A bright satirical comedy about an innocent high school girl granted her wishes by a student prodigy. A broad satire of teenage culture in the sixties, its targets ranging from progressive education to beach movies.
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Franklin J. Schaffner
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High-school senior Barbara Ann Greene has a lot to overcome to reach her dreams to be popular, get a job, find a husband, and maybe even be a movie star: she's poor, her parents are divorced, and her mother is a cocktail waitress. Right beside her, though, is her best friend and Svengali, Alan. He helps her get 12 cashmere sweaters, a job in the principal's office, spring break at Balboa, and more. Along the way, the satire bites teen mores, beach-blanket bikini movies, adults in charge, the country-club set, Christian-youth programs, older men's fantasies, and teen girls' innocence. How popular will Barbara Ann become, and what lengths will Alan go to get her there? Written by
This film took nearly eighteen months to get to Britain and was shown (in an abbreviated version) in the lower half of a double-bill with "A Fistful Of Dollars". It was not press-shown or given much publicity, but the popularity of the Clint Eastwood film meant that it was widely seen, and it gradually built up a cult following. It was eventually televised in its full version. See more »
When Barbara Ann inscribes her name in cement near beginning of film, she writes the second R in first name twice due to inconsistency in long shot and closeup. See more »
My son is a dear boy. He's also a *total* idiot. He takes after his late father.
Oh, yes, he told me. He was a psychiatrist?
Yes, but with a gimmick. He was the first head-shrinker in Beverly Hills to validate parking tickets... You can't imagine what a simple thing like that can mean business-wise.
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During closing credits, we hear a duck quacking. See more »
First time I saw this I could hardly believe the many, many visible boom mikes throughout the film. Loved the picture regardless, and now I've come to accept those boom mikes as characters as central to LORD LOVE A DUCK's frazzled beauty as Roddy McDowall & Tuesday Weld, its stars.
Most knowledgeable film fans hold 70s films in reverence for their embracing of a deeper, richer reality more inspired by novels than by prior Hollywood films. 60s cinema tends to suffer by comparison: it often seems like a clumsy standoff between the death-throes of the old studios and their formulas, and the insisting beating on the door of a new, artistic, more experimental aesthetic: DUCK is one of those, subverting the soundstage-bound Mickey & Judy cliches by emulating that shot-on-indoor-sets look, with the vital modification of peopling this familiar artifical environment with the hyperAmerican grotesques who routinely populate Geo Axelrod's universe. Thus, like a lot of the best 60s movies, DUCK is part-fish, part-fowl and suffused with an atmosphere of strangeness beyond its subject matter - yet, given how Real Life in that decade similarly swayed on unsteady footing in two seperate realities, it works beautifully. And it definitely doesn't hurt that Tuesday Weld is a goddess of apple-cheeked carnality and conspicuous consumption. She may not be Everywoman exactly, but she IS Everywoman who ever dreamed of marrying Elvis, and that's good enough - like the King, you can't help falling in love with her. As has been noted, the 'cashmere sweater' scene is among the most erotic scenes ever caught on film - unnervingly so, given she's playing the scene with, and for, her father.
The movie is chockfull of scenes that similarly push black humor and social satire past the threshold of good taste or story logic; you're either going to go with it, or reject it altogether. I recommend the former: like a lot of underrated and outright ignored 60s movies that don't comfortably fit into any standard category, LORD LOVE A DUCK rewards the viewer who's willing to suspend disbelief for an hour-and-a-half with a totally absorbing and unique unreality all its own. It's a buzz you can only get from an American film made between JFK and Tricky Dick, and it's a hoot besides.
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