Friday, July 1, 2016
[An] eerie, voyeuristic neo-Hitchcockian thriller.
Admirably modest and emotionally true.
Warren Oates stars in this slow-burning, sweat- and sun-drenched psychosexual thriller—newly restored in stunning 4K by Cinelicious Pics and created from the original film elements rediscovered and preserved by the UCLA Film & Television Archive after more than 50 years of being thought lost! This California noir centers on Duke and Boots (played with menacing, barely sublimated rage by Corey Allen and Oates), who set their sights on Ann Carlyle (Kate Manx), a sweetly alluring but neglected housewife who spends long, lonely days at home in her husband’s Beverly Hills villa. When the two men take up residence in an abandoned house that overlooks the Carlyles’ swimming pool, the setting becomes a stifling, and ultimately explosive, pressure cooker of sexual frustration, manipulation, and aggression. Directed on a shoestring budget by Leslie Stevens (three years before creating The Outer Limits), Private Property was denied MPAA approval under the Production Code upon its release, and even today, the film’s broodingly sinister depiction of sexuality gone awry is startling in its frank, unflinching intensity. The return of this classic, which first screened in the new 4K digital restoration at the TCM Classic Film Festival in April, also occasions our Oates retrospective, taking place July 1-7. A Cinelicious Pics release.