Remember: T.R Baskin (USA – 1971)

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for Cinetalk.net

A rarity in director Herbert Ross (Footlose, Goodbye Mr Chips) career, since he is mostly known for musicals,  T.R. Baskin (1971) is an overlooked  drama with comedic overtones starring Candice Bergen, Peter Boyle, and James Caan. It is Produced and Written by director Peter Hyams (Outland, Capricorn One).

A young woman arrives in Chicago, from the country, to start afresh. Emotionally unbalanced, she is confronted to an everyday life that is heavier than what she expected, but she manages to improvise and cleverly deal difficult situations with a sweet irony.

Beautifully shot on location in good old chicago by veteran Gerald Hirschfeld, T.R Baskin benefits from sharp dialogues bearing Hyams 70’s signature (Boyle’s character works for a fictional company called Con-Amalgamate as he does in Hyams’ Outland) and the rhythm of it is secured by editor Maury Winetrobe great sense of timing. The cuts from a frame to another is pitch perfect. It is gently paced over unsettling situations, but subtle, Clever and fun.

The main attraction in T.R. Baskin is Candice Bergen. Yes, she is as beautiful as ever, but she shows what she is made of,  as an actress,  when given good lines. She is strong, charming, moving, fun, believable. She gives extra life to a character getting out of difficult situations with wit in what is probably her best role. The screen is filled with her performance and it is neat. When you think about a beautiful role given to a woman, think Candice Bergen as T.R Baskin.

Yours to discover.

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