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Head
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Head (1968) More at IMDbPro »

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Head -- The Monkees are tossed about in a psychedelic, surrealist, plotless, circular bit of fun fluff.

Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   4,057 votes »
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Down 32% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Director:
Writers:
Bob Rafelson (written by) and
Jack Nicholson (written by)
(more)
Contact:
View company contact information for Head on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
20 November 1968 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
What is HEAD all about? Only John Brockman's shrink knows for sure!
Plot:
The Monkees are tossed about in a psychedelic, surrealist, plotless, circular bit of fun fluff. Full summary » | Full synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
Everything that The Beatles' Yellow Submarine should have been See more (116 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)
Peter Tork ... Peter

Davy Jones ... Davy (as David Jones)

Micky Dolenz ... Micky

Michael Nesmith ... Mike

Victor Mature ... The Big Victor

Annette Funicello ... Minnie

Timothy Carey ... Lord High 'n Low
Logan Ramsey ... Off. Faye Lapid

Abraham Sofaer ... Swami

Vito Scotti ... I. Vitteloni
Charles Macaulay ... Inspector Shrink
T.C. Jones ... Mr. and Mrs. Ace
Charles Irving ... Mayor Feedback
William Bagdad ... Black Sheik
Percy Helton ... Heraldic Messenger
Sonny Liston ... Extra
Ray Nitschke ... Private One
Carol Doda ... Sally Silicone

Frank Zappa ... The Critic
June Fairchild ... The Jumper

Teri Garr ... Testy True (as Terry Garr)
Mireille Machu ... Lady Pleasure (as I.J. Jefferson)
Terry Chambers ... Oreh (as Srebmahc Yrret)
Mike Burns ... Gnihton (as Snrub Ekim)
Esther Shepard ... Rehtom (as Drapehs Rehtse)
Kristine Helstoski ... Dneirf Lrig (as Iksotsleh Enitsirk)
John Hoffman ... Dneifxes Eht (as Namffoh Nhoj)
Linda Weaver ... Yraterces Revol (as Revaew Adnil)
Jim Hanley ... Frodis (as Yelnah Mij)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Jon C. Andersen ... Himself (uncredited)
Rona Barrett ... Herself (uncredited)

Toni Basil ... Daddy's Song Dancer (uncredited)
John Brockman ... Himself - The Face (uncredited)
Chelsea Brown ... Belly Dancer (uncredited)
John Dennis ... Policeman (uncredited)
Sam Flint ... Old Man (uncredited)
Linda Haines ... Surprise Party Guest (uncredited)

Dennis Hopper ... Himself (uncredited)
Tor Johnson ... Guard (uncredited)
Valerie Kairys ... Spectator - Jumping Girl Scene (uncredited)

Helena Kallianiotes ... Belly Dancer (uncredited)
Kenner G. Kemp ... On-Looker (uncredited)
Lee Kolima ... Guard (uncredited)
Jacqui Landrum ... Belly Dancer (uncredited)
Tiger Joe Marsh ... Security Guard (uncredited)
Phyllis Barbour Nesmith ... Surprise Party Guest (uncredited)
Ngoc Loan Nguyen ... Himself - Executioner (archive footage) (uncredited)
Van Lem Nguyen ... Himself - Executed Viet Cong Soldier (archive footage) (uncredited)

Jack Nicholson ... Movie director at filmshoot in restaurant (uncredited)

The Radio City Rockettes ... Themselves (archive footage) (uncredited)

Bob Rafelson ... Himself (uncredited)

Ronald Reagan ... Himself (archive footage) (uncredited)
Hal Taggart ... On-Looker (uncredited)

Jo Anne Worley ... Woman in Playtex Bra Ad (uncredited)
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Directed by
Bob Rafelson 
 
Writing credits
Bob Rafelson (written by) and
Jack Nicholson (written by)

Micky Dolenz  uncredited
Davy Jones  uncredited
Michael Nesmith  uncredited
Peter Tork  uncredited

Produced by
Jack Nicholson .... producer
Bob Rafelson .... producer
Bert Schneider .... executive producer
 
Cinematography by
Michel Hugo (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Michael Pozen  (as Mike Pozen)
Monte Hellman (uncredited)
 
Art Direction by
Sydney Z. Litwack 
 
Set Decoration by
Ned Parsons 
 
Production Management
Harold Schneider .... unit production manager
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Jon C. Andersen .... assistant director (as Jon Andersen)
 
Art Department
Jack H. Williams .... property master (as Jack Williams)
 
Sound Department
Les Fresholtz .... sound recordist
James M. Falkinburg .... supervising sound editor (uncredited)
 
Special Effects by
Chuck Gaspar .... special effects
Burton Gershfield .... special color effects
Bruce Lane .... special color effects
 
Stunts
Bruce Paul Barbour .... utility stunts (uncredited)
Jack Williams .... stunts (uncredited)
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Gene Ashman .... costumer
 
Editorial Department
Gerald Shepard .... editor: musical numbers (uncredited)
 
Music Department
Igo Kantor .... music coordinator
Ken Thorne .... composer: incidental music
Ken Thorne .... conductor: incidental music
Keith Allison .... musician (uncredited)
 
Other crew
Toni Basil .... choreographer
Marilyn Schlossberg .... assistant to producers
 
Crew verified as complete


Production CompaniesDistributorsSpecial EffectsOther Companies
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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
86 min | USA:110 min (director's cut)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Black and White | Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.37 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Argentina:13 | Australia:PG | New Zealand:PG | Singapore:PG | UK:A (original rating) | UK:PG (re-rating) (1990) | USA:G
Filming Locations:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
A misleading ad campaign (featuring a balding man's face and no mention of The Monkees), combined with a poorly timed release date (due to postproduction delays) of 6 November 1968, two months after "The Monkees" (1966) show was canceled, sabotaged this otherwise fun-loving crowd-pleaser at the box office. It made a meager $16,111 in ticket sales.See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: Annette Funicello's character is called Theresa by Davy before the boxing sequence, but is listed as Minnie in the end credits.See more »
Quotes:
Mike:All right, need a volunteer, we're out of ammo.
Peter:I'll go.
Mike:See that you do.
See more »
Movie Connections:
Spoofs Alice in Wonderland (1951)See more »
Soundtrack:
Porpoise SongSee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
68 out of 76 people found the following review useful.
Everything that The Beatles' Yellow Submarine should have been, 25 June 2005
Author: Brandt Sponseller from New York City

This is one of those films where it is easy to see how some people wouldn't like it. My wife has never seen it, and when I just rewatched it last night, I waited until after she went to bed. She might have been amused by a couple small snippets, but I know she would have had enough within ten minutes.

Head has nothing like a conventional story. The film is firmly mired in the psychedelic era. It could be seen as filmic surrealism in a nutshell, or as something of a postmodern acid trip through film genres. If you're not a big fan of those things--psychedelia, surrealism, postmodernism and the "acid trip aesthetic" (assuming there's a difference between them), you should probably stay away from this film. On the other hand if you are a fan of that stuff, you need to run out and buy Head now if you haven't already.

Oddly, the film has never received much respect. That probably has a lot to do with preconceptions. After all, it does star The Monkees--Micky Dolenz, Davy Jones, Michael Nesmith and Peter Tork--and The Monkees were a musical group of actors put together by producers Bob Rafelson and Bert Schneider to be a kid-friendly, bubble-gummy Beatles for a television series. In their era, they had as much respect as, say, Menudo, New Kids on the Block, The Spice Girls, and so on. As a fellow IMDb reviewer rightly notes--"Perhaps people in 1968, thinking of the Monkees as a silly factory-made pop band rip-off of the Beatles, refused to see (Head)".

The Monkees and Head have never been quite able to shed that negative public perception. It's a shame, because there was a lot of talent, both musically and otherwise, in The Monkees. It's probably odder that Rafelson, who directs here and co-produces with Schneider, and Jack Nicholson (yes, _that_ Jack Nicholson), who wrote the script and also co-produces, decided to take The Monkees in this unusual direction. It's as if New Kids on the Block suddenly put out an album equivalent to Pink Floyd's Ummagumma (1969) or Atom Heart Mother (1970). In fact, the songs in Head, written by The Monkees and frequent collaborators such as Carole King and Harry Nilsson, have a Floyd-like quality, somewhere between the Syd Barrett era and the immediate post-Barrett era. This is much more prominent than any Beatles similarity. Some people have complained about the music in the film, but to me, all the songs are gems. For that matter, some people dislike Barrett era (or other) Floyd, which is just as difficult for me to empathize with.

But what _is_ Head about? The basic gist is just that The Monkees are taking a trip through various film genres--there are war scenes, adventure scenes, horror scenes, comedy scenes, drama scenes, western scenes, sci-fi scenes, romance scenes, and on and on. Except, in the film's reality, this turns out to be happening primarily (if not exclusively) on a studio lot. At root, we're watching The Monkees shoot a film. Of course all of the scenes in the various genres have something surreal and self-referential about them, and they, and individual shots within a scene, tend to lead to one another using dream logic not dissimilar to the Monty Python television show. As a dream, Head tends to vacillate between a good dream and a nightmare, while often being one that would cause you to laugh in your sleep (something that I frequently do, by the way).

Technically, Rafelson uses a wide variety of techniques to realize the above. There are scenes with extensive negative images, there are a lot of very fast cuts (including a great sequence that features Davy Jones and Tony Basil dancing alternately in a white and a black room, wearing a combination of white and black reversed in each, that occasionally toggles back and forth as quickly as two frames at a time), there are a lot of bizarre segues, there is an animated cow mouth, there are odd editing devices, and so on. For my money, I wish this stuff wasn't just a relic of the psychedelic era. This is the kind of artistic approach I relish. It seemed like a good idea back then and I still think it's a good idea. I'd like to see films like The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou using (2004) using these types of extended techniques. Now that would make that film surreal.

Interpretationally, some folks who aren't so in tune with the acid trip aesthetic have complained that it's basically b.s. to offer meanings for something intended to not have any. I disagree with such a pessimistic/nihilistic view; Head was intended to have a lot of meaning(s), and it's not just films without conventional plots that have multiple interpretations. Nicholson, Rafelson and Schneider have a lot of interesting things to say about The Monkees--the film postmodernistically comments on their manufactured status; pop stardom--way before Pink Floyd, Head conflates pop stardom and violence, from images of war to images of fans cannibalistically dismantling their idols; and naïve U.S.-oriented ideas of international perceptions and respect--well-armed foreigners in a desert surrender to Micky Dolenz just because he's an American, then later they blow up a Coke machine (again in the desert) for him because he's thirsty and can't gain access. The film comments on many other topics--from big Industry to police, surveys, spectatorship (especially in relation to tragedies), and on and on. Head is full of ideas, appropriately enough, with intelligent, multifaceted things to say about them.

Head deserves to be considered a classic--it's basically shooting for the same vibe as The Beatles' Yellow Submarine. Both premiered in November of 1968, interestingly enough, and both were intended as something of a summation of the psychedelic aesthetic. Yellow Submarine wasn't quite successful. Head is everything Yellow Submarine should have been.

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Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for Head (1968)
Recent Posts (updated daily)User
Main Purpose of this movie. drjeff21
was this truly intended to destroy the Monkees? kjaworski
Made me dislike them. mrmustard10
Vietkong execution? 'G' Rating? Has ANYONE noticed? badmusician123456
If *not* Sterling Holloway... who? rzajac
Peter's ice cream cone dcornibe
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