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The Balcony Details

FULL SYNOPSIS

The denizens of a sordid brothel become embroiled in a bloody coup in this arty political satire adapted from the Jean Genet play. Shelley Winters stars as the cathouse's madam, a stern woman who supervises the fantasy role-playing of her beautiful employees and their well-heeled customers, including the local police chief (Peter Falk). As various whores and their johns dress up like judges, penitents, bishops, and generals, a revolution rages outside in the streets. The leaders of society -- including the queen -- are done away with by an angry mob. Soon, the madam and her compatriots find themselves ordered to impersonate the slain bigwigs in order to restore law and order. Shot in black-and-white by cinematographer George Folsey and producer/director Joseph Strick, The Balcony features a number of future stars in its cast, from Ruby Dee and Lee Grant to Leonard Nimoy. Nimoy would go on to produce and star in Nimoy, another Genet adaptation. Unlike the later film, Genet was actually involved in the film version of The Balcony, collaborating with Strick on the original treatment but leaving the final screenplay to poet and novelist Ben Maddow. Strick acquired the rights to The Balcony from Genet only after failing to mount another literary adaptation, of James Joyce's Ulysses. ~ Brian J. Dillard, Rovi

  • Release date:March 21, 1963

Awards

Awarded by
Nominee
Category
Year
Status
Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences George Folsey Best Black and White Cinematography 1963 Nominee

Cast

Shelley Winters
as Madam Irma
Peter Falk
as Police Chief
Lee Grant
as Car-man
Peter Brocco
as Judge
Jeff Corey
as Bishop
Ruby Dee
as Thief
Joyce Jameson
as Penitent
Leonard Nimoy
as Roger
Kent Smith
as General

Crew

Joseph Strick
Director
Joseph Strick
Producer
Ben Maddow
Producer
Ben Maddow
Screenwriter
Jean Genet
Play Author
Jean Genet
Screenwriter
George Folsey
Cinematographer
Igor Stravinsky
Composer (Music Score)
Chester Schaeffer
Editor
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