Mister Buddwing (1966) 1966 NR CC

Amazon Instant Video

(14) IMDb 6.2/10
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A man awakes on a Central Park bench, not knowing his name or how he got there. He sees a beer truck pass by. Then an airplane flies overhead. He chooses Buddwing as his name and continues his desperate sidewalk quest to discover his true identity.

Starring:
James Garner, Jean Simmons
Runtime:
1 hour 39 minutes

Mister Buddwing (1966)

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Product Details

Genres Drama
Director Delbert Mann
Starring James Garner, Jean Simmons
Supporting actors Suzanne Pleshette, Katharine Ross, Angela Lansbury, George Voskovec, Jack Gilford, Joe Mantell, Raymond St. Jacques, Ken Lynch, Beeson Carroll, Billy Halop, Michael Hadge, Charles Seel, John Tracy, Bart Conrad, Wesley Addy, Romo Vincent, Nichelle Nichols, John Dennis
Studio MGM
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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Customer Reviews

Angela Lansbury is her usual amazing self.
Carl J. Freda
Peopled with wonderful character actors with real, lived-in faces, the film is a beautiful portrait of a place where all things seemed possible at the time.
William Timothy Lukeman
James Garner has a number of other movies that were far better.
David B

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By William Timothy Lukeman TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 11, 2011
Format: DVD
He awakens on a park bench in NYC with no memories, only a haunting dread & desperation. A couple of pills, a phone number scribbled on a scrap of paper. Nothing else. He only knows that something terrible has happened, and that he must find out what it is, no matter how much his own mind fights his increasingly frantic urgency to know.

Owing a good deal to European art films & the highly literate screenwriting of American TV anthologies, "Mister Buddwing" is a mystery, a suspense film, a psychological study, and a relentless portrait of a man lost in the crumbling of the American Dream. James Garner has never been more vulnerable & lost than he is here, in a role that's a far cry from his usual persona of the sly, lighthearted & sometimes hapless charmer.

And who is Mr. Buddwing? As he goes from one woman to the next, each time mistaking her for a mysterious Grace (an obviously symbolic name), we discover a young idealist & musician, hoping to create something worthwhile ... only to fall prey to the financial & social blandishments of American culture. We watch him growing up -- and growing old before his time, as his marriage goes from idyllic to troubled to shattered beyond redemption.

The actresses are a special treat. From Angela Lansbury's oddly maternal loose wife who initially takes Buddwing in, to the three actresses who embody Grace at different stages of life, we're treated to a multi-faceted look at the Eternal Female. Katherine Ross portrays the young college student Grace, enraptured & luminous enough to cause Buddwing to pray to whatever gods there may be for a rich & happy life together.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Carl J. Freda on August 17, 2011
Format: DVD
A great movie from the sixties. James Garner is first rate in the lead and "everybody" else just contributes more greatness. The photography is amazing. Beautiful black & white shots of NYC in the glorious sixties. The automat scene is one of my favorites. Angela Lansbury is her usual amazing self. And adding to all of this is the score by Kenyon Hopkins who wrote many great scores for sixties movies. This is his best. A jazz inflected treasure. Not on cd but you can find the LP right here on Amazon. Don't pass on this 99 minute atmospheric gem.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By dhart on June 3, 2014
Format: Amazon Instant Video
James Garner did a superb job in a well made mystery drama of Evan Hunter's novel Mister Buddwing. The story of a man waking up in Central Park with no identification or any idea of who he is. With no money and no memories he struggles to find out who he is and why he is in this position. Through his travels four women help him along the way as something of each reminds him of the mysterious Grace. Angela Lansbury, a loose married woman with a kind heart, does a fine role. The other three women are Jean Simmons, Suzanne Pleshette and Katherine Ross. Good drama. Hunter also wrote The Blackboard Jungle was a prolific writer who wrote under several names including Ed McBain of the 87th Precinct novels.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By TheBigGirl_1 on April 9, 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I once saw this movie on TCM while I was at the gym. It kept my attention and intrigued me but I never got to see the end of the movie. I always wanted to know how it ended. I later went to try to buy it but found that it was not for sale because of some kind of studio hold-out or some other legal issue. It was not offered on Netflix. So it took a few years but now it was available for general sale. It was worth it to buy it and have my own copy the story was gripping until the very end.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jim miller on February 15, 2013
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Excellent camera work, interesting story that kept me involved to the end -all actors did great job and james garner was very believable in the amnesiac role, similar to the part he played in another film ,36 Hours- great twist ending as well
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Format: DVD
James Garner didn't make many dramatic films ("The Great Escape" is the only one most people remember), but his very special screen presence could be just as effective in a drama as in the light comedies in which he excelled. Garner and an unusual plot hook are the only reasons to watch "Mister Buddwing" but they are enough to turn a run-of-the-mill domestic melodrama into an intriguing mystery.

"Buddwing" is a 1966 film about a man (Garner) with amnesia who tries throughout the movie to remember who he is. He wakes up one morning sitting on a bench in Central Park. Although he is quite well dressed, the only items he has in his pockets are an engraved ring, a train schedule, and a telephone number written on a piece of paper. He knows ordinary facts and how to get around New York City, but he can't remember anything about his life before waking up on the bench. When asked, he gives himself the name "Buddwing," based on the first two things he sees: a Budweiser beer truck and a jet plane flying overhead. When he dials the phone number he has, he's invited by the woman who answers to visit her apartment.

The woman (Angela Lansbury) is a floozy who at first thinks Garner is her drunk boyfriend. But when he arrives, looking completely miserable (he doesn't even remember how he prefers his coffee), she takes pity on him and gives him some spending money. For the rest of the movie, Garner wanders around New York, gradually piecing together who he is and how he came to be on the bench. Along the way he meets three women whom he mistakenly believes are "Grace," a woman who, for some reason, is important in his life. They are a student (Katharine Ross), an actress (Suzanne Pleshette), and a society woman out slumming one night (Jean Simmons).
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