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April 21, 1979 - Image 54

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Text
Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1979-04-21

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Page 10-Saturday, April 21, 1979-The Michigan Daily

arts & entertainment

--m

i

I

KATHLEEN QUINLAN
One critic's quixotic romance

By CHRISTOPHER POTTER
I've got this thing for Kathleen
Quinlan. Call it sex appeal or call it star
charisma, but I have been hopelessly
smitten; my mind and libido held cap-
tive ever since watching her audacious
presence in I Never Promised You a
Rose Garden year before last. Though
the film wallowed in cliche, hers was a
performance so tenacious, so
passionately wise that it seemed to
speak for all lonely 'people; for
anyone who ever looked into an abyss
and somehow found the courage to
wrench away. It was like the first time
I saw James Dean in East of Eden,
which had remained an experience
unmatched until I saw Quinlan.
Of course, Dean was male and
Quinlan is overpoweringly female.
Thus I gradually found myself ob-
sessed, one third aesthetics and two
thirds lust, with the driven notion that
one day she and I would stand on a

hilltop, staring into one another's eyes,
and she would say, softly yet om-
nisciently, "I understand." I had to find
her.
But how to go about it? Certainly part
of her appeal lay in her remarkable,
almost anyoymous inaccessability. In
contrast to themany stars who wear
their lives on their sleeves, Quinlan
remains a public enigma: A dark eyed,
opaquely ravishing mystery. Aside
from my knowledge that she was born
in California and was in her early twen-
ties. I knew nothing, absolutely nothing
about her. Where did she even live, for
God's sake?
I BEGAN HAUNTING the gossip
mags on the newsracks, poking among
the would-be indiscretions of Kate
Jackson or Adrienne Barbeau, in sear-
ch of some diminutive bit of infor-
mation-however mutated-about the
objpetctif my desire. I never found

Kathleen Quinlan

U)U L U Ily t . L 1v L tU

Harry's Army Surplus intends to stay
In February we reported that composed of DeLoof, Schneid
the turreted building at 201 East and their husbands) purchas
Washington, corner of Fourth, the building, they saw only a d
was about to be renovated by ferent, later lease with no me
owners Bonnie DeLoof and tion of the options,according
Estelle Schneider, and that the DeLoof. "We obviously wanted
lease for Harry's Army Surplus restore the building," she sa
was expiring in April. Harry's "and we never would ha
president Garson Zeltzer tells us bought it under those co
that yes, technically the current ditions."
lease expires, but he still has Zeltzer intends to keep Harry
three three-year options to where it is. He likes the locati
renew, and Harry's is not-about on the campus side of downtov
to leave its present location. "We because it's accessible to two d
have a stake in our Ann Arbor ferent markets. (In addition
location," he said. "We've spent being the only real military su
a great deal of money building up plus outlet in town, Harry's se
our business here. I wouldn't camping and backpacki
have located here if we hadn't equipment and casual clothing
been able to stay," Both DeLoof and Zeltzer ha
Harry's has been at the stated the dispute could well er
location since 1974, when, he up in court. "There's no questi(
says, he signed the original lease we're willing to fight this," Ze
with the renewal options. When zer said.
Concept IV (a development group PAID ADVERTISEMEP

er,
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if-
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to
id,
ve
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on
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if-
to
ur-
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anything. Was her life so pure and
bucolic that the serpeant's breath of
scandal was unthinkable? Or was she
slithering through a pit of such total
depravity and inquity that Photoplay
simply couldn't breath a word of it? I
didn't know which I should-or wanted
to-believe.
How could I reach her? Deciding to
milk my critic's status as best I could, I
called up her agent in Los Angeles on
the premise of security an interview
with his fast-rising star. He replied cur-
tly, "Write me a letter", and hung up.
My active quest soon began to turn
passive, in deed if not in spirit.
Yet I suspect I should redouble my ef-
forts for her sake as much as mine, sin-
ce it seems clear her agent is safeguar-
ding her career with far less efficiency
than he does her soliture. The current
film The Promise marks Quinlan's first
screen appearance since Rose Garden,
and it is a pure, dismembering horror.
It's not just that the film's plot is an im-
possibly goony gothic synthesis half-
way between Victoria Holt and Horato
Alger; it's not just that they've saddled

Quinlan with a character who couldn't
be brought to life if her name was
Lazarus; it's what the benighted
creators of this celuloid absurdity have
done to Quinlan herself.
IN THE FILM she plays a young art
student who gets her face horribly
disfigured in an auto accident. Her rich,
noble boyfriend's rich, wicked mom
strikes a satanic bargain with her:
She'll foot Quinlan's hundred-thou
plastic surgery bill if Quinlan promises
never again to see her lover (who's
conveniently in a coma at the time the
deal is sealed). The catch, of course, is
that after the operation she'll look so
different that he won't even realize who
she is (nothwithstanding that her body,
voice, and mannerisms remain un-
changed).
The film's original notion was to have
two different actresses play
the Before-and-After roles, but
somewhere along the line the producers
anddmakeup sociopaths apparently
decided Quinlan was so talented and
versatile that they could misuse her not
once, but twice.
Thus, in the Before version they've
impounded her with a set of upper den-
tures protrudent wnough to make
Eleanor Roosevelt jealous. Not only
does this emigrating bridge force her
upper profile to enter a scene seconds
ahead of her lower, it also lends the
garish effect of making her seem to talk
without moving her mouth at all. One
keeps expecting her to suddenly
produce Charlie McCarthy from under-
neath the couch.
Though the After version allows her
to look a bit more herself, even here the
makeup fiends have managed to
retrograde her goddesses' cheekbones
into modified jowls and pinched her
eyes to a point where she seems in a
state of a constant, sun-blind squint.
The maddening result of all this visual
subterfuge is that you never really see
Kathleen Quinlan at all. All you can
detect is a pair of not-too-successful
competitors in a look-alike contest,-and
since The Promise script doesn't allow
Quinlan to do any acting, her empryean
looks-talent combination is thus effec-
tively and murderously obliterated.
ALAS, SHE deserves so much
better-yet things may get even
worse. Her next film outing, The Run-
ner Stumbles. not only casts her as a
nun (shades of the shackled Ingrid
Bergman), but is directed by Stanley
Kramer, arguably the most maladroit
moviemaker alive today. Her recent
off-Broadway play, Taken in Marriage,
closed after one week. If anyone ever
needed a true and loyal friend, she must
at this moment. If she can read these
words, let me say that I have blue eyes,
a single apartment and a nature that is
pure press agent at heart.

I -~ I
offers credit and
non-credit classes
in all levels of:
Ballet
Modern
Elfro-fimerkcan
Jazz
May 7-June 15
Pick up a schedule of classes at
the Dance Bldg., 1310 N. Univ.
Court behind CCRB

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