Petulia (1968)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  10 June 1968 (USA)
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Reviews: 42 user | 24 critic

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



(screenplay), (novel), 1 more credit »
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4 nominations. See more awards »



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


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


...the uncommon movie. See more »


Drama | Romance


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

10 June 1968 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Me and the Arch-Kook Petulia  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


The film includes concert footage of both Big Brother & the Holding Co. (featuring Janis Joplin) and the Grateful Dead. Additionally, the hippies who observe Petulia taken out of Archie's apartment on a stretcher are members of the Grateful Dead and their communal entourage. See more »


Archie folds his arms when Petulia shows up with the tuba, but in next cut, arms are down. See more »


David Danner: If I come for you, let me have a flair. Right between the eyes.
See more »


References I Love Lucy (1951) See more »


Road Block
Written by Janis Joplin and Peter Albin
Performed by Big Brother and the Holding Company featuring Janis Joplin
See more »

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User Reviews

Richard Lester's Masterpiece
2 February 2000 | by (New York City) – See all my reviews

Lester's "serious" film is a stylistic and cinematic masterpiece that -like much of Lester's work- has been underrated for decades. "Petulia" features the performance of a lifetime for Julie Christie and stunning work by George C. Scott and Richard Chamberlain.

This film is amazingly shot by Nicholas Roeg (!) and is a riveting piece of timeless cinema. A must-see.

20 of 27 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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