Figures in a Landscape (1971)

TOMATOMETER

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Figures in a Landscape Photos

Movie Info

Based on a novel by Barry England, Joseph Losey's Figures in a Landscape stars Robert Shaw and Malcolm McDowell as two escaped prisoners in an unidentified totalitarian country. MacConnachie (Shaw) and Ansell (McDowell) spend most of their time on the run from an omnipresent police helicopter. Along the way, the two men are helped by "the people," who are as contemptuous of the powers that be as MacConnachie and Ansell. $Pamela Brown} co-stars as an enigmatic widow. ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi
Rating:
PG
Genre:
Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
Directed By:
In Theaters:
 wide
Runtime:

Cast

Robert Shaw
as MacConnachie
Henry Woolf
as Helicopter Pilot
Christopher Malcolm
as Helicopter 1st Observer
Warwick Sims
as Soldier
Tariq Yunus
as Soldier
Show More Cast

Critic Reviews for Figures in a Landscape

All Critics (1)

No excerpt available.

Full Review… | February 22, 2012
Variety
Top Critic

Kino Lorber has managed an early curatorial highlight of 2016, though the disc's dearth of extras leaves plenty to be desired.

Full Review… | January 15, 2016
Slant Magazine

...so much about this film is ambiguous that it can support a variety of interpretations.

Full Review… | January 12, 2016
Playback:stl

Pretentious and murky thriller that is filled with symbols.

Full Review… | March 28, 2013
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Figures in a Landscape

½

"Figures in a Landscape" is an unusual, intriguing film with cult appeal on a number of levels (another quirky Joseph Losey project, Malcolm McDowell in a role *between* "If..." and "A Clockwork Orange," the star Robert Shaw also writing the screenplay, the arty plot, etc.). The story's structure is daringly minimalist, and bears some theoretical resemblance to Steven Spielberg's landmark "Duel," which came out a year later. Shaw and McDowell are fugitives on the run (escaped P.O.W.'s?) in dry, brush-choked mountains which suggest South America -- except no location is ever mentioned. Shaw is the hardened, worldwise brute and McDowell is the insecure innocent, but the personality gap between them narrows as the hours pass. Multiple other actors appear as troops and villagers, but no one has a legitimate line of dialogue except the two leads. The third important character is an ominous black helicopter, which persistently pops up to chase and taunt the two escapees. The pilots' faces are never shown. There is some gunplay, but the cat-and-mouse game between Shaw, McDowell and the helicopter dominates the action. Delirious talk of Shaw's absent wife eventually adds a splash of backstory, but the ending is bound to leave many viewers frustrated about how few questions are answered. However, this mystery is clearly intentional. Tinnitus sufferers may be soothed by the ambient drone of copter blades, gunfire and/or pouring rain -- for better or worse, the sound mix seems fiendishly determined to avoid silence.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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