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THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR

year: 1970 cast: Eli Wallach, Deborah Winters, Julie Harris, Stephen McHattie rating: ***1/2
A psychedelic-era cult film about a suburban family with problems beneath the surface, headlined by rebellious teenager "Maxie," played by Deborah Winters who, when not freaking out on bad acid, scrutinizes her parent's shortcomings: like booze and hypocrisy.

Eli Wallach is terrific as the drink-after-work patriarch, as are Stephen McHattie as the hippie son and wife Julie Harris, whose hard-nosed lecture to Maxie in a mental institution provides an explosive, and perhaps even effective, climax. But it's Deborah Winters alone, who, with a brooding reserve as intense as the drug-induced tirades, provides an underlying "vibe" throughout: where anything can happen... at any time.
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