The Landlord (1970)

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The Landlord is a 1970 film directed by Hal Ashby, based on the 1966 novel by Kristin Hunter. The film stars Beau Bridges in the lead role of a well-to-do white man who becomes landlord of an inner-city tenement, unaware that the people he is responsible for are low-income, streetwise residents. Also in the cast are Lee Grant, Diana Sands, Pearl Bailey, and Louis Gossett, Jr.. The film was Ashby's first film as director.

The film garnered mostly positive reviews from critics. Upon its release, New York Times film critic Howard Thompson, called the film, "a wondrously wise, sad and hilarious comedy." On September 19, 2007 journalist Mike Hale discussed the film in a New York Times article called Before Gentrification Was Cool, It Was a Movie. Hale praised the film for tackling the racial tension that arose in the aftermath of Martin Luther King, Jr.'s death and wrote in surprise how the film, "...would disappear after its 1970 release - rarely shown and just as rarely discussed." Today it is a cult classic, and later comedies and dramas from Ashby during the 1970s helped secure it as having the hallmarks of a Hal Ashby film.

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