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Morgan! (1966)

Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (original title)
After his wife leaves him for his former best friend, a failed London artist begins his descent into madness into trying to win her back.

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Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 4 wins & 10 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Policeman
Arthur Mullard ...
Wally
Newton Blick ...
Nan Munro ...
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Geoffrey
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Counsel
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Tipstaff
John Rae ...
Judge
Angus MacKay ...
Best Man
Marvis Edwards ...
Maid
Peter Cellier ...
Second Counsel
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Storyline

Morgan Delt is a failed and irresponsible left-wing artist whose Communist parents own a fish and chips shop in downmarket London. He is also an aggressive and self-admitted dreamer obsessed with Karl Marx, gorillas and stopping his beautiful wife from marrying his former best friend. He uses his rich fantasy world as refuge from external reality, where his unconventional behavior lands him in a divorce from his wife, trouble with the police and, ultimately, incarceration in an insane asylum. Written by alfiehitchie

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Comedy | Drama | Fantasy

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Release Date:

27 January 1966 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Morgan!  »

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1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final feature film of Newton Blick who died before the film came out. See more »

Goofs

After Morgan awakens after spending the night in his car, a radio announcer states the time as 6:30 am, even though the nearly non-existent shadows indicate it's clearly near noon. See more »

Quotes

Morgan Delt: There's no cause for alarm. Gorillas are good. They're big, but they're good.
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Connections

Featured in Stairs (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

Parade of the Tin Soldiers
(uncredited)
Music by Leon Jessel
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User Reviews

 
Worth a Closer Look
24 March 2012 | by (Claremont,USA) – See all my reviews

I thought the movie hilarious in '66 and still do. Of course, I can see why social conservatives take offense since the movie basically mocks settled convention. For example, when a gorilla-clad Morgan crashes the wedding party, it's like the intrusion of primal instinct on all that's refined and holy. But even more troubling, movie communists are portrayed as almost likably human, instead of the usual weasels or monsters of Hollywood lore. For Americans, that took real getting used to then, and I expect still does.

Reviewer screaminmimi is, I think, spot-on in her commentary. Still, I want to venture a perspective on Morgan's weird behavior since he's such a fascinating character, for me, at least. He's like a believer who's lost faith—he keeps the Marxist icons on his car, but in his heart no longer believes in the revolution. Instead, as the dialog indicates, the weight of mindless convention is crushing his sensitive nature. What's more, despair is really rubbed in when Leonie leaves him for the asinine Napier, the epitome of the unworthy, in Morgan's eyes, at least.

So, having given up on politics and despising the conventional, he retreats into the fantastic, non-human world of the gorilla by taking on the alter-ego of the primitive, which he then uses to pursue his ex-wife. In Morgan's mind maybe Leonie will respond to the magnetism of the primitive by bellowing out his call. So he conducts his wacky efforts at winning her back by donning a gorilla costume, and we get some of the movie's loonier comedic set-ups.

Consider also that great scene at Marx's bust in Highgate when the camera plays up the over-hanging brow and ape-like visage. Morgan responds with an ape-like grunt, which Mom construes as disrespect. It's not. In fact, with that grunt he's incorporated the political into his new primitive fantasy. It's only later on, atop the trash heap, when he's lost Leonie and given up his gorilla alter-ego, that the political suddenly reasserts itself and with a vengeance. At that point, he imagines himself executed by Marxist guerrillas, perhaps in guilt over not fulfilling the Leninist expectations others had for the young Morgan. Defeated in so many ways, he's now ready to be carted off to the loony bin, but not without a lingering spark.

Of course, there's also Leonie, the trigger of his desperation. She's really torn since she responds to Morgan's rebellious nature, on one hand, but is used to the conventional comforts of her prosperous class, on the other. It's clear that she's attracted to him, but can't take living with such an unpredictable cuss. So she retreats back to the prospect of the conventional with Napier. Asked by Morgan, at one point, why she prefers the conventional, she's perplexed and can't really answer, as if she's never actually thought about it. So, not only does Morgan lose out to convention, he loses out to a bunch of rules for which there's no apparent reason.

The movie itself is very much in the emerging hip style of the day. Director Reisz films in brash, take no prisoners fashion, unafraid of breaking the rules. His cast of Warner and Redgrave are perfect for their roles. She looks every inch the well-kept daughter and wife who occasionally likes to let her hair down, while he manages a complex role in persuasive fashion.

To me, the comedy set-ups are funny as heck, though one might question the explosive set- up under the bed. Still, I take Morgan's assault on the upper-class as akin to the Marx Bros. irreverent brand of humor in the 1930's. In fact, some of his antics could be likened to Harpo Marx's absurd stage props at a time when the brothers wreaked havoc among that day's well upholstered.

Sure, some of the cinematic style may look outdated. But neither the laughs nor the targets are. To me, they endure. After fifty years, Morgan is still an exceptional movie.


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