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ROBERT SHAW & MALCOLM MCDOWELL 'FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE'

Kino Lorber Blu Ray Cover for FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE Year: 1970 Rating: ***1/2
In a brief encounter with Malcolm McDowell at an autograph show, upon a friend mentioning this particular 1970 film, Malcolm rolled his eyes, and spoke bluntly of his working stint with Robert Shaw — how it was a grueling four month shoot since the very unpredictable actor had a penchant for the bottle, and Malcolm finished with: “But I loved him.”

Well this sort of love/hate relationship exists between Shaw’s coldblooded, experienced MacConnachie and McDowell’s na├»ve yet wily young Ansell: two escaped convicts — with a mysterious past only partially learned through sparse, pulpy, existential dialogue — on the run in an unnamed country...
The Helicopter in the copter chase flick FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
The first thirty minutes have both characters with hands tied behind their backs as they trudge up and down craggy mountainsides like desperate goats while a helicopter (described by MacConnachie as “the black skeleton”) soars above: playing a hectic game of cat and mice...
 
Whether hiding behind rocks, entering stealthy into villages, tramping through soldier-saturated paddies or shooting up military compounds, the two “figures” always return to their match against the antagonist copter — more of a meddling crow than bird of prey...
Malcolm McDowell and Robert Shaw in FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
Filled with the kind of taut, sometimes intentionally wearisome energy usually saved for the climax of your typical action movie, the Arial shots are as gorgeous as the picturesque landscape; and the performances by both (now iconic) cult favorites are topnotch: Shaw with a cunning edge while McDowell slowly loses his sanity...

And while a few scenes do hint of an intense actor's workshop, it's never very long as the veteran either goads the youngster into becoming more vicious or shares sullen memories of his dead wife: All crafted neatly within the intense action sequences built around a taut climate of primal perseverance by two men who’ve become human animals to survive against a metallic one. 
Malcolm McDowell and Robert Shaw in FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
Malcolm McDowell and Robert Shaw in FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
Robert Shaw in FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
Malcolm McDowell and Robert Shaw in FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
Malcolm McDowell and Robert Shaw in FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
Malcolm McDowell and Robert Shaw in FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE
Poster Art for FIGURES IN A LANDSCAPE


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