Robert Altman’s That Cold Day in The Park

Published September 10, 2012 by Sandee

A woman sees a man sitting on a park bench from the window of her posh apartment across the street.  She peers through the curtains in the dining room while her guests prepare for the fine cuisine that her servants have cooked.  She’s distracted throughout dinner, staring off into nothing, making excuses to get up to see the young man on the bench.  It rains but the man remains sitting there. The woman becomes agitated.  “That man out there, he’ll be soaked,” she says to her guests.

When they leave, she goes out with an umbrella, introduces herself and invites him to stay with her.  She feeds him a fine dinner and a pineapple cake she made herself, plays music for him and offers him up her tub for a bath. The man plays mute the entire time so she runs her fucking mouth – it’s Sandy Dennis with some weird accent that sounds like one of those stars, Tina Turner, Madonna, who’re enamored by the foreign and effect some bizarre rendition of European accent. The movie is in Vancouver and though I’ve never been there I don’t think they talk like this.

Eventually Sandy Dennis takes the boy prisoner and invites a prostitute to have sex with him.  She kills the prostitute and tries to soothe him, telling him that everything’s okay even though the windows and doors are bolted and he can’t get out.  Tears stream down his face while the credits roll and she strokes his face, kissing him and whatnot in an extreme close up.

I loved this movie soooooo much when I was a kid!  It haunted me something awful.  I found it bizarre and transporting.  It’s not on Netflix so I had to watch it on youtube in segments which is straight up wack!  I wondered why it wasn’t on Netflix so I looked for reviews – it’s a Robert Altman film – I loved 3 Women by the way.  Robert Altman’s good right?  Well, everyone hated the film, called it psychosexual nonsense blah blah blah – what killjoys!  I give the movie 10 stars because Sandy Dennis is a weirdo and I liked the Vancouver scene because you don’t get to see it much in movies and I like that she took somebody prisoner in her posh apartment.  Roger Ebert can kiss my butt with his bad review.

37 comments on “Robert Altman’s That Cold Day in The Park

  • Wait, that’s a real movie? By Robert Altman? Have I been living under a rock?

    Altman is one of my favorite directors. This proves that he made movies to make himself happy, and no one else. That’s awesome.

    • That’s inspirational isn’t it — if this is the case — that wasn’t trying to cow tow to the industry. My film review is extremely loose in tone so I don’t have all the facts — even the quotes are off — but I believe this was adapted from a book. I don’t know the circumstances surrounding it, all the details of that project, etc.,

  • Sandee, I’ve never seen this movie, but it sounds creepy and wonderful. Sometimes the ones “reviewers” say are great aren’t and the ones they hate are good. Where can we find this artistic treasure? :).

    • I watched it on youtube in 7 segments. It’s poor quality and each segment’s about 15 minutes or so. You have to click on the next after the previous is over. Or you can get it on Ebay for $24. I really didn’t mind watching it on youtube. It was creepy and Sandy Dennis is so weird in it — I love her and her peculiar way of doing things.

  • Sandy Dennis is what I call a “cinematic object.” haha! I find her face and basically everything about her fascinating. I remember seeing 3 women when I was a teenager, right? How old were we back then? Robert Altman is one strange dude.

    • Yay! I’ll watch anything Sandy Dennis is in — I love love her face, the way she talks, etc. I loved her in The-Out-of-Towners with Jack Lemmon.

      I did enjoy 3 Women, especially Shelley Duval — another one with that oddity that I like. She looks like one of my aunts. While I loved the movie it was very strange and I still don’t grasp the ending of it.

  • Auntie Sandee,
    Why does anyone listen to Robert Ebert anyway? His reviews have always been populist, and his taste sucks ass – please forgive my blunt intellectual appreciation of his reviews.

    LOVE this movie. Love Robert Altman. Love my Aunt’s taste.
    Le Clown

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