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slaugherhouse-five

Slaughterhouse-Five (1972 - R)

Slaughterhouse-Five tells the extraordinary tale of a man, emotionally scarred by his experiences in WW2 as a P.O.W., who has become "unstuck in time."  This humorous, poignant drama relives the experiences of Billie Pilgrim, detailing his WW2 prisoner of war experiences in the German POW camp, Slaughterhouse-Five important times in his life, and, his kidnapping by aliens from the planet Tralfamador, as he flips and flops through time without any control on where he is going in time.

This film could be compared to "Back to the Future 2." Eugene Roche provides great support, as a fatherly-type, encountered during World War Two. Valerie Perrine (Superman) fans will get their money's worth. A highlight is a celebration on an alien world, in honor of the birth of Sacks and Perrine's child.

The cast includes: Michael Sacks, Valerie Perrine, Eugene Roche, John Dehner, Holly Near, Ron Leibman, Sharon Gans, and Kevin Conway.

Based on the novel by Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Directed by George Roy Hill.

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SYNOPSIS ...

A middle-aged man writes in his attic. Soon, he time trips to World War Two. He reexperiences traumatic events that happened to him in wartime Germany,

In the course of the film, the veteran time trips to various periods and places, from World War Two, to times in his life in the 1950's and 1960's, as well as to an alien planet, in a seemingly random fashion.

On the alien planet, the guy mates with a beautiful Earth woman, who's a movie actress. Following the birth of their child, the aliens celebrate.

REVIEW ...

Director George Roy Hill's, SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE, is a unique and involving Sci-Fi tale.

Michael Sacks ("Sugarland Express") plays Billy Pilgrim, a man who witnessed the firebombing of Dresden , Germany, in World War Two. Now middle-aged, he time trips to various periods in his life, including World War Two, as well as to the alien world, Tralfamadore.

Michael Sacks is good as a nice, dull man, who has gone through life doing what he's supposed to. What happened to Sacks after this movie is a mystery to me. Perhaps he is on the planet Tralfamadore.

Eugene Roche ("Newman's Law") is endearing as an older, fatherly-type who the German's appoint as leader of the G.I.'s. His fate is sudden, stunning, and heartbreaking.

Valerie Perrine ("Superman") plays Montana Wildhack, a movie actress Sacks mates with on the alien world. Perrine is a warm, natural screen presence, and her topless scenes aren't bad either. These are my favorite scenes in the movie.

Stephen Geller's Screenplay effectively conveys the flavor and unique, time tripping nature of Kurt Vonnegut Jr.'s novel, "Slaughterhouse-Five, or the Children's Crusade". This is a considerable achievement, considering the complex nature of Vonnegut's source material.

Director of Photography, Miroslav Ondricek's, work is strong. He delivers a memorable, painting-like shot, at night, of a German train steaming into a station.

The music, by Glenn Gould, varies between simple piano and classical compositions, with some pipe organ stuff for dramatic emphasis. It's the perfect counterpoint to the on screen action.

SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE will be fairly watchable for most Sci-Fi viewers. Valerie Perrine fans will be on cloud 9.

If you liked SLAUGHTERHOUSE-FIVE you may enjoy THE TIME MACHINE and/or THE GRAND TOUR.