a wealthy English woman who may be mentally unstable. Alone in her home writing a children's book, she is interrupted by the apparent appearance of an old lover. Or is she? When her husband (Rene Aberjonois) arrives home and sees her distress, he whisks her away to their country home - a strangely drab cottage that seems to have been spray-painted black and gray. Her deterioration and inability to distinguish fact and fantasy continue unabated, particularly when her husband has to return to the city. What happens from there is highly open to interpretation.

"Images" is a strange, unsettling film, even for director Robert Altman. The initial pace is glacier-like and will undoubtedly leave many viewers bored and frustrated. However, you need to stick with it, as the film gradually gains momentum and climaxes with almost unbearable tension. The film has been compared to Roman Polanski's "Repulsion"; that film is superior to "Images," but the comparison is not completely inappropriate. Both chronicle a young woman's descent in madness when left alone; however, "Images" is less chilling and somewhat more convoluted, although with many merits of its own.

Filmed on location in Ireland, the film looks absolutely stunning, and the cinematography is so superior that it alone merits a viewing of "Images." Altman's direction is also first-rate and masterful, so much so that it somewhat detracts from the film - I was sometimes too busy watching his directing flourishes to pay attention to small plot details. Overall, "Images" is an intriguing movie-going experience that will likely appeal to many fans of Altman and viewers who appreciate films that can be obscure in nature.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars great 70s horror classic October 8, 2003
By A Customer
I have not seen IMAGES on DVD so I cannot honestly comment on the DVD's quality, but I saw this film last year at a film archive screening, and I have to say I was genuinely freaked out by it. Again, to be honest, a number of my friends found it to be a bit silly, but I was genuinely disturbed by it, in much the same way that I was disturbed by ONIBABA, ROSMARY'S BABY, DON'T LOOK NOW, and DEAD RINGERS. Putting the spectator in the position of a mentally unbalanced person (a la DR. CALIGARI), IMAGES masterfully creates the effect of being trapped within an unstable subjectivity. By the way, the acting and the cinematography are flawless...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Reappearance of a Long Lost Masterpiece July 26, 2006
The first thing that I think Altman fans will notice when they watch this is that this is the only 70's Altman film that takes place in another country. And that other country, Ireland, is in many ways the star of this film, or at least Ireland as it is seen through the lens of cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond.

The other star of the film is the musical score. John Williams did the musical score but there is also a "sound" credit given to Stomu Yamashta who is referred to as a creator of sound sculptures.

The cinematography and the music (which sounds, at times, like Japanese horror film music) combine to give this film more atmosphere than all of Altman's other films combined. For a film with a comparable atmospheric setting think Peckinpah's STRAW DOGS or Skolimowski's THE SHOUT.

Also the writing credits are divided between Robert Altman and Susannah York. Altman wrote the story but York wrote the story within the story called "In Search of Unicorns" and this Hobbit-like fantasy story about a medieval tribe searching for unicorns was actually published. In the Altman film York's character, Catherine, is writing this fantasy story and we can see that she is very good at allowing herself to completely float away from reality. Plus the Irish landscape that surrounds the cottage, populated by sheep and shetland ponies, and the cottage itself, seem more fantastical than real. Its an excellent setting for a story about psychoses (a person who experiences a break from reality).

As Altman films go this is in a different category altogether from his usual ensemble pieces. This is the film he made after McCabe and Mrs. Miller and, in some ways, it picks up where that film left off. Imagine McCabe and Mrs. Miller told entirely through Mrs.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars most exciting psychological triller! December 14, 2003
This is the most exciting psychological thriller ever made,I thought.Director Robert Altman's unique style on this film magnificiently presents the see into tormented woman'madness, same as Altman's other film like "that cold day in the park('69)"and "three women('77)". The music on this film(by John Williams) is still more exciting, espesially for the percussion of Stomu Yamash'ta(the famous japanese percussionist known by Red Buddah Theatre of '70s).To my regret, this film isn't released on theatre in Japan.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Can you work this out? April 23, 2007
Robert Altman's "Images" is a powerful and bewildering film. It's ability to throw the viewer completely numerous times throughout it's running time is something I have seldom encountered before while watching a psychological thriller. You'll need to have all your wits about you to appreciate what you see here.

The plot, as written on paper, is not complicated. Susannah York plays Cathryn, a married woman who seems rather highly strung and nervous. Together with her husband she goes to a remote house in the country to write a children's book. Once there, she gradually begins to lose her grip on reality. That's all I can really be sure about, because the viewer lives Cathryn's experience as fully as the character does. Throughout the movie, events happen that can't possibly be explained as rational or real, and the only possible explanation is that Cathryn is hallucinating. A film that does this without ever making it clear whether the audience it supposed to be able to work out what is reality and what is a dream, is audacious indeed. I watched, baffled, as Cathryn encountered various people who may or may not have actually been there, saw her own double moving around the landscape, received mocking telephone calls, and had whole conversations with someone in the room who then suddenly became someone else. It took the first 30 minutes of watching to become accustomed to how slickly the film tosses you between the various states of reality and unreality. Once I loosened up and started to just go with it, it was easier...oddly enough, I was mirroring the emotions of the main character, as she too realises that if she can't shake the nightmare off, she's going to have to just deal with the movie to see how she does!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Exemplary
item arrived quickly as described-the rare DVD was packaged beautifully the way only a fellow collector would-excellent experience-thank you very much!
Published 16 months ago by Jeff T.
5.0 out of 5 stars Clearly the Most Accurate Portrait of Schizophrenia
I can not believe Susannah York was not nominated for an Oscar for "Images." She most deservedly should have won in 1973 beating out Liza Minnelli. Read more
Published 19 months ago by V. Risoli
4.0 out of 5 stars Images that come and fade!
Those Seventies were characterized by the distortion of the reality. The serious physhic fracture suffered by a woman in his early thirties was admirably portrayed by Susannah York... Read more
Published on December 2, 2011 by Hiram Gomez Pardo
1.0 out of 5 stars Altman's Justifiably Lost and Forgotten Effort
Images is a pastiche of 70's pop-psychobabble and cardboard characters, correctly consigned to the dustbin of movie history. Read more
Published on September 11, 2011 by Kenneth M. Sarocky
4.0 out of 5 stars Robert Altman's most curious experiment
I have a lot of trouble with films featuring unreliable narrators. While I understand that films about a character with a frayed sense of reality need to be as chaotic and... Read more
Published on July 27, 2011 by Steven Carrier
3.0 out of 5 stars Imperfect but interesting, complex early Altman
This is a a film I'll definitely watch again. I have the feeling it could feel even stronger on repeated viewings. Read more
Published on August 11, 2010 by K. Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars The World of a Schizophrenic Woman
Images is an early Robert Altman film released in 1972 just after M*A*S*H and McCabe and Mrs. Miller, two of his best films. Read more
Published on May 11, 2010 by Zarathustra
4.0 out of 5 stars Reflections
This is a good, mildly creepy movie. I would have titled it Reflections rather than Images, due to all of the mirror effects. Read more
Published on March 31, 2010 by Sara
5.0 out of 5 stars intriguing altman - haunting mood piece
Sorry to see this has gone out of print. What made me think of this film was that I was just responding to a question: "What films are similar to David Cronenberg's Spider that you... Read more
Published on April 6, 2009 by M. Bowyer
3.0 out of 5 stars Altman Directs Susannah York
Susannah York delivered the boldest performance of her career in this intriguing, deliberately-paced drama, written and directed by Robert Altman, about a schizophrenic woman who... Read more
Published on October 12, 2008 by Michael B. Druxman
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