'That Cold Day in the Park' (1969)

Saturday, March 16, 2013
7:30 pm - 10:00 pm, UCLA Hammer Museum - Billy Wilder Theater

UCLA Festival of Preservation

See below for additional information.


General admission: $9.00. Non-UCLA students*, seniors, UCLA Alumni Association members (ID required): $8.00. UCLA students (current ID required): free.


UCLA Film & Television Archive
(310) 206-8588



Additional Information

'That Cold Day in the Park' (1969), directed by Robert Altman: By 1969, Robert Altman was a prolific director of episodic television, craving a transition to feature filmmaking, but facing a steep climb toward his goal. His first few feature outings (the 1957 independent feature The Delinquents, a documentary about James Dean from the same year, and the 1968 space thriller Countdown), had not sufficiently captured the imaginations of audiences or the film industry to sustain a feature career. That Cold Day in the Park represented a daring gambit in this context. Quiet and cryptic, it displayed Altman’s iconoclastic fascinations: a sensitivity to schisms within normalcy, a fascination with female subjectivity, and the construction of atmospheres as expressive of psychological states. Sandy Dennis portrays Frances Austen, a young spinster who occupies a well-appointed apartment in Vancouver. There she listlessly entertains a suitor several years her senior, and engages in rote domestic routines. From her window one day, Frances spies a young man (Michael Burns) on a park bench outside, visibly cold and wet. Inviting him inside, she shows the handsome stranger, who is apparently mute, every hospitality—food, clothes, profuse conversation, and a room of his own. Little does she realize that her charming, receptive listener has a complex life of his own, to which he escapes nightly through his bedroom window. The stage is set for conflict as Frances’ loneliness takes on a ferocity that drives the story to a harrowing conclusion.

Preceded by: Excerpts from THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK (pre-release version) (1969)

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