Every couple of years I search around for scenes from this 1971 Mike Nichols classic, but I can never find anything better than the Jack Nicholson-Ann Margret fight scene, which I last posted in 2012.
Longtime Nichols collaborator Dick Sylbert explained it to me once. Nichols had developed that static, carefully composed, long-take visual style that we saw in The Graduate, Catch 22, Carnal Knowledge, Day of the Dolphin and The Fortune. And then he withdrew from features for eight years after the double-flop of Dolphin and Fortune. He crashed. Some kind of drug-dependency issue was part of it, Sylbert said. Anyway, when Nichols returns with Silkwood in ’83 he’s abandoned the static long-take thing. He’s now into Phase Two — the great stylistic signature of his late ’60s to mid ’70s films is over.