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ⓘ Games, film. Paul Montgomery James Caan and his wife Jennifer Katharine Ross are a pair of wealthy, but blase, Upper East Side New York socialites with an attit ..




Games (film)
                                     

ⓘ Games (film)

Paul Montgomery James Caan and his wife Jennifer Katharine Ross are a pair of wealthy, but blase, Upper East Side New York socialites with an attitude sometimes accompanying the over-privileged: a propensity to amuse themselves in a bizarre, chic, and upscale fashion, in this case playing socialite "games" for their peers and occasionally revealing what appears to be a playfully sadistic streak.

Lisa Schindler Simone Signoret, an older woman from Germany, arrives at their door one day selling cosmetics; the couple invite her in, and when the conversation reveals that Lisa is believed to have psychic abilities, Paul and Jennifer ask her to arrange some "games" for their amusement. Lisa proceeds to set up several situations of simulated domestic discord that the couple can react to.

Things turn deadly when an acquaintance, Norman, is accidentally killed during a so-called "game". He was killed with a gunshot wound in the right eye. Paul has to go to enormous lengths to conceal any evidence. He fears being blackmailed by Lisa, whose psychic activities continue and intensify during her stay. Ultimately, at the request of Paul, Lisa leaves, for the welfare of an ever-more anxious Jennifer.

Ultimately, after a tense confrontation between Jennifer and the supposedly murdered man, Jennifer actually does shoot and kill him, at which point Paul walks in and calmly calls the police to report that his wife has committed murder.

It turns out that Paul and Lisa had orchestrated the entire affair all along in order to trick Jennifer into killing someone so that Paul could get her fortune. The murdered man had been in on the "game", but was double-crossed. Paul and Lisa share a celebratory drink as Paul pays Lisa her ten-percent cut, and they prepare to go their separate ways.

Unfortunately for Paul, Lisa has poisoned his drink. After Paul collapses and dies, Lisa takes the briefcase containing all of the money, leaves the house, and walks down the street.

                                     

1. Cast

  • Estelle Winwood as Miss Beattie
  • Simone Signoret as Lisa
  • William OConnell as Party Guest
  • James Caan as Paul Montgomery
  • Don Stroud as Norman
  • Kent Smith as Harry Gordon
  • Ian Wolfe as Dr. Edwards
  • Katharine Ross as Jennifer Montgomery
  • Peter Brocco as Count, Party Guest
  • Luana Anders as Party Guest
  • George Furth as Terry, Party Guest
                                     

2. Production notes

Director Curtis Harrington wrote the role of Lisa with Marlene Dietrich in mind to play the part. The producers vetoed the idea, however, so Simone Signoret was cast instead.

                                     

3. Release

The film was given a belated VHS release by Gaiam, Inc., in 1995, and Universal Home Video in 2000. It was released on DVD in Spain by Universal Pictures. In 2011, it was released as part of Universals Vault Series on DVD-R. Scream Factory released the film on Blu-ray from the first time on February 13, 2018.

                                     
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