Facets Cinémathèque

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August 5–11, 2016

Chicago Premiere

Private Property

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Film still: Private Property Film still: Private Property Film still: Private Property

Newly discovered and restored!

Critics' Pick "This tense and upsetting film has more psychological depth and empathy than the comparable sensationalist fare of its time, and shudder-inducing cinematic style to spare. Private Property qualifies as a genuine rediscovery"
  —New York Times
3 stars½ "There's no mistaking [Leslie] Stevens's film for anything other than the film equivalent of a late-night, paperback-noir cautionary tale—but this lost treasure has to rank as one of the richest and fearlessly gnarly of its kind"
  —Slant Magazine
4 stars "Private Property's vicious form of prurience may make some queasy, and is hardly the type of movie that could get made today without great backlash, but there's definitely more going on here than mere time-capsule curiosity. When we peer out that window, we're still gazing back at ourselves, even more than five decades later"
  —The Guardian
A savvy and remarkably brazen assault on the status quo that's also thoroughly entertaining"
  —Film Journal International
"Fascinating... a terrific example of the spell that a confident film can weave by placing a handful of troubled characters in a confined location"

Two homicidal Southern California drifters (played to creepy perfection by Warren Oates and Corey Allen) wander off the beach and into the seemingly-perfect Beverly Hills home of unhappy housewife Kate Manx, in this long-lost film noir gem written and directed by The Outer Limits creator Leslie Stevens. Shot through with shimmering sexual tension and lensed in stunning b&w by master cameraman Ted McCord (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre), Private Property is both an eerie, Jim Thompson-esque thriller and a savage critique of the hollowness of the Playboy-era American Dream.

When Manx, in irresistible blonde beehive and tight capri pants, purrs that she's ready for love, her husband waves her off, muttering "Wife noises" to his buddy on the phone. Warren Oates delivers his first great screen performance here as one of the drifters, years before he emerged in The Wild Bunch and Two-Lane Blacktop as one of the finest character actors of his generation. His bizarre, voyeuristic Lennie-and-George relationship with the underrated Corey Allen (James Dean's hot rod rival in Rebel Without a Cause) is fueled by a barely-suppressed homoerotic tension in a thriller where menace is never far from the surface.

Directed by Leslie Stevens, 1960, U.S.A., 79 mins.


  • Fri., Aug. 5 at 7:45 pm
  • Sat.–Sun., Aug. 6–7 at 5:45 & 7:45 pm
  • Mon.–Thurs., Aug. 8–11 at 7:45 pm
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$10 general admission

$5 for Facets Members

The Facets Cinémathèque is located at 1517 W. Fullerton Ave. in Chicago. Call the Cinémathèque Hotline at 773.281.4114 for the latest schedule, showtimes and updates.

For all Cinémathèque inquiries, contact Charles Coleman at 773.281.9075 or

  • John D. & Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
  • Artworks: National Endowment for the Arts
  • Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences
  • Comer Family Foundation
  • Bloomberg Philanthropies
  • Alphawood Foundation
  • Polk Bros. Foundation