Director: Irvin Kershner
Writer: Elliott Baker, Elliott Baker
Stars: Sean Connery, Joanne Woodward, Jean Seberg, Patrick O'Neal, Colleen Dewhurst
Countries: United States
Samson Shillitoe is a New York City based poet with some renown and great promise, but he is a troubled man which is causing him some current problems. He is four months behind in alimony payments, with his day job as a carpet cleaner unable to clear that outstanding debt. He, however, sees this problem more as one for the courts, the police, and his ex-wife Beverly than it is for him. He has difficulties not acting upon his general attraction to women, they, in return, apt to act on those same attractions. And he has a case of writer’s block while he is in the process of writing what he considers his great epic poem, it already having been five years in the process and counting. He may be substituting sex for that inability to write. His long suffering and loyal current wife, working class Rhoda Shillitoe, believes Samson’s problems, which are also manifesting themselves in increasing violent tendencies, although any violence directed toward her she knows is only in jest as she knows he would never purposefully hurt her physically, may lead to him trying to kill himself. After seeing him on a television talk show, Rhoda also believes that psychotherapist Dr. Oliver West is the answer to all of Samson’s problems. Although not wanting to speak to Dr. West about his life, Samson does eventually agree largely out of circumstance. One of those factors is that Samson’s creative juices are starting to flow and he sees Dr. West as a source of a place to hide away to write away from the police who are after him. But Samson’s association with Dr. West has its own complications, most specifically with Dr. West’s unhappy wife, Lydia West, whose unhappiness is largely out of neglect by her husband, and with Dr. Menken, a colleague of Dr. West’s, who is looking for a human subject to test his new surgical procedure, which is a lobotomy by any other name.