When I first saw this, on its release, I laughed until I thought I'd pop a gut. I didn't laugh so much this time around but then I don't laugh as much as I used to -- at anything.
But look at that cast: Burton, Huston, Brando, Aznavour, Coburn, Pallenberg, Matthau, among others. And some talent behind the camera as well.
It's easy to dismiss this as just one more disorganized non sequitur from the 1960s, chaos trying to pass for art, but it's really more serious than that. I suppose "serious", in that context, should be in quotation marks. Yes, it's a kaleidoscopic jumble but there's an uncanny continuity underneath the overt narrative. The novel, after all, was written by Terry Southern, who gave us "Doctor Strangelove" among other satirical works of the 1960s. Some of his send ups are more whimsical than others but they're hardly pointless.
Among the targets skewered here: the reverence in which high-echelon surgeons are held (and in which they hold themselves); the American propensity to protect itself and the rest of the world by military intervention; the charisma of alcoholic poets (I think Southern missed the boat on that one, at least as far as American students are concerned); the crypto-mysticism of Eastern philosophy so fashionable in the 60s; the nouvelle vague films that flooded the art houses; gay bars in Greenwich Village; the longing that some Irish cops have to bust heads over what they perceive as "infractions"; the Circum-Mediterranean virginity mystique; and the patronizing and politically correct attitude towards the disabled and deformed.
Southern's novel (I don't know who Mason Hoffenberg is, but I can't find any trace of him in the book) is funnier than the movie, and sexier too. For whatever reasons, it's difficult to transpose Southern's written work to the screen. "The Magic Christian," a story with enormous wit, flopped as a movie. But when it's Southern who's writing the adaptation, the movies generally turn out pretty well -- "The Loved One," for instance, which did a good job of capturing some of Evelyn Waugh's humor while adding some absurdities of Southern's own. That movie introduced us to the word "PRE-vert."
Here, the narrative explores and explodes some of the most primitive verities of the Western world in the 1960s, not all with equal success. And sometimes director Marquand goes over the top with the special effects. John Astin doesn't really belong in the movie. The other principal actors seem to know the meaning of debauchery but Astin works too hard at hipness, only to achieve hepness. Ringo Starr isn't an actor. Too bad all the performances weren't up to the level of the short guy who played the blue-eyed eager Irish cop (Joey Forman?).
It's not a masterpiece and some episodes are more amusing than others but, then, what is perfection? A petty illusion of the material world, unworthy of definition, as Marlon Brando's phony guru might put it, a complete ascetic when he's not secretly gobbling down salami and beer. It's colorful. It's funny. It features the calf-like eyes and robust figure of Miss Teenage Sweden. What more can you ask for -- a return to the innocence of the early 1960s?
Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy
Action / Adventure / Comedy / Fantasy
Candy Christian is an innocent young girl when she first hears MacPhisto, an alcoholic Welsh poet, talk of love and self-sacrifice. Candy narrowly escapes MacPhisto's attempt to rape her, only to succumb to her father's Mexican gardener, Emmanuel. When her father catches her with the gardener, he banishes her to a trip with his twin brother, Uncle Jack, and Jack's wife Aunt Livia, who are headed for New York City. As Candy makes her way to the airport, Emmanuel's three sisters attack her because she has corrupted their brother. Because of Candy, Emmanuel has now forsaken the priesthood. During the scuffle, Candy's father takes a blow to the head, resulting in a serious head injury. Candy nearly gives in to General R.A. Smight on the plane in exchange for a blood transfusion for her father. In New York City, an ego-maniacal brain surgeon Dr. A.B. Krankeit operates on her father, while Uncle Jack pursues his own operation on Candy. When Candy bashes him with a bedpan, Uncle Jack is put in her father's hospital bed, while her father wanders away without notice. Candy is now free to visit Greenwich Village where she takes part in a movie by underground movie director Jonathan J. John. It's a pornographic movie, shot in a public restroom. Next, Candy becomes the pet of a benevolent hunchback in Central Park, but she escapes from this arch-criminal into the truck trailer of Guru Grindl. During the drive to California, Grindl initiates her into the mysteries of the Seventh Stage and other secrets of life. In California, Candy seeks the Great Buddah, who will reveal to her the ultimate stage. In her search, she encounter a filthy hermit who leads her to a temple. There Candy and the hermit have sex. When a deluge destroys the temple and washes the hermit clean. Candy recognizes that the hermit is really her wandering father. Again, Candy runs away to more trouble. The final time, however, she finds herself in a hippie orgy, reunited with her past sexual partners.
Uploaded by: FREEMAN