• film

UCLA Festival of Preservation

That Cold Day in the Park

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Friday 4/18
7:00 pm
$9 General Public
$7 Students & Seniors
FREE IHP Members

FOR FILMS AND EVENTS PRESENTED BY IHP, Tickets ARE Also Available From the IHP Box Office, which is normally open Tue-Sat from noon-8pm (or, for events outside of those times, from one hour before until one hour after the scheduled starting time).  call 215-387-5125, menu option 2. 

dir. Robert Altman, US, 1969, 35mm, 112 min.

By 1969, Robert Altman was a prolific director of episodic television, craving a transition to feature filmmaking, but facing a steep climb toward his goal. His first few feature outings had not sufficiently captured the imaginations of audiences or the film industry to sustain a feature career.

That Cold Day in the Park represented a daring gambit in this context: quiet and cryptic, it displayed Altman’s iconoclastic fascinations: a sensitivity to schisms within supposed “normalcy,” a fascination with female subjectivity, and the construction of atmospheres as expressive of psychological states. Sandy Dennis portrays Frances Austen, a young spinster who occupies an apartment in Vancouver. There she listlessly entertains a suitor several years her senior, and engages in rote domestic routines. From her window one day, Frances spies a young man (Michael Burns) on a park bench outside, visibly cold and wet. Inviting him inside, she shows the handsome stranger, who is apparently mute, every hospitality—food, clothes, profuse conversation, and a room of his own. Little does she realize that her charming, receptive listener has a complex life of his own, to which he escapes nightly through his bedroom window. The stage is set for conflict as Frances’ loneliness takes on a ferocity that drives the story to a harrowing conclusion.

35mm preservation print courtesy of the UCLA Film & Television Archive
Preservation funding provided by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association and The Film Foundation


Preserved in cooperation with Paramount Pictures from the 35mm acetate original picture and track negatives, and a 35mm magnetic track. Laboratory services by YCM Laboratories, Audio Mechanics, DJ Audio.