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Privilege (1967)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Music  -  28 February 1967 (UK)
7.1
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Ratings: 7.1/10 from 669 users  
Reviews: 32 user | 35 critic

Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Paul Jones ...
...
Mark London ...
William Job ...
Max Bacon ...
Jeremy Child ...
James Cossins ...
Frederick Danner ...
Marcus Hooper
Victor Henry ...
Freddie K
Arthur Pentelow ...
Leo Stanley
Steve Kirby ...
Squit
Malcolm Rogers ...
Rev. Jeremy Tate
Doreen Mantle ...
Miss Crawford
Michael Graham ...
Timothy Arbutt
Michael Barrington ...
The Bishop of Essex
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Storyline

Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in Britain loves him. His handlers begin to use his popularity for projects like increasing the consumption of apples after a bumper crop as an aid to farmers. The handlers decide that Steven should support God and Country next. This leads to, among other things, a rock version of "Onward Christian Soldiers," and the inclusion of a Nazi salute to make it clear (to the viewer) how far the British population will be taken for love of God and Country under Steven's guidance. Steven is very plastic in his direction, shifting as his handlers point him toward new projects until he meets Vanessa Ritchie, an artist who makes him look at what's happening. Written by John Vogel {jlvogel@comcast.net}

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Behind the screams and headlines are the manipulators...the puppet masters who pull the strings and make the pop scene work. This is the story of "Steve" - pop singer extraordinary who dared to say "I won't conform." See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Music | Sci-Fi

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Release Date:

28 February 1967 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Privileg  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Eric Burdon claimed that he had been cast as Steve Shorter at the time. See more »

Quotes

Rev. Jeremy Tate: This black card will be issued to you as you leave the Stadium tonight. On it there are three words.They are simple words but they are vital words. They are words which we must now, all of us, begin using because, since the end of the War, we in Britain have become apathetic, slack, loose in our morality. National cohesion has become unimportant to us! We must fight this. We must. Now, all of us begin to use the words on the card! "We will conform."
See more »

Connections

Spoofed in Velvet Goldmine (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

Imperial Echoes
(uncredited)
Music by Arnold Safroni
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User Reviews

 
Sadly neglected prime slice of English film-making
8 June 2005 | by (Marina del Rey, CA) – See all my reviews

Peter Watkins-directed mockumentary about a pop star whose fame is engineered by the government. Paul Jones gives a wonderful performance as Steven Shorter, possibly the most famous man in Great Britain. We watch his daily exploits as he's followed by a documentary crew that also narrates. Although Shorter is clearly in the vein of a "mod" from the mid-1960's, the film has aged quite well. The original songs are great ("Privilege(Set Me Free)" was covered by Patti Smith in 1978) and the scenes of Shorter leading a fascist-like rally are still eerie (perhaps an influence on the film PINK FLOYD THE WALL?). Another great scene deals with Shorter being conscripted into writing a Catholic rock song, which anticipates how the organized Christianity of today tries to use rock as a way of converting people. Definitely worth watching. Hopefully it will finally get a proper home video release.


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