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


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


[Privilege...] is probably the most extraordinary film you will ever see See more »


Comedy | Drama | Music | Sci-Fi


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Parents Guide:





Release Date:

28 February 1967 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Privileg  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?


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


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 »


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


Music by Sir Charles Hubert Hastings Parry
Words by William Blake
Arranged by Edward Elgar
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User Reviews

Before Britney, there was Steve.
10 December 2001 | by (Seattle) – See all my reviews

Privilege is one of those `lost' rarely screened masterpieces that always seem to end up on some critic's top-ten list, but you almost never know anyone who has seen the film. It is no wonder no one has seen this film – it has never been available on video (except for crummy bootlegs), it's not shown on television any longer and revival theatres have long since forgotten about it. Why?

Privilege has much more pertinence now than it did back in 1967. Paul Jones (lead singer of Manfred Mann) plays Steve Shorter, a British manufactured rock-n-roll icon, who is shaped and molded into a tool used to sell every product imaginable. In one humorous moment, the British Apple Growers Association, having harvested far too many apples to be sold, hire Steve to do a commercial convincing each British person to eat six apples a day.

To the nation, Steve is a god. A symbol of everything that is pure and good. Steve can do no wrong. Unfortunately, Steve has no mind of his own and is easily led from concert-to-concert, commercial-to-commercial and meeting-to-meeting by his conniving, greedy managers. Everyone wants a piece of Steve. The mere mention of a product from Steve's lips will sway the entire nation's fashion sense – if Steve wears black, the whole country wears black. His managers know this and there is no organization they will not sell him out to.

`The Church', in an act to attract more young members into its congregation, hires Steve to convince the nation's youth to become God-fearing Christians. But, this does not sit well with Steve who is becoming more cognizant of his surroundings through the help of a young artist played by sixties supermodel, Jean Shrimpton.

Privilege, even though rarely shown, is a surreal motion picture every film fanatic and music historian should seek out. With teeny-bop stars like Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, Mandy Moore, Jessica Simpson and NSYNC sprouting up like so many invasive weeds, Privilege is very worthy of a second look. Hurry, please, before it is too late.

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