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'Cul-de-sac' Trailer : Dwarfed by Polanski's other 60s films and unavailable until Criterion released it a few years ago, "Cul-de-sac" is a transitional film for Polanski, but a memorable effort in its own right. A sort of "Waiting for Godot" meets "Little Caesar," the film is a power-play between brash American gangster Lionel Stander, who’s waiting for a colleague that never shows, and ineffectual Brit Donald Pleasence, whose castle Stander stumbles upon. Stander dominates and emasculates Pleasence in front of his oversexed wife (Francoise Dorleac) as Polanski uses the castle to striking effect, turning an battle of wits into an outsized look at male dominance. If the final moments of this black comedy are more disturbing than funny, it's because it's comedic in the nastiest sense of the word, pushing Polanski’s bleak worldview to its most jaundiced. [B+]

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