Movies »Slaughterhouse Five

slaughterhouse fiveKurt Vonnegut is an utterly beloved author by anyone that's discovered his equally humorous and gravely poignant novels, but he is rarely given satisfactory adaptation to screen. His time traveling anti war sensation Slaughterhouse Five, adapted in 1972 by George Roy Hill, is an exception.

It's been many years since I read the book, but the film to my memory seems to capture the languid fatalism and realistic surrealism of the book personified perfectly by the toothy smiled, calm voiced Michael Sacks as Billy Pilgrim. Even Vonnegut is a fan, which is rare among novelists of their big screen interpretations. He said “I drool and cackle every time I watch that film, because it is so harmonious with what I felt when I wrote the book.”

The cinematography is appropriately lovely considering Miroslav Ondricek (Amadeus) is behind the camera, and the exceptional Glenn Gould supplies the Bach. While the film may not have captured the intricacies of the novel, it captures the essence and gets one in the mood to re-read his novels (for some of us for a third time).

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Posted on September 28, 2009

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