Directed By Elaine May: A Feral Filmography - A NEW LEAF (1971)


Revue Cinema Sun, Aug 18 4:00 PM
Film Info
Release Year:1971
Production Country:USA
Original Language:English
Cast/Crew Info
Director:Elaine May
Cast:Walter Matthau
Jack Weston
George Rose
James Coco
Doris Roberts
Screenwriter:Elaine May




A comedy innovator, a pioneering female director, accomplished screenwriter, trusted script doctor, and seasoned actress, Elaine May is one of the film industry’s most notorious and celebrated renegades. As the only woman directing for a major Hollywood studio in the 1970s, she is the original badass female director, having incited the wrath of Hollywood executives with her unrelenting commitment to her own process. Her ‘70s directorial works are masterpieces, and one–The Heartbreak Kid–is considered one of the most notoriously unavailable films of all time. NOT ANYMORE! To mark the occasion of The Heartbreak Kid’s long-awaited re-issue, the Revue celebrates a living legend with her four incomparable directorial works every Sunday in August! 


Retrospective generously sponsored by Hollywood Suite


Elaine May’s directorial debut is a batty, sharply hilarious, and devilishly delinquent black comedy that, while indebted to the screwball farces of the 1930s, is distinctly modern in its approach to laughter. Based on Jack Ritchie’s short story “The Green Heart,” A New Leaf features Walter Matthau as spoiled playboy Henry Graham, who, having depleted his substantial inheritance, quickly marries heiress Henrietta Lowell (Elaine May)—a clumsy and unsophisticated Botanist, described by Graham as “positively feral.” Tired of dusting off her crumbs, Graham devises a sinister plan to do away with his new wife. Complications ensue. May submitted the film to Paramount at a staggering 180 minutes, leading the studio to edit it themselves—she unsuccessfully sued the studio and ultimately disowned the film. Yet, it garnered her a Writer’s Guild of America nomination, and is today considered a pioneering cult classic.


Co-presented by We Really Like Her


Digital Presentation courtesy of Paramount Pictures


Generously sponsored by Hollywood Suite