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  1. #1
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    Can anyone with long memories recall whether 'O Lucky Man!' on its first screenings had an intermission, and if so where it occurred? I seem to remember there was one, but I could be completely wrong.



    I'm interested because the recently released DVD has the film split between two discs. The break comes during the journey down the motorway to London with Alan Price and his band, and occurs immediately before the first shot of dawn breaking over London with the minibus travelling along a flyover.



    A reviewer, Tim Lucas, in the new January edition of 'Sight & Sound' has described the disc break at this point as "lousy". However, I believe this was probably the exact point where the intermission occurred (if indeed there was one!). Anyway it seems to me a very appropriate place to put the break. i.e. between the night getaway from Millar's clinic and the dawn breaking over London representing new hope and opportunities for the hero.

  2. #2
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    An interesting question. I had a vague memory of writing about this very thing years back so I looked up my old cuttings file and found that in the Hampstead & Highgate Express I wrote how dismayed I was see that the local Hampstead Classic was showing the film with an intermission. This must mean that it did not have an interval at its premiere run at the Warner Leics Sq because my viewing at the Classic was my fourth. In response, Eddie Patman of Col-Warner responded with a letter saying that the film was being released nationwide with an intermission timed by Anderson himself. In short then, the original 186-minute version did not have an intermission and the general release version did. A Clockwork Orange also ran with an intermission at many local cinemas.

  3. #3
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    Hello Adrian, it's nice to hear from you. I don't know whether you'll remember me, but we corresponded a few times back in the 70's about Stanley Kubrick and later about Billy Wilder, when you and Neil Sinyard published your excellent book 'Journey Down Sunset Boulevard'. You were kind enough to send me a souvenir booklet of 'A Clockwork Orange', which I still have. You mentioned at the time that it was quite a rare item - of course I wasn't aware then that Kubrick had already quietly withdrawn 'A Clockwork Orange' from UK distribution.



    Thanks for the information about 'O Lucky Man'. I certainly saw it on its first run at the Warner Leicester Sq. but I must have also seen it later on general release, which explains my vague memory of an intermission! So the DVD break doesn't seem so bad now!



    I must admit I wasn't aware that 'A Clockwork Orange' had ever been shown with an intermission - that's quite surprising for a film running only 137 minutes. I don't think I ever saw it on general release as I'd already seen it several times at the Warner on its first run!

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Hello, Bruce! I think I do remember all that and sending out one of my treasured Clockwork Orange brochures. Learned Professor Sinyard is still nobly touting Billy - he's recently done a superb commentary for the absolutely ace Criterion edition of Ace in the Hole. I haven't got the RI edition of O Lucky Man, intending to hang on for the UK release. I think it might be long wait, unfortunately.

  5. #5
    Member Country: England
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    I First Saw This Film In Autumn 1981 (bbc2 British Film Season)

    Soon As I Saw The Opening Scene I Was Hooked For Nearly 3 Hours Of Pure Brilliance From Actors Like Malcom Mcdowell,helen Mirren,rachel Roberts,ralf Richardson And The Geezer From Dads Army.alan Price Provides The Sountrack,please Let Me Know Your Fave Bit Of The Film.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain
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    First saw it the week it came out and as a young lad was suprised that Captain Mannering (Arthur Lowe) would ever be involved in anything risque as the "chocolate sandwich" sequence then it got me thinking......

  7. #7
    Member Country: England
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    not forgetting father christmas (i think it was the coach driver from the italian job)

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK homeguard's Avatar
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    What was in David Sherwin's head? Brilliant film, but not something the exponents of animal/human embryos would want on tele!

    Regards,

    HG

  9. #9
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    Thinking about it, I would have to say that "O Lucky Man' was one of the first works/acts of art that made me recosnsider the status quo as presented at the time. I already knew some people were hypocrites, but Anderson made me realise they were everywhere !

  10. #10
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    One of the first films to 'stay with me', I saw it at a (probably TOO) young age and I still love it.



    I think the most famous moment has to be the utterly horrifying 'pig' scene. I was truly shocked at the time ...



    One of my favourite moments has to be seeing Arthur Lowe blacked up as an African dictator ... no way would that be permitted today ...



    Great music too ...



    Unfortunately the long-overdue DVD release stupidly spreads the film across two discs, when it would easily fit onto one disc. Just another example of why it's often better to stick with a good quality TV recording than a retail DVD. (I recorded it from Sky last year in 16:9 but foolishly gave it away when I heard it was coming out officially ... )

  11. #11
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    One of my favourite films,i saw it on tv about 20 years ago and it jammed in my mind as a weird and powerful movie.

    I always thought that the lady who breastfed Malcolm Macdowell in the church and also played a couple of other roles in the movie was Vivien Merchant but in actual fact it was a Canadian actress, Mary Macleod.

    Also the scene where Mick Travis samples coffee by drinking it from Rachel Roberts mouth has to be one of the most erotic in cinema (or is it just me)

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonel Blimp
    Unfortunately the long-overdue DVD release stupidly spreads the film across two discs, when it would easily fit onto one disc. Just another example of why it's often better to stick with a good quality TV recording than a retail DVD. (
    Col Blimp, sir, I beg to differ, oh yes. Spreading it over two discs improves the picture quality, and I think the break comes where the intermission came in the general release version. Also, this DVD version is far, far preferable to any TV showing since it is uncut, having the sequences with Rachel Roberts in the council flat.



    Overall, the movie works very well today - much of it struck me as audacious and its view of Britain still very apposite. Unfortunately, I found the commentary by Malcolm McDowell and David Sherwin rather uninteresting, missing out on a lot of detail. For McDowell, it was a let down after his commentary on Clockwork Orange.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by AdrianTurner
    Col Blimp, sir, I beg to differ, oh yes. Spreading it over two discs improves the picture quality, and I think the break comes where the intermission came in the general release version. Also, this DVD version is far, far preferable to any TV showing since it is uncut, having the sequences with Rachel Roberts in the council flat.



    Overall, the movie works very well today - much of it struck me as audacious and its view of Britain still very apposite. Unfortunately, I found the commentary by Malcolm McDowell and David Sherwin rather uninteresting, missing out on a lot of detail. For McDowell, it was a let down after his commentary on Clockwork Orange.
    The thing is, the second disc contains the second half of the film, plus a documentary which is pretty much the same length as the first half of the film ... so why not put all the film on one disc and the documentary on disc two?



    I'm sure the recent Sky broadcast was uncut ... but I'd have to check!



    ON EDIT: at least it's out there ... at last!

  14. #14
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    This film nearly killed off Anderson's career, yet he wouldn't be put off, making the same sort of vitriolic film when he managed to srape enough money together to make Britannia Hospital .



    Always thought it odd, and very ironic, that such a left wing and "subversive" director was John Ford's biggest fan.




  15. #15
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    rskershaw, You've seen "The Searchers" and find it odd and very ironic, that Anderson was a big John Ford fan ? How odd and ironic !

  16. #16
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    Most definitely one of my faourite films and Alan Price's soundtrack is also one my favourites too.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by rskershaw
    This film nearly killed off Anderson's career, yet he wouldn't be put off, making the same sort of vitriolic film when he managed to srape enough money together to make Britannia Hospital .



    Always thought it odd, and very ironic, that such a left wing and "subversive" director was John Ford's biggest fan.



    And The Grapes of Wrath????





    Don't confuse John Ford with John Wayne.

  18. #18
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    Lindsay Anderson was an anarchist and didn't believe in ANY form of authority, hence 'Britannia Hospital''s attack on the Monarchy, the Trades Unions and big business.



    He was however an unrepentant romantic and that was I think, the appeal of Ford for him however contradictory it might at first appear. Ford himself stood up to Ronald Reagan during the Communist witchhunt era while Reagan was himself head of the actors union, although Ford like Reagan was a Republican at heart.

  19. #19
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    Lindsay was quite famous for liking everything John Ford did - except The Searchers! He said in his book that he couldn't understand it. As far as O Lucky Man! is concerned, the entire sequence of Mick finding the church, being suckled on the altar in the midst of nature's bounty, and striding off across the countryside is pure John Ford myth-making. It's a fantastic sequence, I think, that gets you in the old ticker without quite knowing why. And immediately after that Mick gets thrown into the Millar clinic and the horror, the horror.

  20. #20
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    I always remember the signed photo of Ford in Lindsay's kitchen alongside a photograph of the Queen Mother.



    His home help told he he saluted them every morning with his first cup of tea of the day!

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