The Wild Party (1975)

Genres - Drama  |   Sub-Genres - Film a Clef, Period Film, Showbiz Drama  |   Release Date - Mar 1, 1975 (USA - Unknown)  |   Run Time - 100 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - R
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Review by Craig Butler

The poem that is the basis for The Wild Party has inspired a number of stage and film projects (including a Broadway musical), but it has never translated well to another medium. Still, that's no excuse for the sorry mess of a film that is Party. Credited to James Ivory, there's every reason to believe his protestations that AIP butchered the work when they cut it from two hours to 100 minutes, for the end result is thrown together in the most random manner possible. Even giving Ivory the benefit of the doubt, however, it's unlikely that his original cut would have been a very good film. Party is simply a hollow exploration of some tired Hollywood clich├ęs, a lurid story told by a director who seems to find the whole thing a little too distasteful to really embrace it. The cast tries hard, and James Coco even manages to overcome the lousy material on occasion, but for the most part the actors can't overcome the rotten script and inept direction. Fun as trash for a while, Party wears out its welcome rather quickly.