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Head (1968) Poster

(1968)

Trivia

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Co-Writer Jack Nicholson actually compiled the movie soundtrack in its final form, with snippets of the movie dialogue between songs, and is so credited on the album cover. (When he saw Michael Nesmith at work in the studio and asked if he could help, Nesmith let him take over, because "I just want to go home".) Nicholson had unwavering enthusiasm for the movie, joining in a stickering campaign to promote the premiere, and declaring later that "I saw it, like, one hundred fifty-eight million times, man. I loved it!"
Rumors abound that the title was chosen in case a sequel was made. The advertisements would supposedly have read: "From the people who gave you HEAD".
For fear a Monkees movie would keep serious movie critics and moviegoers away, the producers decided on a promotional campaign that emphasized the film had nothing to do with The Monkees.
Peter Tork whistles the chorus to "Strawberry Fields Forever" by The Beatles when entering a restroom.
Mireille Machu, the girl who kisses all four Monkees near the start of the film, was Jack Nicholson's girlfriend at the time.
Victor Mature agreed to appear in the movie after reading the script, admitting none of it made sense to him: "All I know is it makes me laugh." His character, "The Big Victor", is presumed to be a comic jab at RCA Victor, which were the distributors for The Monkees' records, and whose parent company also owned NBC, which aired their television series.
The Coca-Cola Company reportedly wasn't amused at The Monkees' take on then-current Coke commercials (desert wanderer Micky Dolenz faces off against an uncooperative soda machine, as a jingle plays), and tried to get an injunction against the movie. When the movie reappeared on cable and home video in 1986, Columbia Pictures was owned by Coca-Cola, and the issue apparently forgotten.
The "box", shown in several scenes, was inspired by the lounge area built for The Monkees during the filming of their television show. Between takes, they grew bored and wandered around the studio, often getting lost, so Screen Gems brass added a special room next to the soundstage. They would spend time there studying their scripts, composing, and playing music, and smoking (which they were forbidden to do on the set). Colored lights were added to the room to page whomever was needed on the set.
Final film of Tor Johnson.
There are no opening credits.
A misleading ad campaign (featuring John Brockman's face, and no mention of The Monkees), combined with a poorly timed release date (due to post-production delays) of November 6, 1968, two months after The Monkees (1966) was cancelled, likely sabotaged its performance at the box-office. It made a meager 16,111 dollars in ticket sales.
Micky Dolenz filmed his underwater rescue by the mermaids in the Bahamas.
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Toni Basil, who was the dance partner of Davy Jones during "Daddy's Song", and also credited as the film's choreographer, would later go on to gain commercial success for her 1982 song "Hey Mickey", which refers to Monkees drummer and vocalist, Micky Dolenz, whom she met during production.
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Five years after its premiere, the movie was shown in a 1973 Raybert retrospective, along with Five Easy Pieces (1970) and Easy Rider (1969), and finally gained a positive response from fans and critics.
When it was finally edited together into a cohesive whole, it ran ten minutes short of an unprecedented two hours. A poor audience response at an August 1968 screening in Los Angeles eventually forced the producers to edit the picture down to eighty-six minutes.
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Peter Tork was the only one of The Monkees to appear on the set for the first scheduled day of filming (February 11, 1968). The others had decided to strike, in protest against not being allowed to write and direct the movie themselves. While they soon returned, feeling they'd made their point with co-Writer, co-Producer, and Director Bob Rafelson and co-Producer Bert Schneider, the unity between the band and the producers was forever broken. For their part, Rafelson and Schneider began playing albums on the set by other groups like Electric Flag, claiming, "That's REAL rock-n-roll."
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This film intersperses film clips featuring John Brockman (who engineered this film's promotional campaign) and The Rockettes, and scenes from the following movies: Gilda (1946), Golden Boy (1939), Jam Session (1944), Salome (1953), and The Black Cat (1934).
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Michael Nesmith's birthday party sequence was shot at Paramount Pictures on a set from Rosemary's Baby (1968). It featured one hundred extras and pop artist Edward Kienholz, whose 1964 sculpture "Back Seat Dodge '38" was featured on-set.
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The movie's origin was in Ojai, California, where The Monkees, Bob Rafelson, and co-Writer Jack Nicholson spent a weekend in a resort motel verbally tossing story ideas into a tape recorder. This became the basis of the script. The Monkees weren't credited because, according to Micky Dolenz, "We didn't write any of the actual dialogue".
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An uncredited party guest, Linda Haines was soon to become Mrs. Davy Jones only a few weeks after giving birth to their first daughter, Talia (second daughter Sarah followed three years later).
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Pauline Kael, acclaimed film critic for The New Yorker, briefly reviewed what portion of the film she saw, but admitted in print that she walked out after about an hour.
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John Brockman, whose head was used for the infamous ad campaign upon the film's 1968 release, can be seen in the movie exactly seventy-eight minutes in, in much the same pose.
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"Monkeys is the cwaziest peoples" (spoken by the cow that stands between Davy Jones and Frank Zappa) was the catchphrase of radio comedian Lew Lehr.
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In many scenes, only three of The Monkees are shown together, with the fourth completely out of the scene. This is a reference to the "three monkeys": see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
Lee Kolima plays the security guard. Lee was also in two episodes of The Monkees (1966); season one, episode five, "The Spy Who Came in From the Cool", and season two, episode twenty, "The Devil and Peter Tork".
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Had its television broadcast premiere on The CBS Late Movie (1972), Monday, December 30, 1974 (Michael Nesmith's thirty-second birthday, and Davy Jones' twenty-ninth), at 11:30 p.m. EST, airing opposite The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) on NBC, and The Gator Bowl (Texas Longhorns versus Auburn Tigers) on ABC. CBS repeated the film on Monday, July 7, 1975, also at 11:30 p.m. EDT, against The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962) on NBC, and The Wide World of Mystery (1973) on ABC.
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Vito Scotti played the Italian Army tank driver I. Vitteloni, an homage to the classic Italian film I Vitelloni (1953).
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The final film of Sam Flint.
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One of the many stories about how the movie got made, centered around the classic counter-culture film Easy Rider (1969). As the story goes, Monkees Producer Bob Rafelson had met Jack Nicholson, Dennis Hopper, and Peter Fonda, and wanted to produce their film. Rafelson went to Columbia Pictures (who produced The Monkees television series) and pitched Easy Rider (1969) to the executives. Columbia agreed to finance the picture, on the condition that Rafelson made a Monkees movie. Rafelson agreed, and got Jack Nicholson, who was also a screenwriter, to write the film. Nicholson hung out with The Monkees for several weeks, even going with them on tour. Once this movie was made, Rafelson abandoned The Monkees (as told by Peter Tork) and went off to bigger projects, starting with Easy Rider (1969).
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Jack Nicholson's and Bob Rafelson's first film together.
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Cameo 

Jack Nicholson: After Peter Tork punches a guy in drag.
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Dennis Hopper: Right behind Jack Nicholson, wearing brown.
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Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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