The Landlord

1970

The Landlord

Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.

92%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 12

79%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 869
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Movie Info

Wealthy, insensitive young Beau Bridges buys an inner-city tenement, planning to evict the present occupants and construct a luxury home for himself. But once he ventures into the tenement, he grows quite fond of the low-income ethnic types who dwell within. He even kicks over the traces of his WASP upbringing by romancing black tenants Diana Sands and Marki Bey. Though essentially a comedy, The Landlord offers several painful truths about ghetto existence. Essentially, Beau Bridges acts as the audience's "eyes:" we learn as he learns, we grow as he grows. The Landlord represents the first directorial effort of Oscar-winning film editor Hal Ashby.

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Critic Reviews for The Landlord

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (11) | Rotten (1)

  • Hal Ashby's début film as a director is one of his best.

    Apr 7, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Liberal guilt, with a few good laughs, a lot of frantic activity, and the occasional backfire.

    May 7, 2013 | Full Review…
  • A glossy, flat, fake Hollywood attempt at black social comedy.

    May 7, 2013 | Full Review…
    TIME Magazine
    Top Critic
  • Beau Bridges heads the uniformly excellent cast as a bored rich youth who buys a black ghetto apartment building and learns something about life.

    Oct 31, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The Landlord remains one of the funniest social comedies of the period, as well as the most human.

    Sep 25, 2007
  • It's a compelling and adventurous spectacle, which feels simultaneously like a time capsule and a crucial influence on such recent films as The Royal Tenenbaums and Half Nelson.

    Sep 20, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Landlord

  • May 01, 2012
    Hal Ashby's debut film is very honest, witty and funny. The dramatic twist is poignant, though for me it disembalances the perfect farcical tone it had at first.
    Pierluigi P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 05, 2010
    This comedy is very funny, but at the same time tries to get across the fact that people of different racial backgrounds can get along and live together. I really enjoyed this movie.
    Aj V Super Reviewer
  • Jan 16, 2008
    One of the first early gigs featuring Louis Gossett,Jr,this movie was Hal Ashby's directorial debut and it became one of the top ten films of 1970 and for a very good reason. This was also produced by Norman Jewison who also served as executive producer. This was a film that starred Beau Bridges in a excellent performance as a young man who buys a condemned building in a black ghetto in the Park Slope section of Brooklyn. The fine cast includes Lee Grant,the great Diana Sands,and also the dramatic debut of the great Pearl Bailey. With some great music from The Staple Singers makes this a joy to watch.
    Mister C Super Reviewer
  • Sep 23, 2007
    [font=Century Gothic]In "The Landlord," 29-year old Elgar Enders(Beau Bridges), wanting to do something with his life, buys a tenament in Park Slope, Brooklyn. His intent is to evict all of the tenants, tear out all of the floors and hang a chandelier. When he first arrives in his Volkswagen convertible, he is chased away.(Concurrently finishing third in the New York City Marathon that year.) Upon his return, he is greeted by one of the tenants, Marge(Pearl Bailey), wielding a shotgun...[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]Directed by Hal Ashby, "The Landlord" is an audaciously funny and provocative movie that throws a Molotov Cocktail into the debate about race relations, especially in the North.(Even while repeating the truism that it is harder to hate people that you are familiar with.) It is much more effective than the more polite offerings such as "Guess Who's Coming to Dinner"(which is referenced here), especially in its portrayal of a burgeoning black consciousness. But what it is specifically concerned with is gentrification which leads to the destruction of communities through substantial raises in rents forcing families to move out.[/font]
    Walter M Super Reviewer

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