An accidental nerve gas leak by the military kills not only a rancher's livestock, but also his son. When he tries to hold the military accountable for their actions, he runs up against a wall of silence.
George C. Scott
George C. Scott,
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Ida Di Benedetto
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James Robertson Justice
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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
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 »
What was it, Archie, the "sex" bit? Huh? The ol' "sex" bit?
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Petulia is a movie of suggestion and inference, something rare for movies of its time. The aimlessness of its cast only hints at darker, neurotic motives. It seems the players' purposelessness is the point; not so. Characters have plans but don't know or admit them. This film uniquely rides on nuances, from reflections to innuendo.
Chamberlin's the most overt character, with his barely-contained lust for the little boy. 'Petulia' has appetites, but for not what she knows. Ditto Scott's restless character.
The graphics are subtle and rich at the same time. Overall, seems to me this film was ahead of its time in concept and execution. Hope it makes its way to dvd...
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