The Last of Sheila

ANY NUMBER CAN PLAY; ANY NUMBER CAN DIE!

Some time after a party where movie producer Clinton Green’s (James Coburn) wife was killed, everyone who attended it is invited to a new, strange gathering on Green’s yacht. I can almost picture Anthony Perkins and Stephen Sondheim working on the script, inspired by Agatha Christie and perhaps a sherry or two. That’s the kind of traditional British atmosphere they’re reaching for and director Herbert Ross successfully adds a touch of weirdness, as suspicious accidents begin to happen and everyone seems to be harboring secrets. This original thriller turns increasingly more exciting after a slow start; the final scenes are highly memorable. Great performances, especially by James Mason, Richard Benjamin and Coburn.

1973-U.S. 120 min. Color. Produced and directed by Herbert Ross. Screenplay: Stephen Sondheim, Anthony Perkins. Cast: James Coburn (Clinton Green), James Mason (Philip Dexter), Dyan Cannon (Christine), Ian McShane, Joan Hackett, Raquel Welch… Richard Benjamin.

Last word: “As it turned out, we were filming on Sol Siegel’s yacht, and I’m not quite sure why they didn’t think that through a little more, because the sea we were shooting on was unpredictable from day to day. So we had to wait in the south of France while they built a set at the Victorine Studios for us. We had to spend our days lying on the beach and going to lunch and shopping. It was a hard job!” (Cannon, KCET)

 

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