|Two homicidal drifters (played to creepy perfection by Warren Oates and Corey Allen) wander off the beach and into the seemingly-perfect Los Angeles home of unhappy housewife Kate Manx, in this long-lost California noir written & directed by THE OUTER LIMITS creator Leslie Stevens. Lensed in stunning B&W by master cameraman Ted McCord (THE TREASURE OF THE SIERRA MADRE), PRIVATE PROPERTY is both an eerie, Jim Thompson-esque thriller and a savage critique of the hollowness of the Playboy-era American Dream. Warren Oates delivers his first screen performance here, years before he emerged in THE WILD BUNCH and TWO-LANE BLACKTOP as one of the finest character actors of his generation; his bizarre Lennie-and-George relationship with the underrated Corey Allen (James Dean’s hot rod rival in REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE) is fueled by a barely-suppressed homoerotic tension. Director Stevens (a protege of Orson Welles) and lead actress Manx were married at the time, and the film was shot in their home; several years later, Manx tragically committed suicide and her fragile spirit seems to hang over the film. |
Private Property qualifies as a genuine rediscovery. –Glenn Kenny, New York Times
…this lost treasure has to rank as one of the richest and fearlessly gnarly of its kind. -Steve MacFarlane, Slant
Four Stars. –The Guardian
…brimming with suggestions of sexual dysfunction that seem shocking even for the year Psycho was released. –Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
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