THERE IS NO 13 (1974)
Written and directed
by William Sachs
Robert Boggs and William Sachs
Ralf D. Bode
George T. Norris
Mark Damon (as George Thomas)
Margaret Markov (as Number Eleven)
Harvey Lembeck (as Older George)
Jean Jennings (as Number Twelve)
Lee Moore (as Dr. Honneycutt)
Reuben Schafer (as Mr. A.)
Bonnie Inch (as Rosie)
No MPAA rating (?)
Released by Film Ventures International circa 1976-1977
This first feature item by William Sachs is an ambitious (perhaps overly so) and interesting attempt to put onto film the day and nightmares of war vets, and with them to convey the deterrent horrors and permanent mental physical mutilations that result from any violent conflict.
Though intricately patterned and thought out via flashes forward and back, and despite some amusing and well-routined components to the mosaic, too much of the pic remains talky (key character speaks almost endlessly at camera) and jumpy to form an effective whole, and its chances must ultimately be assessed as spotty.
Action revolves principally around a youth (well played by Mark Damon) and his vocally and visually-expressed daydreams (or reminiscences, or both: it’s that kind of picture) on life, love, death and existence in general. We witness, among many other things, his 11th and 12th love affairs but, as the title says, there is to be no thirteenth, not in the traditional sense anyway, as evidenced by the deliberately shock-tactic finale.
Though one may have one’s doubts about the core of the film rather than some of its more effective passages, there is no denying the director’s sincere emotional involvement with his subject, and despite some youthful pretension, a sure knowledge of his medium. With above reservations, all departments a very smooth and attractive job. – Hawk.
(Reviewed July 2, 1974 at the Berlin Film Festival. Published in Variety on July 10, 1974)
Thanks to Robin Bougie and Fred Adelman for the Variety advertisement