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Petulia
     

Petulia

Director: Richard Lester

Cast: Julie Christie, George C. Scott, Richard Chamberlain

 

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Petulia is Richard Lester's ode to the Swinging Sixties: a time of psychedelic instability when neither those who were square, nor those who were hip, really had it right. George C. Scott is Archie Bollen, a divorced San Francisco doctor in the midst of "discovering himself." Julie Christie is Petulia Danner, a peculiar young beauty recently married into an

Overview

Petulia is Richard Lester's ode to the Swinging Sixties: a time of psychedelic instability when neither those who were square, nor those who were hip, really had it right. George C. Scott is Archie Bollen, a divorced San Francisco doctor in the midst of "discovering himself." Julie Christie is Petulia Danner, a peculiar young beauty recently married into an established family. Archie's sterile apartment and detached, bemused manner exemplify his inability to emote. Petulia's forward nature and desperate tenderness betray her fear of her sullen, abusive, pretty-boy husband (Richard Chamberlain). The physician and the newlywed embark on a schizophrenic love affair amid Pepsi references, automated motels, roller derbies, and a cameo by Big Brother and the Holding Company -- but they never achieve the daring to truly change their lives. ~ Aubry Anne D'Arminio

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide
The first of director Richard Lester's rare diversions from comedy, Petulia, which followed Lester's Beatles films and the acidic satire of How I Won the War, nonetheless finds him expanding on the themes of his earlier work. Adapting John Haase's novel Me and the Arch Kook Petulia, the story of a brief, interrupted love affair between a middle-aged doctor (George C. Scott) and a young, with-it bride (Julie Christie) allows Lester to renew his study of the clash between generations, and between culture and counterculture. But Lester never allows this subtext to overwhelm the story itself, keeping a disciplined watch on the film's most striking feature, its radically novel approach to editing. With little warning, the film flashes periodically to seemingly unrelated scenes, whether real or imagined, past or present becoming clear only as the film progresses. Always pioneering in his cutting, Lester here helps push the limits of what cinematic storytelling could do. (Lester disciple Stephen Soderbergh's work owes a special debt to Petulia). As exciting as this is, it's the director's overall handling of the story, abetted by peerless work from his two leads and cinematographer Nicholas Roeg, that make his material as emotionally engaging as it is formally challenging and culturally resonant. Though rarely heralded as such, Petulia is a major accomplishment, a moving human story that's also one of the great films from and about the 1960s.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/28/2016
UPC:
0888574409678
Original Release:
1968
Rating:
R
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:45:00
Sales rank:
36,708

Special Features

Closed Caption; Two featurettes: ; The Uncommon Making of Petulia; Petulia: The Uncommon Movie; Theatrical trailer

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Julie Christie Petulia
George C. Scott Archie
Richard Chamberlain David
Arthur Hill Barney
Shirley Knight Polo
Pippa Scott May
Kathleen Widdoes Wilma
Joseph Cotten Mr. Danner
Ace Trucking Co. Actor
ATC Company Actor
Big Brother & the Holding Company Actor
Barbara Colby Patient
Committee Actor
Nate Esformes Mr. Mendoza
Grateful Dead Actor
DeAnn Mears Nurse
Josephine Nichols Neighbor
Austin Pendleton Intern
Roger Bowen Warren
Richard Dysart Motel Receptionist
Ruth Kobart Nun
Ellen Geer Nun
Lou Gilbert Mr. Howard
Maria Val Mrs. Mendoza
René Auberjonois Salesman
Peter Albin Band Member

Technical Credits
Richard Lester Director
John Barry Score Composer,Musical Direction/Supervision
Audrey Blasdel-Goddard Set Decoration/Design
Don Devlin Producer
Antony Gibbs Editor
Lawrence B. Marcus Screenwriter
Arlette Nastat Costumes/Costume Designer
Gus Norin Makeup
Denis O'Dell Associate Producer
Nicolas Roeg Cinematographer
Dean Tavoularis Art Director
Barbara Turner Screenwriter
Raymond Wagner Producer
Tony Walton Costumes/Costume Designer,Production Designer

Scene Index

Disc #1 -- Petulia
1. Credits. [1:01]
2. My Name Is Petulia. [4:19]
3. Motel Odyssey. [3:28]
4. Kook's Real Tears. [4:23]
5. Tuba Wakeup Call. [2:58]
6. What Archie Wants. [4:50]
7. Tuba Around Town. [3:45]
8. Predictable Polo. [4:28]
9. Decent Thing To Do. [3:53]
10. May's Company. [2:41]
11. Fighting For Archie's Life. [3:55]
12. Late-Night Encounters. [4:26]
13. Unrestful Sleep. [2:48]
14. Wanted And Unwanted Boys. [5:18]
15. Crime Scene. [3:04]
16. The Passenger. [2:21]
17. Slide Show Nostalgia. [3:39]
18. No Hard Feelings. [4:06]
19. Message For Mendoza. [3:33]
20. Is Truth Possible? [1:48]
21. I Just Have To Look At You. [3:50]
22. Mr. Danner Visits. [4:20]
23. Dizzy Spell Over. [4:00]
24. Crossing Paths. [4:59]
25. Greenhouse Effect. [2:22]
26. Too Beautiful. [6:56]
27. I'll Never Forget You. [6:15]
28. End Credits. [1:06]

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