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David And Lisa (1962) DVD

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David And Lisa (1962)


Frank Perry


Eleanor Perry (screenplay), Theodore Isaac Rubin (book) (as Theodore Isaac Rubin M.D.)


Keir Dullea, Janet Margolin, Howard Da Silva

This stark and spare look at the world of the mentally disturbed was one of the beacons of the new American independent film movement. Keir Dullea and Janet Margolin star as two adolescents who make contact with each other in a home for disturbed youngsters. Dullea is David Clemens, who is placed in the home by his mother because of his constant fear of being touched. Margolin is Lisa, a 15-year-old schizophrenic who speaks only in rhyme, when she speaks at all. David rejects the help of psychiatrist Alan Swinford (Howard Da Silva) but makes an emotional connection with Lisa. Because of his contact with Lisa, David eventually opens up to Swinford and his mother. But his mother is dissatisfied with his progress and takes him back home. Home life, however, consists of his mother's domineering ways and parental quarrels, so David runs away and returns to the home for disturbed youngsters. But then an argument with Lisa leads to a climactic confrontation.

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  1. Wonderful, touching film 5 Star Review

    Posted by on Mar 9th 2019

    This has been one of my favorites movies for more than 50 years! I had quite a tough time finding it on VHS years ago; how nice that it's now on DVD! I became a HUGE fan of Keir Dullea because of this film, and also Janet Margolin (although her career hasn't been nearly as active as Keir Dullea's.) If you liked Keir Dullea in '2001', you'll be astonished to see his levels of sensitivity in 'David and Lisa.'

    The film takes place at a group home for emotionally-disturbed teenagers. Howard DaSilva (another one of my all-time faves) plays their psychiatrist.

    David is a very uptight young man who is obsessed with matters of order and time. He just can't open up emotionally, and he will NOT allow himself to be physically touched! Ever! Lisa behaves like a little girl, speaking in simple childlike rhymes all the time. The two characters couldn't possibly be more different in their personalities!

    Over time, we learn more about the families that these 2 kids came from, with insights into the possible reasons for their disorders (especially David's family.) We see their characters evolve and become more self-aware, thanks to their peer interactions and their psychiatrist.

    There is a dramatic crisis towards the end of the film, which brings out new facets in these young people's emotional growth and healing.

    Frank and Eleanor Perry (the filmmakers) were quite important in the 1960s, and helped pave the way for other independent filmmakers. This is a wonderfully moving film, with all players at their best. I highly recommend it!

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