Slaughterhouse-Five

"Very Good"

Slaughterhouse-Five Review


There are certain authors that simply do not lend themselves towards adaptation. The reason for this makes perfect sense: when one reads a book, they are forced by the book to envision the world that the author creates. When one is part of the visual medium of film, the world looks more like reality. Since the world looks more like reality, we are prone to question it in greater detail.

That is why successfully adapting a Vonnegut is one of the Holy Grails of film adaptation.

Vonnegut had been adapted six times. All but two have been failures. The two successful adaptations (Robert B. Weide's adaptation of Mother Night and Stephen Gellar's adaptation of Slaughterhouse-Five) have managed to be successful by staying as close to the book as possible and by picking books that can make a transition to the screen with less difficulty.

Slaughterhouse-Five is the story of Billy Pilgrim, a man unstuck in time. He is constantly drifting from one point in his life to another, pseudo-randomly working his way through three intertwined storylines about his experiences during the war (culminating in the bombing of Dresden), in the psychologically unpleasant life of suburbia, and on the planet Tralfamadore with porn-starlet Montana Wildhack.

As bizarre as this summarization sounds, the movie actually manages to do Kurt Vonnegut's novel about accepting the bad things in life a good amount of justice. This is mostly do to the wonderful transitions that director George Roy Hill gives us, which lay down a sort of pattern to Billy's time travel.

Although Michael Sacks plays Billy Pilgrim in the exact naïve fashion which the character was conceived, the supporting cast ends up slightly disappointing. For instance, Paul Lazzaro (Ron Liebman) ends up coming off as if he were the villain from Johnny Dangerously. He gets too deep into his character and transforms it into a stereotype.

Still, giving credit where credit is due Slaughterhouse-Five is the first good Vonnegut adaptation. It was proof that it was possible, and a Holy Grail of screenwriting grabbed.



Slaughterhouse-Five

Facts and Figures

Run time: 104 mins

In Theaters: Wednesday 15th March 1972

Budget: $3.2M

Distributed by: Universal Pictures

Production compaines: Vanadas Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 77%
Fresh: 10 Rotten: 3

IMDB: 7.0 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Billy Pilgrim, as Paul Lazzaro, as Edgar Derby, as Valencia Merble Pilgrim, as Montana Wildhack, as Barbara Pilgrim, as Robert Pilgrim, as Roland Weary, Friedrich von Ledebur as German Leader, Ekkehardt Belle as Young German Guard, Sorrell Booke as Lionel Merble, as Wild Bob Cody, John Dehner as Prof. Rumfoord, Gary Waynesmith as Stanley, Richard Schaal as Howard W. Campbell Jr., Gilmer McCormick as Lily Rumfoord, Stan Gottlieb as Hobo, Karl-Otto Alberty as German Guard - Group Two, Lucille Benson as Billy's Mother, as English Officer, Henry Bumstead as Eliot Rosewater

Also starring: ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

Bad Santa 2 Movie Review

The 2003 comedy Bad Santa is a holiday classic that skilfully mixes gross-out humour with...

Allied Movie Review

Allied Movie Review

There's a terrific script at the heart of this World War II thriller, with a...

A United Kingdom Movie Review

A United Kingdom Movie Review

Based on a powerful true story from the late 1940s, this drama is packed with...

Indignation Movie Review

Indignation Movie Review

Philip Roth's layered novels are a challenge for filmmakers (see also 2003's The Human Stain...

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them Movie Review

It's been five years since the last Harry Potter movie, and J.K. Rowling has been...

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Dog Eat Dog Movie Review

Yet another bonkers thriller starring Nicolas Cage, this trashy crime comedy comes from director Paul...

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall Movie Review

"Iggy Pop - Post Pop Depression: Live At The Royal Albert Hall" is a DVD...

Advertisement
Arrival Movie Review

Arrival Movie Review

This sci-fi drama has an enjoyably brain-bending plot that leaves the audience almost stunned with...

Elle Movie Review

Elle Movie Review

There's a boldly comical tone to this outrageous thriller that can't help but unnerve audiences...

100 Streets Movie Review

100 Streets Movie Review

A multi-strand drama set in London, this film is very nicely shot and acted, but...

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

Nocturnal Animals Movie Review

It's been seven years since designer Tom Ford made a splash with his award-winning writing-directing...

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

The Light Between Oceans Movie Review

With a sweeping, picturesque setting and emotive performances, this dramatic epic will appeal to moviegoers...

The Accountant Movie Review

The Accountant Movie Review

While this slick dramatic thriller plays with some intriguing ideas and themes, it never actually...

Train to Busan Movie Review

Train to Busan Movie Review

Leave it to the Koreans to reinvent the zombie horror movie and put a high-speed...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.