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||IMDB Rating: 7.0/10 from votes
||Release: 15 March 1972 (USA) /
||Genre: Comedy, Drama, Sci-Fi, War
||Director: Kurt Vonnegut Jr.,
||Stars: Ekkehardt Belle, Eugene Roche, Friedrich von Ledebur, Gary Waynesmith, Holly Near, John Dehner, Kevin Conway, Michael Sacks, Perry King, Richard Schaal, Roberts Blossom, Ron Leibman, Sharon Gans, Sorrell Booke, Valerie Perrine
||Synopsis: Using his own terminology, Billy Pilgrim is "unstuck in time", which means he is moving between different points in his life uncontrollably, although he is aware of it at certain of those points as witnessed by the letter to the editor he writes to the Ilium Daily News about his situation. Primarily, he is moving between three general time periods and locations. The first is his stint as a GI during WWII, when, as a pacifist, he was acting as assistant chaplain for his squad. This time is largely as a POW, where he was in Dresden the day of the bombing, spending it with among others an older compassionate GI named Edgar Derby, and a brash loudmouth GI named Paul Lazzaro. The second is his life as an optometrist in Ilium in upstate New York, eventually married to the wealthy and overbearing Valencia Merble, and having two offspring, Robert, who would spend his teenaged years as a semi-delinquent, and Barbara, who would end up much like her mother. And the third is as an abductee on the... Written by Huggo
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The realization of this glimpse into the mind's eye of a man unstuck in time
is brilliant to behold. Yes, the book is a brilliant work in its own right,
and open to interpretation, as a truly complex work must be. The movie is
not the book. It is Hill's interpretation of the book, and a brilliant and
viable one it is.
Hill won the best Director Oscar the next year with "The Sting". He later
filmed the similarly unfilmable "World According To Garp" and also did a
brilliant job with it, partially by letting go of John Irving's more
depressing side. Other notable credits include Butch Cassidy... and The
Great Waldo Pepper.
Michael Sacks, in his first movie, and only starring role at the tender age
of 24, is completely convincing and natural. He is equally effective,
compelling, and believable at the six distinct stages of Pilgrim's life
memorialized herein. If he weren't up to the six-in-one role, the film
wouldn't work, but he is, and it does. (I wonder why he has no other major
credits, and ceased acting altogether in 1984. If anyone knows, please
Valerie Perrine is fine as Montana Wildhack. The other characters are all
played for maximum irony and effect, and the cast delivers beautifully,
without exception. Eugene Roche is the epitome of kindness as Edgar Derby,
the yin, to Ron Liebman's yang, a twisted ball of anger named Paul Lazaro.
John Dehner is brilliant as a war-hawk professor upset at the Vietnam
protesters. His character would be as appropriate amidst today's global
conflagration as it was in 1966. Lucille Benson, Kevin Conway, Sorrell
Booke, Holly Near, Richard Schaal, and Perry King are the more familiar
names in a uniformly excellent cast, including the German
The musical score is also perfect, both in tone and substance. Vonnegut is
a master of superimposing satire over irony over futility. The movie does a
marvelous job of blending these contrasts and making its audience feel
enriched. The music underscores all of these contrasts. The cinematography
also is magnificent.
Searching desperately for something to say to show that the movie cannot be
100% perfect, the only thing I can come up with is that the pacing of the
movie drags slightly when the soldiers leave the first camp for Dresdner
until their new Kommandant gives his "welcoming" speech. It might have
played better with about three minutes cut from that sequence. So
I recently saw Slaughterhouse Five for the fifth time in 27 years since I
originally saw it at my college campus -- this time on DVD. I never fail to
catch something new, and I never fail to enjoy it all the more.
Given how many 70's movies have failed miserably to withstand the test of
time, Slaughterhouse Five is a true treat to be savored.
Tags for Slaughterhouse-Five Full Movie
, Eugene Roche
, Friedrich von Ledebur
, Gary Waynesmith
, Holly Near
, John Dehner
, Kevin Conway
, Michael Sacks
, Perry King
, Richard Schaal
, Roberts Blossom
, Ron Leibman
, Sharon Gans
, Sorrell Booke
, Valerie Perrine
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