Rhinoceros 1974 ***

Adapted from Eugene Ionesco’s play, Rhinoceros features Producers star Zero Mostel as John, a man who is slowly tuning into a rhinoceros, a feat Mostel attempts to convey without the use of special effects or make-up. This is a theatrical conceit, and this American Film Theatre production is very much a stage-play record, directed by Tom O’Horgan and co-starring Mostel’s Producers co-star Gene Wilder as Stanley, John’s co-worker, who sees animalistic tendencies in the society around him. By moving this absurdist farce from France to America, the film-makers remove some of the context (the play could be taken to be about resistance to Nazi Germany), whereas this 1974 versions seems to be more directly addressing issues of conformity and identity. Wilder and Mostel put in a good shift, as does Karen Black as the object of Stanley’s desire. Another strange offering from Amazon Instant.


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