Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Venice Review: Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight' With Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber & Stanley Tucci Venice Review: Tom McCarthy's 'Spotlight' With Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Mark Ruffalo, Liev Schreiber & Stanley Tucci Watch: Amazing First Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz Watch: Amazing First Trailer For Yorgos Lanthimos' 'The Lobster' With Colin Farrell & Rachel Weisz Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba Venice Review: Cary Joji Fukunaga's 'Beasts Of No Nation' Starring Idris Elba The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival The 20 Most Anticipated Films Of The 2015 Toronto International Film Festival On The Rise 2015: 20 Screenwriters To Watch On The Rise 2015: 20 Screenwriters To Watch Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Review: Netflix's 'Narcos' Starring Wagner Moura And Boyd Holbrook Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Joaquin Phoenix Says He Doesn’t Think Making A Blockbuster Would Be "Fulfilling," Calls Chris Pine "F*cking Genius" Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' Watch: Chloe Moretz Fights The Others In First Trailer For 'The 5th Wave' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' James Bond Author Says Idris Elba Is "Too Street" To Play 007, And Bond Is "Weak" In 'Skyfall' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Cary Fukunaga Says He "Wasn't Involved" With 'True Detective' Season 2, Explains His Departure From 'It' Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Andrew Garfield Talks “The Pressure To Get It Right” for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Films & If He'll Do Another Franchise Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows Fall 2015 TV Preview: Our 25 Most Anticipated Shows 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite 'Batman v Superman' And Why Early Screening Reports Need To Be Taken With A Grain Of Kryptonite Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All Looks Like That Black-And-White Version Of 'Mad Max: Fury Road' Isn't Getting A Blu-Ray Release After All The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 20 Best Documentaries Of 2015 So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Sci-Fi Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Animated Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 50 Best Films Of The Decade So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far The 25 Best Horror Films Of The 21st Century So Far 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction' 17 Copycat Films Spawned From Quentin Tarantino's 'Pulp Fiction'

Watch: 1987 Robert Altman Adaptation of Harold Pinter’s ‘The Room’ For ABC TV

The Playlist By Tess Hofmann | The Playlist February 12, 2013 at 12:42PM

If you’ve ever heard high-culture appreciating television viewers lament the fact that Bravo used to air operas while now it airs Andy Cohen, those same folks might be equally disheartened to see this one act play directed by Robert Altman in 1987 for ABC, the network that is now home to 17 seasons of “The Bachelor.” Altman directed a two-part special entitled “Basements,” with both halves being adaptations of English playwright Harold Pinter’s one act plays “The Room” and “The Dumb Waiter.” “The Room” surfaced online recently in the form of a VHS rip, and it’s a thoroughly bizarre 48 minute experience that fans of the celebrated Altman (“Gosford Park,” “The Player,” “M*A*S*H*”) or Pinter (“The Birthday Party,” “The Homecoming,” “Betrayal”) might want to check out.
1
The Room Ruth Gordon

If you’ve ever heard high-culture appreciating television viewers lament the fact that Bravo used to air operas while now it airs Andy Cohen, those same folks might be equally disheartened to see this one act play directed by Robert Altman in 1987 for ABC, the network that is now home to 17 seasons of “The Bachelor.” Altman directed a two-part special entitled “Basements,” with both halves being adaptations of English playwright Harold Pinter’s one act plays “The Room” and “The Dumb Waiter.” “The Room” surfaced online recently in the form of a VHS rip, and it’s a thoroughly bizarre 48 minute experience that fans of the celebrated Altman (“Gosford Park,” “The Player,” “M*A*S*H*”) or Pinter (“The Birthday Party,” “The Homecoming,” “Betrayal”) might want to check out.

The story centers on a woman (the dimunitive Linda Hunt) living in her apartment with a taciturn partner. Paranoia surrounding the dark, damp basement of the building and its potential inhabitants consumes her, and when a young couple (Julian Sands and EurythmicsAnnie Lennox) stops in, things get stranger, eventually culminating in her meeting the man who has been occupying the inclement basement. Pinter is said to have invented the “comedy of menace” -- and that term suits well here. It’s a chamber drama that contains no particular threat aside from its unsettling tone.

While the 1987 air date doesn’t exactly make this early Altman, it is obscure Altman indeed -- an off-kilter curiosity for television history buffs or those who celebrate the director’s entire catalog. Watch below. [The Seventh Art]

This article is related to: Robert Altman


The Playlist

The obsessives' guide to contemporary cinema via film discussion, news, reviews, features, nostalgia, movie music, soundtracks, DVDs and more.


E-Mail Updates