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33 user 39 critic

Privilege (1967)

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 ...
Steven Shorter
...
Vanessa Ritchie
Mark London ...
Alvin Kirsch
William Job ...
Andrew Butler
Max Bacon ...
Julie Jordan
...
Martin Crossley
...
Professor Tatham
Frederick Danner ...
Marcus Hooper
Victor Henry ...
Freddie K
Arthur Pentelow ...
Leo Stanley
Steve Kirby ...
Squit
Malcolm Rogers ...
Doreen Mantle ...
Miss Crawford
...
Timothy Arbutt
...
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

Certificate:

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Parents Guide:

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Details

Country:

Language:

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

Sarah Miles was offered the role of Vanessa Ritchie. 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

Featured in Guide to the Flipside of British Cinema (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

Wings
(uncredited)
Music by W.J. Newstead
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User Reviews

very interesting
19 November 2004 | by See all my reviews

A film society at my school showed this movie for free in a lecture hall last night. Though nothing beats a free movie, the guy running the whole thing introduced it as one that had been totally panned by critics, never released on video, etc., which didn't make it sound very promising. They also showed the short film "Lonely Boy" just before "Privilege" (it's funny to hear Paul Anka's manager saying how no one will be as famous as Paul Anka ever again, knowing that only two short years later The Beatles were on Ed Sullivan). The film society also said that the director of "Privilege" watched "Lonely Boy" repeatedly, to get a feel for the mass hysteria and hero worship of teen idols.

"Privilege" is about pop star Steven Shorter, who has the teen population of Britain in the palm of his hand. Behind Steve, however, are the corporations and investors using him to control teens, which is pretty scary to think about, considering the same is very nearly true today. They decide everything for him: his appearance, what products he'll endorse, the songs he sings; and when he tries to break away and become an individual, that's it. The investors withdraw their support and the show's over. Steve controlled the public so well that with just one speech, he is able to turn the teens against himself.

I liked this movie. Perhaps the reason it did so poorly when originally released is because it didn't seem relevant. Today, it certainly is. The "futuristic" British society portrayed seems a bit of a stretch (at one point the crowds chant "We must conform! We must conform!"), but then, so does the society shown in 1984, in my opinion. Find this movie if you can, it's a great one and should be released on video!


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