Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Landlord, The (1970)

Landlord, The (1970)

An upwardly mobile businessman buys a run-down apartment block in an ethnic part of New York, intending to demolish it and redevelop the site. But news of the tenants’ predicaments causes him to have a change of heart.

Former editor Hal Ashby – an Oscar winner for In the Heat of the Night (1967) – made a terrific debut as director with this comedy-drama, featuring a superb Beau Bridges as Elgar Enders, the wealthy scion who learns about humanity and the African-American experience in honky New York from his tenants.

Pearl Bailey and the ill-fated Diana Sands shine, and there’s good work too from Robert Klein and Lee Grant.

The result is a strange amalgam of tenderness, satire, and innovative storytelling held together by Ashby’s mastery of editing and a series of powerful performances.

Fans of Ashby’s subsequent cult classic Harold and Maude (1971) should check this out, as there is a lot to enjoy. He went on to direct such notable pictures as The Last Detail (1973), Shampoo (1975) and Being There (1979).

A great deal of the movie was filmed on location in the then-predominantly black and poor neighbourhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn. The film’s main exteriors were shot at 51 Prospect Place, near Sixth Avenue.

Elgar Enders
Beau Bridges
Pearl Bailey
Marki Bey
Diana Sands
Copee Johnson
Louis Gossett Jr
Walter Gee
Douglas Grant
Professor Duboise
Melvin Stewart
Mrs Joyce Enders
Lee Grant
Mr Enders
Walter Brooke
Susan Anspach
Robert Klein

Hal Ashby