Friday, October 09, 2009

The Endangered List (Case File #48)

THERE IS NO 13 (1974)

Written and directed
by William Sachs

Produced by
Robert Boggs and William Sachs

Cinematography by
Ralf D. Bode

Music by
Riz Ortolani

Edited by
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)

91 minutes
No MPAA rating (?)
Released by Film Ventures International circa 1976-1977

Variety review

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


Anonymous said...

I seem to recall a review of this in Shock Cinema a long time ago, though I could be mistaken. Neat stuff!

Temple of Schlock said...

It's not listed in the SC review index, but it may have appeared as a "Film Flotsam" piece by someone who caught it during its spotty theatrical release.

Booksteve said...

Harvey Lembeck and (assuming it's the same person) XXX actress Jean Jennings in the same picture! Ya gotta love the seventies!

Anonymous said...

All that exists of this is a tape master that William Sachs himself owns. But it does exist.