Martin Levin

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 177

Although ["The Changing of the Guard"] is set in the present, its heart belongs to the sixties, when films were in ferment and directorial style was a heavy subject. Consider the plight of Richie Hall, a glossy international superstar who has come out of retirement from Beverly Hills to make...

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Although ["The Changing of the Guard"] is set in the present, its heart belongs to the sixties, when films were in ferment and directorial style was a heavy subject. Consider the plight of Richie Hall, a glossy international superstar who has come out of retirement from Beverly Hills to make a comeback picture in Paris. The script is something about the last days of Louis XVI and has been largely rewritten by the star himself; he sees it as a "vehicle" for his personality. But the director, a surly young brute arrogant with an auteur complex, has ideas that mingle naturalism with Grand Guignol. This is a conflict crying out for humor which is—sadly—an item in short supply here….

John Ehle takes these two poseurs [Hall and Sigler] more seriously than they deserve and tells us far more about their film than we need to know.

Martin Levin, in a review of "The Changing of the Guard," in The New York Times Book Review (© 1975 by The New York Times Company; reprinted by permission), April 6, 1975, p. 16.

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