Petulia (1968)

R  |   |  Drama, Romance  |  10 June 1968 (USA)
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Ratings: 7.3/10 from 2,094 users  
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


People bugged by people will do extraordinary things. 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?


Austin Pendleton's first film. See more »


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


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


Featured in L'âge d'or de la musique de film 1965-1975 (2009) 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

I've been thinking of this movie a lot of late
3 April 2005 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

I was reviewing Julie Christie's career on the net, and, of course, came across one of my favorite's. As expected, the leads are the best...over time and effort. I saw it the year it was released. It still stays with me...clearly and distinctly. From Chamberlain to Knight and Joseph Cotton, everybody stands out. The director uses the Bay area quite nicely as the backdrop. If it was on tonight, on the cable, I would be sure to watch it. I viewed the movie through the eyes of Scott's character. He is in the middle of the late 60's and lost and his wife, Shirley Knight, just doesn't get it. What is the fuss. Kooky or straight, average wage earner or wealthy, they all are portrayed well... as their lives intersect. Yes it is a slice of life, in the vein of the theatre of the absurd...yet it made so much sense as I was watching it. Later Scott played a head surgeon in a New York hospital opposite Diana Rugg. It was as though the character in Petulia got transferred to New York, still lost but still the good doctor. Julie Christie continues to work when she wants to and picks her projects well. Unlike one of the reviewers on this site, Christie did significant work in Afterglow with Nick Nolte in the mid 90's. How could he drop that from his memory bank. Petulia is well worth the concentrated effort it takes to watch.

14 of 19 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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