Watch The Strange One
- 1 hr 40 min
The Strange One is a gripping drama film that was released in 1957. Directed by Jack Garfein, the movie stars Ben Gazzara, Pat Hingle, and Peter Mark Richman in lead roles. The Strange One had an unusual release schedule. It first premiered in France in 1957 and was known as Private Property. It received mixed reviews in France and was then re-edited and released in the United States as The Strange One in 1958.
Set in a Southern military academy in the 1950s, The Strange One follows the story of a group of male cadets who live and study in a rigidly hierarchical and authoritarian world. The film opens with the arrival of a new cadet, Jocko De Paris (Ben Gazzara), who is quickly identified as a charismatic troublemaker with a manipulative nature. He manages to charm and deceive the other cadets, especially the naive and impressionable cadet, George Avery (Pat Hingle), who is eager to make friends and belong to the group.
As the plot unfolds, Jocko's true character comes to light, revealing his Machiavellian personality and the extent of his cunning ways. He uses his charm and manipulation to control his fellow cadets, playing cruel and twisted mind games that eventually lead to tragedy.
Gazzara's performance as Jocko De Paris is exceptional, and he conveys the character's wickedness and inner turmoil with stunning intensity. Hingle delivers a powerful performance as George Avery, a character who is forced to confront his own morality and the extent of his loyalty to his friends. Richman plays the role of Cadet Harold Koble, who is the most well-respected cadet in their group, but he too falls prey to Jocko's machinations.
The Strange One is a powerful commentary on the corrosive nature of toxic masculinity, and how it can lead to the destruction of individuals and communities. It touches on themes like power dynamics, friendship, loyalty, and the price of conformity. The movie stands out for its unflinching portrayal of violence, sexuality, and psychological manipulation, which was rare for the time.
The film's unique setting, a military academy in the deep south of the US, adds to its distinctive mood and tone. The sun-drenched landscapes, the statuesque buildings and the rigid hierarchy of the academy all help to create a sense of stifling oppression and claustrophobia. This creates an intense feeling of tension that builds throughout the story, leading to the final, shocking climax.
The Strange One is an important film, not just for its commentary on toxic masculinity and power dynamics, but also for its role in launching the career of Ben Gazzara. Gazzara's performance in this film was so exceptional that he quickly became a sought-after actor in Hollywood, and went on to star in several successful films and TV shows over the next several decades.
Overall, The Strange One is a well-crafted and gripping drama that offers a powerful portrayal of the darker aspects of human nature, and the destructive effects of elitism and conformity. It's a must-watch for fans of classic cinema and lovers of intense dramas.
The Strange One is a 1957 drama with a runtime of 1 hour and 40 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.9.