An unhappily married socialite finds solace in the company of a recently divorced doctor.

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(screenplay), (novel) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Arthur Hill ...
...
...
May
Kathleen Widdoes ...
Wilma
Roger Bowen ...
Warren
...
Motel Receptionist
...
Nun
...
Nun
Lou Gilbert ...
Mr. Howard
Nate Esformes ...
Mr. Mendoza (as Nat Esformes)
Maria Val ...
Mrs. Mendoza
Vincent Arias ...
Oliver
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Storyline

When she sees him at a hospital fund-raiser, newlywed San Francisco socialite Petulia Danner, who has been married to naval engineer David Danner for six months, seems determined to have an affair with soon to be divorced physician Dr. Archie Bollen, who has been married to his wife Polo for close to ten years, their marriage which many saw as being perfect. Archie doesn't even know Petulia's name, but only knows her as the woman who brought in a young Mexican boy into the hospital with serious injuries. Petulia's pursuit of Archie is relentless - she even declaring that they will someday be married - even as Archie dates another woman named May. Archie eventually learns part of the reason why Petulia is so determined to cheat on David as her relationship to David and David's wealthy father are brought to light. Archie also learns that getting involved with Petulia in any regard has its consequences, both for Petulia herself and for him, most specifically in his relationship to Polo. Written by Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The dirtiest battlefield of all. You know it by a different name. Marriage. See more »

Genres:

Drama | Romance

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 June 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Me and the Arch-Kook Petulia  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Austin Pendleton's first film. See more »

Goofs

The way Petulia holds Archie's hand in the elevator changes between shots. See more »

Quotes

Archie Bollen: [to Petulia] You have a very superior pelvis.
See more »

Connections

References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »

Soundtracks

Motel
Written and Performed by John Barry And His Orchestra
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User Reviews

Nothing says heartbreak like Petulia
15 November 2002 | by (Edinburgh, Scotland) – See all my reviews

I've never seen a film which captured the confusion of love gone wrong like this. The kaleidoscopic editing can be a distraction but it also helps create the torment of the main character as his life slowly ceases to make sense. Stunningly photographed by Nicolas Roeg, and a clear influence on his later BAD TIMING, in which the neurosis, present in all the characters of PETULIA, blossoms into full-blown psychosis. What this film has over Roeg's is a sharper compassion and a satiric portrait of late summer-of-love San Francisco which feels accurate and quite ahead of its time. Disillusion has already set in. George C Scott is majestic, and Julie Christie goes from irritating in the "BRINGING up BABY for the Pepsi Generation" opening sequences, to ultimately moving and affecting. The ending, where she goes under the gas (to give birth, but it feels more permanent than that), is as oddly chilling as Lester's earlier HOW I WON THE WAR (which ends with Michael Crawford eating a biscuit, and manages to make this terrifying). What can I say? If you have time and sympathy for people who are a bit screwed up, PETULIA may speak to you.


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