Pretty Poison - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pretty Poison Reviews

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Super Reviewer
April 22, 2012
"Boy. What a week. I met you on Monday, fell in love with you on Tuesday, Wednesday I was unfaithful, Thursday we killed a guy together. How about that for a crazy week, Sue Ann?"
Super Reviewer
April 16, 2012
This has a cult status? This film doesn't seem to me the kind that would have a fan base. Just look at how much ratings it has. There are a couple of things wrong here. To start off, the production value is poor. I felt like I was watching a good quality home video. The lighting is all wrong. The decision on time could have been better. By that I mean the transition of scenes on whether their morning or night. The good parts include the acting. Great acting by the main cast especially Anthony Perkins. I originally saw this because he was in Psycho. The plot itself is okay. Not a perfect plot but an entertaining one non the least. I advise you to give this a chance you might like it more then me.
April 2, 2012
Oh, it was a comedy?
Super Reviewer
½ March 29, 2012
Tonally sophisticated, and well crafted cult staple from Noel Black. It's a shame that films like Pretty Poison have faded into obscurity, but really, it is apropos that a film this misunderstood stars two leads that Hollywood never knew what to do with, the fabulous Anthony Perkins and Tuesday Weld. Mixing a bit of Lolita, with a dash of NIght of the Hunter and a TON of Gun Crazy, Black and company seamlessly shift between neo-noir, black comedy and straight forward surrealism.

Perhaps what I like most about this film is that nothing is what it seems. One could be forgiven for believing the opening act was part of a badly-written comedy, probably because that is exactly what the writer wants you to think. Lorenzo Semple's tight script is slyly subversive both in its deceptively light treatment and in the manner in which it portrays small-town Americana (in much the same way that David Lynch would two decades later in Blue Velvet). He tells us that the white picket fences and pretty cheerleaders should never be taken at face value, because there is something rotten lurking beneath that all-American veneer -- but in true cult fashion, it has fun with that message, instead of taking itself too seriously.

I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the performances. Perkins (as usual) is terrific. You can see the layers of confidence slowly peeling away as his and Sue-Ann's roles become inexplicably reversed and he finds himself sinking deeper and deeper out of his depth until he is a mass of sweaty, twitching nerves, blindly following orders, all pretence of control abandoned. Weld is also first class. She plays her character the same throughout, even when her true colors are revealed to us, and resists the temptation to display the usual tics and grimaces of movie-land's bunny-boilers. And lest I forget, Beverly Garland, the quintessential B-movie actress of her day, who also turns in the best performance of her career as the mother everyone can hate.

All in all, it's a crime that Pretty Poison is so unknown. Now that it FINALLY got released on DVD, let's hope more people discover it.
October 3, 2011
A very interesting black comedy that's apparently developed a pretty big cult following over the years. As evidenced more famously in "Psycho," Anthony Perkins makes an excellent nut job.
Super Reviewer
½ September 22, 2011
One of those rare cult gems that never seem to pop up when you need them, Pretty Poison is one solid piece of black comedy Americana. Featuring the sterling psychopath character actor, Anthony Perkins, and bubble blonde nymphet Tuesday Weld, this film never bores, never tries too hard to be introspective, and yet achieves perfection in doing so. The plot follows recently released (and obviously still perturbed) inmate Dennis Pitt (Perkins) who starts work at a chemical plant, and eyes band majorette Sue Ann (Weld). What follows is a labyrinth of utter informality, as Dennis leads Sue Ann astray by telling he's a secret agent, sent to stop poison from being released in the water supply. (Ironic since the pollution shown being dumped is a type of poison. Perhaps this was a green initiative.) Perkins has all the queer quirks he exhibited in his seminal best, Psycho, but also has a calm innocence that can only come from being slightly off your rocker and completely intent on bridging the gap between yourself and someone you're infatuated with. Instead of a screaming Janet Leigh, Tuesday exhibits this odd temperament of high school angst queen, beautiful and simplistic. She seems a mere pawn in Perkins game, working to fix the crimes of his past by committing more with his accomplice. As they go along, performing secret missions and falling in love in the span of a week, it's easier to see the aggressive side of Sue Ann emerge, and we soon come to believe that perhaps Dennis, the convicted felon, is the lesser of two evils. Bleak, black, and remotely sweet, Perkins comes off as a new type of insanity, a bittersweet manner and a loving and loyal approach. Weld, who at first seems the familiar blonde without purpose, transforms to become the central addiction and most complex character of the entire film. Certainly worth a view, and round of applause.
February 15, 2011
definitely worth seeing -
½ February 8, 2011
Wirklich gelungener Film mit einem guten Anthony Perkins und einer grandiosen Tuesday Weld als Sue Ann. Ihr Charakter ist so cool und sie spielt ihn so gut, dass sie den Film beinahe alleine trägt.
3,5/5 (ohne Tuesday Weld hätte er 3/5 bekommen)
January 6, 2011
Anthony Perkins is a total bad-ass.
Super Reviewer
½ December 11, 2010
I absolutely loved Perkins and Weld together in this movie, they're perfect. The story and characters are so hilarious. This is a fantastic black comedy, I love it.
June 12, 2010
Anthony Perkins is oddly sweet as a psycopath who unfortunately meets his match in a sweet-looking piece of evil. The movie soundtrack shrieks late 1960's, but it's an oddity worth seeing.
February 21, 2010
PRETTY POISON is a solid little film starring PSYCHO's Anthony Perkins. I had long been wanting to see Perkins in something other than the PSYCHO films, and he didn't disappoint at all in a role that is different from Norman Bates.

The strength of PRETTY POISON is the chemistry that is shared by the film's two leads, Perkins and Tuesday Weld. As the plot goes on and becomes more intricate and twisted, it doesn't become the least bit difficult to follow, and Perkins and Weld help to keep the viewers' attention throughout. Their characters' relationship is a very odd one, and it comes off as quite interesting and is really quite memorable, mainly for how odd it actually is, but also because Perkins and Weld are extraordinary in their roles.

Director Noel Black does a fine job of crafting this film, opting for a minimalist approach over something overblown and overdone. PRETTY POISON is a fairly low-key film, but it works here. It's excellently shot, with Black opting for more ordinary surroundings for his characters in an effort to show just how truly over-the-top they both are, even in spite of the grounded performances of Perkins and Weld, which only accentuates this point.

PRETTY POISON is an excellent film, one of the best I've seen in a while.
½ January 9, 2010
I am truly disappointed. The story is weird and not really explained. The only thing which made me rate this movie 2 1/2 stars are the amazing performances by Weld and Perkins. The two have a real Bonnie and Clyde spirit, and it was great seeing their interaction. Shame the movie's story is so bad.
December 29, 2009
This movie made no sense whatsoever & had no real point. Everybody that knows me..KNOWS how much i love Anthony Perkins..but he was just..idk..annoying in this film. His acting was so bad..& i know he can do so much better. It was disturbing to watch..& the girl was just..a total little psychopath!..way more crazy than Dennis ever thought about being! I do not recommend this film to anyone..even a Tony fan. His good looks couldn't save him in this one.
½ December 12, 2009
Hard to think of a lot of other (newer) movies as original after seeing this.
December 4, 2009
This film reminded me of why I love cult films of the sixties, and also that Anthony Perkins was a great actor. So good at playing the tortured character! A movie like this could not be made today without uproar - a sex scene between a crazy man and a high school girl? The abusive mother, played by Beverly Garland, adds a gritty and necessary touch. And Tuesday Weld is sexy and, well, you just need to see it to believe its weirdness. A little gem of a psychological thriller.
November 23, 2009
The turn of events is quite well plotted out and develops in interesting directions. The film also has a French New Wave aura to it at times, with the quick flashbacks and characters pretending to be something else... I definitely felt a Band of Outsiders meets Shoot the Piano Player vibe. Weld and Perkins are playing much younger than their actual ages, and it shows, but otherwise their performances are solid. Very intriguing little cult film.
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