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Pretty Poison '68

4.3 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

A weirdo hooks up with a widow's teen-age daughter who turns out to be even weirder.

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Anthony Perkins, Tuesday Weld, Beverly Garland, John Randolph, Dick O'Neill
  • Directors: Noel Black
  • Writers: Lorenzo Semple Jr., Stephen Geller
  • Producers: Noel Black, Jack Grossberg, Lawrence Turman, Marshall Backlar
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo), Spanish (Dolby Digital 1.0)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    NR
    Not Rated
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • DVD Release Date: September 5, 2006
  • Run Time: 89 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000G6BLY2
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,687 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Pretty Poison '68" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Robin Simmons VINE VOICE on September 19, 2006
Format: DVD
1968's PRETTY POISON starring Anthony "Psycho" Perkins and former teen tease Tuesday Weld is a much-wanted cult fave not on DVD in Region 1 (USA). With no fanfare, it's now available as a Region 1 but without director Noel Black's better than average commentary on the Region 2 import (Amazon UK).

Adapted by Lorenzo Semple, Jr., from Stephen Geller's twisted love story "She Let Him Continue," opens with Perkins' Dennis Pitt being released from a psychiatric institution or prison for committing arson. The probation officer warns: "You're going into a real, tough world. It's no place for fantasies." First thing Dennis sees when he settles in a small town is seductive, pouty Sue Ann Stepanek (Weld), a girl with serious attitude problems, in her majorette outfit. Uh oh.

This deliciously demented black comedy focuses on what happens when two pathologies collide. It's a forerunner to movies like Bonnie and Clyde, Badlands and Blue Velvet.

Perkins and Weld have great chemistry as the two dodgy lovebirds. She merrily lets him pretend he's a CIA agent but deviously manipulates his fantasies to her own ends.

Beverly Garland is Weld's sexually charged, domineering mom. But it's Perkins and Weld at their best that make this rare gem from the 60s worth finding. I liked director Noel Black's forthright commentary on the Region 2 version (Amazon UK). Wonder why it's missing on the US version?

Rated: R (Originally X in the UK). Genre: Crime Thriller/Romance. 1 Hour, 29 Minutes. Starring: Tuesday Weld, Anthony Perkins, Beverly Garland. Director: Noel Black
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Two talented actors, Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld really make this movie shine. It's a long-overdue release, and if you've never seen this under-rated and lesser-known gem, do yourself a favor and check it out!

Tuesday Weld smokes in this, playing a young girl whose initial, apparent innocence proves too much for Anthony Perkins who is perfect as a troubled young man who is caught in his own fantasy-world.

I'm so happy this has finally been released! I've enjoyed it in late-night airings for years on television.

Now if only "The Shuttered Room" will get released, I can die a happy man!
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"Pretty poison" was remade in 1996. It wasn't all that bad, and if it had been the only version that existed it would have been an enjoyable little film with a clever plot. However, another version does exist: this one, and it blows the remake away. It features two stars born to play the parts - Tuesday Weld and Anthony Perkins. They were older than the characters they played, but brought a quality to their roles, baggage really, that the remake couldn't hope to match.

Anthony Perkins plays Dennis Pitt who leaves the mental institution where he has been confined for some time. Dennis has had problems caused by an overactive imagination and trouble separating fact from fantasy.

He moves to a small town where a job has been arranged for him at a chemical plant. When he becomes infatuated with a seventeen year-old high school student, Sue Ann Stepanek (Tuesday Weld), he involves her in a plan to sabotage the plant because it is polluting the waterways. However events overwhelm him, and Sue Ann shows that she is a strong and ruthless character with none of Dennis' illusions about life. In fact, she has a scheme of her own and matricide in mind.

The end of the movie sees Dennis back in jail where he is visited by Mr Azenauer his parole officer, who realises he is not guilty. He asks Dennis why he does not protest his innocence. Dennis replies with a classic line: "I've learned that people only pay attention to what they discover for themselves". "Pretty Poison" is full of offbeat wisdom such as this.

At first glance, Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld's roles seem to be the stereotypes from which both actors were trying to free themselves. In Perkins case it was from the neurotic, arrested personality he had made his own in "Psycho".
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"Pretty Poison" has had a very rough life, originally released in 1968, was considered faithlessly by 20th Century-Fox, its studio that it was dumped into the latter part of a double-bill initially and given that lurid title. Lorenzo Semple, Jr. wrote the screenplay (of TV's "Batman" fame) and wrote it well. Tuesday Weld, perhaps a bit too old to play a high school teen was superb and took home a few awards for this part, even though she finds her part regretable and held a dislike for the director, Noel Black, who made a very impressive feature debut with this film. The images are sumptuous and the look and feel of the film are flawless. Anthony Perkins is also cast opposite Tuesday for a pairing that was charasmatic, repeated several years later in "Play It As It Lays." The critics that came to bat for "Pretty Poison" upon its release used it as a cause for "the sleeper" (which found long-running homes for movies like "Night of the Living Dead" and "Rider on the Rain" (which needs a better DVD pressing, guys). The Lawrence Turman production is top calibre all the way with Tuesday unspeakably delicious as the cheerleader, an actress long-overdue for honors.
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