Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970) - Rotten Tomatoes

Puzzle of a Downfall Child1970

Puzzle of a Downfall Child (1970)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

In this provocative drama, Lou Andreas Sand (Faye Dunaway) is an emotionally disturbed fashion model who tries to pull her life together. Aaron (Barry Primus) is the photographer who makes her famous, and Mark (Roy Schieder ) is the wealthy man who dates the troubled girl. After a suicide attempt, Lou recalls her story in flashbacks while Aaron visits the retired model in her seaside cabin on the East Coast. She resigns herself to a life of pills and booze and she tries to fill in the blanks of her turbulent career as Aaron listens to the tragic tales of the confused and miserable model. Lou is obviously troubled by her many sexploits and unsure of what to make of them. At one point she discusses what was clearly a rape, but what she calls a passionate encounter. She also talks about how she was the protégé of a lesbian model who helped her rise to the top and then became jealous when she announced that she was to marry. In speaking of her fiancé, Lou becomes vague and distant even when talking about how she jilted him at the courthouse where they were to be wed. Afterward, she loses an important photo shoot in Paris and she blames her fiancé for that and for the resulting decline in her career and her mental health.


Faye Dunaway
as Lou Andreas Sand
Viveca Lindfors
as Pauline Galba
Barry Primus
as Aaron Reinhardt
Barry Morse
as Dr. Galba
Ruth Jackson
as Barbara Casey
John Hefferman
as Dr. Sherman
Sydney Walker
as Psychiatrist
Clark Burckhalter
as Davy Bright
Shirley Rich
as Peggy McCavage
Joe George
as 1st Man in Bar
John Eames
as 1st Doctor
Syd Walker
as Psychiatrist
Lee Harry
as Mr. Wong
Susan Willis
as Neighbor
Barbara Carrera
as T.J. Brady
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Critic Reviews for Puzzle of a Downfall Child

All Critics (2) | Top Critics (1)

The film is as static, boringly camp-elegante and fatuous as a stack of flop issues of Vogue.

October 1, 2019 | Full Review…

While the debut directorial effort of former fashion photographer Jerry Schatzberg often impresses in its own right, no amount of now dated technical inflation can disguise the film's basic anemia or a plot which is still tattered and threadbare.

January 13, 2020 | Full Review…

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