Images (1972) from Tuna

Images (1972) was a total mystery to me after watching it. Thank goodness there was a featurette on the DVD with Writer/Director Robert Altman. I learned that we are seeing life through the eyes of a schizophrenic (Susannah York). Nothing we see in the movie can be assumed to be real, but she may be married, writing a children's book about unicorns, and staying in a vacation home with her husband. When she is not using voice-over to recite the book she is writing, she is having encounters with herself, her French lover who dies in an airplane crash, and other men.

Even had I understood the ending, I probably wouldn't give it away, since many people like this mind-fuck film, and you might decide to see it.

IMDB readers score it 7.1 of 10, with very few votes below a 7, so it seems that Altman achieved his vision for this film. Many people think it was a great vision, but I am not among them. This is high on the list of films I will never see again.


Susannah York sees herself lying on a bed nude, giving us a full frontal

Scoop's notes in yellow:

Some genuine surprises for me here.

I have seen way more than my share of movies, and was a devoted Robert Altman fan in the early 70s. Not only have I never seen Images, but I had never even heard of this film until Tuna reviewed it. Amazingly, Altman made this in between McCabe and Mrs Miller and The Long Goodbye, two films I liked a lot and queued up to see in theaters back in the days when I went to see every Altman movie.

Images was even nominated for an Oscar (musical score), and I still had not heard of it.

DVD info from Amazon

  • widescreen anamorphic

  • Robert Altman featurette

So what happened with this one and the box office, and why hasn't it been on home media before?

Reportedly, the film's original negative was burned by Columbia Pictures. Accidentally. Maybe. Altman himself expressed great surprise that a print was obtained by the Cleveland Cinematheque for an Altman retrospective in 2001!

Not only was I surprised to see the film on DVD, but I was not previously aware of the very clear Susannah York full frontal nudity!

The Critics Vote

  • TV Guide 3.5/5.

  • Susannah York was selected as the best actress in the Cannes Film Festival for her performance in this movie. John Williams's musical score was nominated for an Oscar.

The People Vote ...


The meaning of the IMDb score: 7.5 usually indicates a level of excellence equivalent to about three and a half stars from the critics. 6.0 usually indicates lukewarm watchability, comparable to approximately two and a half stars from the critics. The fives are generally not worthwhile unless they are really your kind of material, equivalent to about a two star rating from the critics, or a C- from our system. Films rated below five are generally awful even if you like that kind of film - this score is roughly equivalent to one and a half stars from the critics or a D on our scale. (Possibly even less, depending on just how far below five the rating is.

My own guideline: A means the movie is so good it will appeal to you even if you hate the genre. B means the movie is not good enough to win you over if you hate the genre, but is good enough to do so if you have an open mind about this type of film. C means it will only appeal to genre addicts, and has no crossover appeal. (C+ means it has no crossover appeal, but will be considered excellent by genre fans, while C- indicates that it we found it to be a poor movie although genre addicts find it watchable). D means you'll hate it even if you like the genre. E means that you'll hate it even if you love the genre. F means that the film is not only unappealing across-the-board, but technically inept as well. Any film rated C- or better is recommended for fans of that type of film. Any film rated B- or better is recommended for just about anyone. We don't score films below C- that often, because we like movies and we think that most of them have at least a solid niche audience. Now that you know that, you should have serious reservations about any movie below C-.

Based on this description, the proper score is C. If you like mind-fuck films, this one does that.

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