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All Movie Guide -The Arrangement is a sloppy mess of a movie and will not be very rewarding to most viewers, despite the valiant and often successful efforts of its talented and noteworthy cast. Indeed, Kirk Douglas gives one of his most interesting and deeply felt performances, one which is especially eerie when compared with his son Michael's own midlife crisis
ervous breakdown film, Falling Down. Papa Douglas has the tougher job, as he has to make sense of Elia Kazan's splintered, turgid and often cliched screenplay, but he does very well indeed, showing the audience dark corners of the character's psyche with a fearlessness that is refreshing. Faye Dunaway, looking absolutely stunning, also clears Kazan's hurdles like a champion, and Deborah Kerr completes the main triangle with her poise totally intact. Among the supporting players, Richard Boone is fine as the father and Hume Cronyn does very well indeed. It would be nice if all this talent were in the service of a better project. Kazan's screenplay hops to disguise its triteness by the use of jumps in time, dream sequences and surrealistic moments, but all it does is make an annoying screenplay become very tiresome. As director Kazan seems to spend all his time placating his writing alter ego; the performances bear the mark of the master director, but the film is absent his ability to shape a film into a coherent, let alone involving, piece of cinema.