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Judge Brendan Babish • Location: Upland, CA
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Philadelphia Film Festival Review #7: Pound
April 7th, 2006 11:23PM

Film: Pound
Director: Robert Downey, Sr.

The print for Robert Downey Sr.’s Pound was thought to be lost. It wasn’t until, as Downey put it himself, “we found a copy in the closet of our cinematographer’s ex-girlfriend,” that the film was resurrected from oblivion.

Initially I felt a small thrill at the opportunity to watch this film that was, for a short time, lost to the ages. Then, upon further consideration, I wondered if it wasn’t indicative of the film’s quality that it had managed to get lost in the first place. Well, Pound is not nearly good enough to be considered a lost masterpiece. Still, it is nowhere near bad enough to deserve liquidation.

Pound is a wacky counterculture movie that was originally released in 1970. It was an adaptation of a play, also by Robert Downey, Sr., and one of the problems with the film is that it seems to be little more than the filming of a stage show.

The film lacks much of a plot. The movie is pretty much a dozen characters walking around a holding cell. The hook is that these people, though played by human actors, are not actually people, but dogs and cats locked up in an animal shelter, waiting to get adopted. Some of the animals worry about euthanasia. Others plan how to escape. Most suffer from delusions of grandeur. All of them like to talk.

With long stretches of abstract dialogue and little action, the film ultimately plays like a second rate Samuel Beckett play. While that is hardly high praise, it beats spending the rest of eternity in the back of a broom closet.

Grade: C


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