A rare pearl of film noir with Warren Oates in his first big role!
New 4K restoration
At a gas station on the Pacific Coast Highway, two misfits named Duke and Boots notice an elegant blonde woman in a beautiful white car. They climb into the car of a salesman and force him to follow the car to its final destination, a posh villa in Los Angeles. Luckily, the house next door is unoccupied and the two men decide to settle there incognito to spy on their new neighbor, Ann, who spends her days by the pool waiting for her husband. Duke has a plan: to offer his services as a gardener to be able to enter the villa...
Private Property is the directorial debut of American director Leslie Stevens, protege of Orson Welles – they worked together at the Mercury Theater, the theater company created by the Citizen Kane filmmaker – and future creator of the science fiction series Beyond . of reality (1963-1965). Private Property was shot in just ten days at Stevens' villa on the heights of Beverly Hills. It is when he sees the house next door, unoccupied, that he comes across this image of two men spying on their neighbour. He then hires his wife, actress Kate Manx, to play the role of the seductive desperate housewife who quickly falls under the spell of the manipulative Duke. Shot in magnificent black and white by Ted McCord, famous director of photography to whom we owe John Huston 's Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948) and Elia Kazan 's East of Eden (1955), Private Property is a disturbing neo-Hitchcock thriller with a fierce critique of the superficiality of the American Dream in the Playboy era. Warren Oates delivers his first great interpretation in the role of Boots, one of the two thugs, a few years before his consecration as a key player in new American cinema (with Sam Peckinpah and Monte Hellman in particular). Alongside actor Corey Allen – famous for his role as James Dean's rival in Nicholas Ray 's La fureur de vivre (1955) – he forms an atypical duo. Their relationship evokes that of John Steinbeck's characters, Lennie and George, in Of Mice and Men (1937): an unfailing friendship between two men whom everything seems to oppose (both physically and intellectually), to which the film adds barely concealed homosexual subtext. When it was released in 1960, Private Property enjoyed a scent of scandal with its explicit sexual references and asserted voyeurism. The rediscovery of this major film noir, unseen since its release, and available in its elegant 4K restoration, is an event not to be missed!