Reed and Winner are a winning combination
(5 out of 5 stars)
"As with their collaborations on "The Girl Getters" and "The Jokers", the efforts of director Michael Winner and actor Oliver Reed are effective in this fast-paced, quick-witted work. Like the ultimate relationship comedy "Annie Hall", this film revolves around the same subject matter a decade earlier. This time, viewers see Andrew Quint, who becomes as disenchanted with his successful advertising career as he is with his team of mistresses. At 32, he is ready to begin again. But as he changes jobs and women, he also encounters a few life changes he had not planned on. Set in London's swinging sixties, this movie captures the setting with style and marks one of Reed's very finest performances. A must-see!"
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Considering this movie was made over 30 years ago, it is surprising how fresh it still feels. Orson Welles' character, the diabolical ad agency owner, is compelling and witty. He brings amazing dimension to the story, with laceratingly sharp observations about Western social values.Oliver Reed is captivating as Andrew Quint, the disenchanted ad agency executive. He exudes sexual and physical power in a way that is nearly unequalled in films on either side of the pond. I need to say something about a barely constrained raw power that Oliver Reed's Quint brings to screen -- it frequently erupts in surprisingly believable acts of violence and fistfights. I tend to think of fistfights and car chases as hokey Hollywood stuff (seriously, how many fist fights have you witnessed in real life?). But, it works, for the most part, in this movie.Quint resigns from his high-powered position in a spectacular act of rebellion. He seeks to return to a truer calling in life - working as an editor for a declining literary magazine. After whole-heartedly chucking his job, he then goes half-heartedly through the motions of breaking off relations with his assorted blonds. But, not really. In fact, he acquires another blond or two along the way. The break-ups, both professional and personal, are all on the surface. It may be just a European thing or a sixties thing, but movie's characters are strangely bland and accepting about sexual infidelity.The female characters, a wife and a bevy of girl friends, alas, are nearly interchangeable - stamped from a cookie cutter. Maybe that was intentional; because, it seems, Quint never comes to grips with his angst. He fails to recover that sense of integrity he sought in his attempts to shed the trappings of ad agency success. There is a faint question in the air at the end: does he to come to peace with himself, finally?The movie provides a terrific glimpse into the social culture of the Sixties, when Britain was in its ascendancy as the celebrated crown jewel of pop culture. But, as I said, it doesn't seem that dated - even the clothes still look fairly okay (the hairstyles and makeup, though, NOT!). Ahead of its time in many ways, the movie has comments on the environment and society that are still valid and compelling today. Orson Welles' character delivers a very insightful speech on the extraordinary generation of waste - both literally in how landfills are swallowing up the country and in the quality of society's intellectual output. The movie is cagey in its revelation that even the hallowed halls of the academic elite harbor decay and moral corruption.I enjoyed the commentary provided by Michael Winner on the DVD edition. It's chatty - gossipy, in fact, with rare details about the actors' personal lives. As for the title, I still don't get it; and Winner's comments about it are obtuse. Frankly, the title sounds like a slap-dash comedy, which this is not."
Capital portrayal of the "angry young man".
Mark Savary | Seattle, WA | 09/04/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"From the opening shot, you know this film is not just another movie from the 60's. Many films from this era showcase the "angry young man" character rebelling against some unfocused facet of society that they feel oppresses them. "The Girl Getters", also starring Oliver Reed, and "Saturday Night and Sunday Morning" are two such samplings from Britain that are quite memorable (also of note is the even rarer portrayal of the "angry young woman" in "The Girl With Green Eyes").Oliver Reed is marvelous as the angry young man in this slice of life film set in Swinging London. Reed's disillusioned character has reached a point where the swinging lifestyle has become empty and unsatisfying, and he wonders if there is something more to life than just having fun.Of course, Welles is on hand, and although his part is relatively small, it it pivotal nonetheless. As Lute, the millionaire advertising executive, Welles exudes the frightening presence of a man who is not to be denied anything he wants. Lute is pragmatic, cynical, and amused at Reed's faniciful idea of working for a cause instead of working for cash.Even though Reed owns the film, one standout in the cast to be mentioned is the milquetoast character who asks Reed to join his failing literary magazine. Burdened by a harping wife who is unhappy with the poor life of a scholar and wants "things" likes sportscars and washing mashines.Of course, Carol White is the foxy and quintessential London swinger, and would easily give Felicity Shagwell a run for her money.These type of films are all too rare. Although there are a few American films that touch on the same issues with the same styling ("The Sweet Smell of Success" and "Love With the Proper Stanger" both spring to mind), the British just had a knack for making solid "class struggle" films. They also had the actors that would make the films work and the characters believable. Reed and his fellow cast members excel in this one, and Welles is wonderful. Don't pass it up!"
FLASHBACK: London. 1967.
swinginglondon | London | 04/12/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"This film works wonderfully as a timepiece. What I like so much about Winner's films of the '60's is how much he wizzes around the city. We are treated to location after location...so we really get a look at time and place like very few films of the period. Lots of cars and mini-skirted dolly birds with exaggerated hairdo's and eye make-up.
The story is rather lame. '60's London is the star of this show. It's such a time tunnel that you'll feel quite dazed when it's over...but I think you'll be entertained.
Carol White was always nice eye candy. She plays Oliver Reed's girlfriend. She stumbles and staggers through her lines (in one scene she almost falls over, in another she 'reacts' to the people in the room before she even has entered it,) but you forgive her because she had a sort of innocent charm, like this film.
Reed is at his cool best. He was also at his handsomest in 1967. He handles his part with great ease.
Orson Wells camps it up, maybe a little too much. Marianne Faithfull says the 'f' word...but little else.
If you like and/or are interested in '60's London...don't hesitate buying this. Otherwise I'd be reluctant to recommend it.
P.S. Almost forgot, the photography is excellent. So sharp and clear and so very London, 1967."