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Directed by Robert Altman

United States 1969 In English

THAT COLD DAY IN THE PARK displayed Altman’s iconoclastic fascinations: a sensitivity to schisms within normalcy, a fascination with female subjectivity, and the construction of atmospheres as expressive of psychological states. Sandy Dennis portrays Frances Austen, a young spinster living in a well-appointed apartment in Vancouver, where she listlessly entertains an older suitor and engages in dull domestic routines. From her window one day, Frances spies a young man on a park bench outside, visibly cold and wet. Inviting him inside, she shows the handsome, apparently mute stranger every hospitality—food, clothes, conversation, and a room. Little does she realize that her guest has a complex life of his own, to which he escapes nightly through his bedroom window. The stage is set for conflict as Frances’s loneliness takes on a ferocity that drives the story to a harrowing conclusion.