The Cruz Brothers and Miss Malloy (1980)


Bil’s rating (out of 5):   BBB

USA, 1980Screenplay by Kathleen Collins, , Produced by , Music by Production Design by Film Editing by Kathleen Collins, .

Kathleen Collins made her debut with this short feature whose curious plot and charmed characters make for a memorable treat.  Three brothers leave the big city and head to a small upstate town after their father is arrested in a robbery .  Spotting them walking down the street, an unusual woman () approaches them and asks if she can hire them to fix up her house; she is older and misses the days when she threw parties and hopes that their work will allow her to do so one more time.  As they progress, the brothers have their own reactions to the mercurial Miss Malloy, one of them delighted by her, the other terrified, the third preoccupied by the voice of his father that he keeps hearing in his mind.  Clearly made quickly on a low budget, the film is an indication that, had she lived longer and had more opportunities, Collins could have been an American Eric Rohmer.  Her light touch with plot is consistent throughout, and the gorgeous cinematography convinces you that you can smell the summer in the air.

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