Negatives (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Negatives (1968)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Negatives Photos

Movie Info

An unmarried London couple tries to interject some life into their romantic pursuits in this uneven mystery. Theo (Peter McEnery) and Vivien (Glenda Jackson) take over the used furniture store owned by Theo's father, who is dying of cancer. Reingard (Diane Cliento) is the German neighbor who produces a photograph of World War I flying ace the Red Baron, who bears an uncanny resemblance to Theo. The couple then takes delight in enacting elaborate fantasies in which Theo is first the notorious turn-of-the century killer, Dr. Crippen and then the Red Baron. Things take a deadly turn when the couple invite a photographer in to film them. Theo goes so far as to buy a vintage airplane to put on the roof of his home. Vivien wishes to participate in the fantasy, but Theo becomes violent. ~ Dan Pavlides, Rovi


Diane Cilento
as Reingard
Stephen Lewis
as The Dealer
Bill Russell
as Old Man
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Critic Reviews for Negatives

All Critics (2)

The two women only really exist as a misogynist's dream figures revolving around the man.

July 16, 2018 | Full Review…

An uneven black comedy.

May 6, 2015 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Negatives

Practically forgotten today, "Negatives" is a bizarre, uncomfortable tale of sexual tension and madness. Its characterizations are so offbeat that finding universality in the story is near futile. Furniture-store owner Theo (Peter McEnery) and Vivien (the young Glenda Jackson) are a miserable, living-together couple who only connect when role-playing. Their chosen parts? Why, executed wife-murderer Hawley Harvey Crippen (1862-1910) and his mistress Ethel, of course. The pair's volatile relationship turns even rockier when Theo meets Reingard (Diane Cilento), a blond German photographer who moves into the spare room and plots to seduce either or both of her hosts. Eventually, she also convinces Theo that he has an eerie resemblance to legendary pilot Manfred Von Richthofen ("The Red Baron"), which sends him spiraling into an apparent psychotic break. What lesson should we take from such a specific, unlikely tale? "Negatives" was director Peter Medak's first feature, and the story has intriguing parallels with his later work. Theo's warped identification with Crippen and Richthoven anticipates Jack's delusions about Jesus Christ and Jack the Ripper in "The Ruling Class" (1972), and the arch bickering of Theo and Vivien recalls the theatrical banter of Bri and Sheila in "A Day in the Death of Joe Egg" (also 1972). Like "Joe Egg," "Negatives" also has a play-like structure and a very small cast. This is not a great film but, at the very least, Jackson's many admirers will enjoy her sharp, rancorous performance.

Eric Broome
Eric Broome

Super Reviewer

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