The Landlord


(Hal Ashby, 1970).
One of the funniest social comedies of its period Hal Ashby’s 1970 directorial debut received mixed reviews, in part because of its shifts in tone. An indolent American princeling (Beau Bridges) purchases a dilapidated row house in a changing Brooklyn neighborhood and establishes a brief, bittersweet rapport with his hustling, scuffling, half-crazed tenants before retreating back into his money. Heading up a vivid ensemble, Bridges would never get a comparable role—the good-natured embodiment of privilege, he appears these days as a brutally clueless avatar of George W. Bush.

Wed., July 9, 9:40 p.m., 2008