Lilith 1964 NR CC

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(18) IMDb 7.1/10
Available in HD

Warren Beatty stars as a Korean war veteran who returns home and takes a job a mental hospital. While working at the hospital, Beatty begins an affair with one of the patients only to find that she's much more deeply disturbed than he'd thought. This compelling film examines the fine line between sanity and insanity.

Starring:
Warren Beatty, Jean Seberg
Runtime:
1 hour 55 minutes

Available in HD on supported devices.

Lilith

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Robert Rossen
Starring Warren Beatty, Jean Seberg
Supporting actors Peter Fonda, Kim Hunter, Anne Meacham, Jessica Walter, Gene Hackman, James Patterson, Robert Reilly, Walter Arnold, Rene Auberjonois, Elizabeth Bader, Ruth Baker, Amelie Barleon, Jeanne Barr, David Barry, Joanne Bayes, Peter Bosche, Richard Branda, Thomas Brann
Studio Columbia Pictures
MPAA rating NR (Not Rated)
Captions and subtitles English Details
Rental rights 24 hour viewing period. Details
Purchase rights Stream instantly and download to 2 locations Details
Format Amazon Instant Video (streaming online video and digital download)

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His performance makes you want to kick him in the pants and say, "C'mon, man!
"legmuffin"
In both Salamanca's book and Rossen's film, the name of the institution is changed to Poplar Lodge, but nevertheless portions of the film were shot in Rockville.
H. W. Pskowski
Warren Beatty is a stiff (but how do you portray sensitivity?), and Peter Fonda, Kim Hunter, Gene Hackman and Jessica Walter are all good.
Thomas A. Burk

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2002
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
This is a slow, delicate film. There are no car crashes, and no muscle bound hero to save the earth from some impending doom. What you will see is a brilliant study in how the weakness of one man, Warren Beatty, can cause so much harm. His misdirected passion causes the mental collapse of one, Jean Seberg, and the death of another, Peter Fonda. All cast members give excellent performances. This is a haunting film that has stayed in my memory for many, many years.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Thomas A. Burk on September 3, 2009
Format: DVD
There is a remarkable synergy that occurs if one reads the book and also watches this movie. No matter how enchanting the author found the original Lilith (and of course there was one), it is hard to believe any living female could capture the essence of Lilith Arthur better than Jean Seberg. Miss Seberg was made for this role. I can not imagine a single Hollywood actress in the 45 years since this movie was made, who could come anywhere close to capturing the allure, the mystery, the marvelous femaleness of Lilith than Jean Seberg at the height of her powers. Warren Beatty is a stiff (but how do you portray sensitivity?), and Peter Fonda, Kim Hunter, Gene Hackman and Jessica Walter are all good. But Jean Seberg makes this movie. Her sheer presence is luminescent throughout the movie. How could any young man, presented with this un-ignorable force who is Jean Seberg, possibly not succumb to her magnificent, yet dangerous, allure?

The book fills in the details in a most amazing way. I had no idea that literature (and J. R. Salamanca is a literate author of the highest order) could portray human feeling in such a powerful way. In fact, when I first read this book at age 18, it was a revelation to me that anyone could experience life in such a sensitive and romantic way. I still am blown away by this book, 33 years after I read it (seeing the movie the night before, I had to find the book one January day in 1976). I remember in detail driving from La Jolla into San Diego and finding a copy of the hardback in a big, beautiful bookstore in downtown San Diego. For the next 2 days, life was suspended for me as I carefully reveled in this book with the image of Jean Seberg still in my mind as I read it.

The movie ends in a very fine, albeit incomplete, way.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 27, 1999
Format: VHS Tape
" Lillith" is the type of film Warren Beatty used to tackle decades ago. This is a very probing and well acted film about a novice counsellor falling for a very disturbed and lovely young girl. It was in this film that Beatty met actor Gene Hackman in a small role. ( later cast as his brother in Bonnie a Clyde) Peter Fonda plays a very 'disconnected" young man who is also in love with " Lillith" in his own twisted way. An interesting film experience!
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Kevin Killian HALL OF FAME on August 30, 2004
Format: DVD
LILITH was made by the American director Robert Rossen after a period of having been blacklisted, or graylisted at any rate, and a tremendous comeback with THE HUSTLER starring Jackie Gleason. I remember thinking, well, LILITH might not be the ticket for a permanent comeback for Rossen and indeed this turned out to be the case. It's a failure, but an ambitious one and the kind of movie that makes you long for it to be just a little bit better.

Its stars are incandescent. In LILITH Warren Beatty shows for the first time that he's more than just a pretty face. He plays a troubled vet who takes a job as a "counsellor" at a swanky sanitarium, He's almost as messed up as his patients. I wonder if they called him "Vincent Bruce" to sound like "Vincent Price" because he exhibits all the signs of erotic obsession we associate with Price's AIP Poe films, though Beatty isn't as over the top. And playing the "Barbara Steele part" is Lilith herself, Jean Seberg, looking utterly beautiful and enchanting and evil. Peter Fonda is also in it, almost too young to believe, looking good and acting his ass off as another mental patient who falls for Lilith's wicked ways. And then, for fans of ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT on TV, you can spot Jessica Walter, the mother of the clan, here playing Laura, the former girlfriend of Vincent Bruce. He goes back to visit her, even though she married Gene Hackman, in a scene that seems very reminiscent of the end of SPLENDOR IN THE GRASS, where Beatty also had to confront the fact that his girlfriend is hitched up with someone else.

And KIM HUNTER is in the movie too, like Rossen also a victim of HUAC and blacklisting. Here she is a kindly older psychiatrist with a little bit of a thing for Beatty. Well, who wouldn't! Kim Hunter played one of the apes in Planet of the Apes and a memorable "final girl" part in THE SEVENTH VICTIM by Val Lewton and Mark Robson. She's wonderful to watch.
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13 of 17 people found the following review helpful By "legmuffin" on November 21, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
Having read and thoroughly enjoyed Salamanca's novel of the same name, I had very little hope that the film would catch the unsettling nature of the novel. I was wrong.
Rossen captures Lilith's spirit even in the opening credits, as an abstract drawing reveals what appears to be a spider breaking away from its web. Is this symbolic of Lilith leaving the mental home? Or of Vince, the main character, leaving his ideals of himself? Whatever it might mean, the "dreamy" music and the stark black and white film convey the mood of the book quite well, and borders on what one might perceive as a "horror" film. And viewed in this light, the grounds of the mental home (where most of the story takes place) are both comforting and disturbing.
Lilith, played with absolute conviction by the wonderful and beautiful (sans god-awful wig) Jean Seberg, really made the film enjoyable for me. Just witnessing Seberg's performance was inspiring. Hackman has a small character role (in what was his first) as a "hack" husband to Vincent's teen-romance girlfriend. And Peter Fonda is here too, in an almost unrecognizable role as an overly sensitive man at the hospital, competing with Vincent for Lilith's love.
Let's say all is good, almost great, with this film, excepting Beatty's cardboard performance. I can't imagine why Beatty, given a very defined and complex character like Vincent to portray, couldn't be less stiff than he is here! He didn't ruin the picture for me, but his inability to convey ANY emotion, and just stare numbly out into nothing in most of his scenes, simply frustrates. His performance makes you want to kick him in the pants and say, "C'mon, man! Get it together!" through most of what is otherwise, as I've cited earlier, a successful film.
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