A Fine Madness

"Bad"

A Fine Madness Review


If you consider yourself a fan of Sean Connery, you might want to give A Fine Madness a pass. Connery is so hateful and downright mean in this film, it might sully your image of him permanently.

The "fine madness" of the title refers to Samson Shillitoe (Connery), a poet who's having trouble completing his next work. He's also a bit of a deadbeat: He can't keep a day job to save his life, he's months late on alimony payments and being chased by debt collectors, who he regularly beats up, invariably destroying the room he's in along the way. Oh, he cheats on his wife (Joanne Woodward), too. But she loves him so much she's willing to spend all her savings on, get this, psychoanalysis, so he can finish his poem.

Connery spends the entire film with a sour expression, screaming at everyone around him. I guess this is meant to indicate how passionate he is (and maybe the novel did a better job of this), but really it comes off bitterness and mean-spiritedness. Connery is a jerk, sure, but surprisingly Woodward is little better: Her Rhoda is an uncouth harpy whose only redeeming feature is her devotion to Samson. Whenever the duo are together on screen, they spend the time shrieking at each other. It gets so loud I had to eventually turn down the volume on my TV.

This continues through to the end -- Samson's attempts at being "cured" are a complete MacGuffin; the film ultimately has nothing much to do with his psychosis. The final scenes show the fallout of the latest fight between Samson and Rhoda: Their entire apartment is wrecked to the point of inhabitability. In their last scene (and you might consider this a spoiler, but I doubt it), Samson punches her out in the street. She then reveals she's pregnant with his child. Good luck, kid.

This is a comedy, by the way (tagline: "We should all be so crazy"). Black comedy is possibly my favorite genre of entertainment -- from Dr. Strangelove to Bukowski -- but this is just hollow tripe that never works.

I've never seen such an ill-advised film and such amazing talent (including Jean Seberg as the analyst's wife, who inexplicably becomes infatuated with Samson, too) put to such little ultimate effect.

The DVD includes a featurette on Connery.



A Fine Madness

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Friday 23rd September 1966

Distributed by: WARNER BROTHERS PICTURES

Production compaines: Pan Arts, Warner Bros.

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 1.5 / 5

IMDB: 5.9 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Samson Shillitoe, as Rhoda Shillitoe, as Lydia West, as Dr. Vera Kropotkin

Also starring:

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.