Games-Movie Review

Games Film Review

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Dir. Curtis Harrington
USA, 1967
35mm 90 min.

Games marked director Curtis (Night Tide) Harrington's jump from independent B-pictures to the studio's A-list. A thriller whose ode to Diabolique is apparent in more than just the casting of French starlet Simone Signoret, Games is a lavish and kinky film that won Katherine Ross a Golden Globe for emerging talent.

Paul and Jennifer Montgomery (James Caan and Katherine Ross) are a rich young couple living in New York. She has tons of daddy's money and he has a deep interest in pop art, Americana and the occult. They throw decadent parties where the hip New York intellectuals meet to test the boundaries of conformity.

While Paul and Jennifer believe they are on the cutting edge of the swinging 60s, they soon learn that they are pikers. Signoret plays a cosmetics saleslady/con artist who charms her way into the Montgomerys' home and feigns an illness to stay with the couple, who are more than happy to have a new plaything. But the euro-dame wastes no time showing the couple that games can be taken to a higher level.

She introduces them to the joys of Russian roulette. She then conspires with Jennifer to screw with Paul's mind by bringing a fourth player into the household fun. Norman (Don Stroud) is the neighborhood grocery delivery boy who wants nothing more than to ravish Jennifer. At this point the games become darker and deadlier. Considered by many to be Harrington's finest film.