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33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkee (1969)

Four individuals are brainwashed into forming a musical group, featuring guest appearances from some of the superstars of 1950s rock'n'roll.



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Cast overview:
Himself - Monkee #1
Himself - Monkee #2
Himself - Monkee #3
Himself - Monkee #4
Julie Driscoll ...
Herself - Special Guest
Brian Auger ...
Himself - Special Guest (as Brian Auger and The Trinity)
Himself - Special Guest
Himself - Special Guest
Himself - Special Guest
Herself - Special Guest (as The Clara Ward Singers)
Buddy Miles ...
Himself - Special Guest (as The Buddy Miles Express)
Paul Arnold ...
Himself - Special Guest (as Paul Arnold and The Moon Express)
We Three ...
Themselves - Special Guest

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Four individuals are brainwashed into forming a musical group, featuring guest appearances from some of the superstars of 1950s rock'n'roll.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

summer of love | the monkees | See All (2) »







Release Date:

14 April 1969 (USA)  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?


Peter Tork quit The Monkees immediately after completing this special. See more »


Wizard: We have the knowledge, evil though it be, To twist the mind to any lunacy we wish. Through this Electro-Thought Machine, I'll demonstrate exactly what I mean. We'll take the means of mass communication, use them for commercial exploitation. Create the new 4-part phenomena: 4 simple minds with talent, little or none, And through the latest fad of rock and roll, conduct experiments in mind control! On an unsuspecting public they'll be turned! I'll brainwash them, and they'll brainwash the world!
See more »


Followed by Hey, Hey, It's the Monkees (1997) See more »


I Go Ape
Written by Neil Sedaka
Performed by The Monkees
See more »

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User Reviews

The end of The Monkees
7 February 2014 | by (Youngstown,Ohio) – See all my reviews

"33 1/3 Revolutions Per Monkey" was intended to be only the first of three TV specials for NBC following the cancellation of the TV series, filmed Nov 23-27 1968, for broadcast Apr 14 1969 (pre-empting an episode of LAUGH-IN). The result was so discouraging that no further specials appeared, the group reduced to a trio by Dec 30 1968, as Peter Tork bought out his contract and bid farewell to his three years of Monkees mayhem. Sunk singlehandedly by producer/writer Jack Good, previously seen as an actor in the episode "Monkees Mind Their Manor," who should have allowed the four to carry this videotaped fiasco themselves; instead, it becomes a psychedelic freakout like "Head," minus the charm, The Monkees reduced to supporting players in their own special. Best known for the British OH BOY!, plus America's SHINDIG, Good slapped together a disastrous script focusing on newcomers Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll, British imports little known elsewhere, with at least a warm tribute to 50s rockers Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, and Fats Domino. Only at the beginning and the end are The Monkees well served, a crushing disappointment with so many unnecessary extras cluttering things up. The plot rehashes the group's manufactured image yet again, this time in insulting fashion, as if any four guys could have been hired and enjoyed the same kind of success. The songs were all produced by Bones Howe, famous for his work with The 5th Dimension, except for three produced by Michael Nesmith himself. Micky duets with Julie Driscoll on a slow, blues-based rendition of Neil Diamond's "I'm a Believer"; Peter sings Michael Martin Murphey's "I Prithee (Do Not Ask for Love)," a slower, sitar-based version than the one recorded July 25 1966 by Nesmith (with Micky's lead vocal, available on MISSING LINKS 2); Nesmith duets with himself on his own "Naked Persimmon," a schizophrenic masterpiece depicting Monkey Mike battling with alter ego Papa Nes, the Cosmic Cowboy, making sharp jabs at former Colgems president Don Kirshner ('the Devil incarnate'); Davy dances to "Goldie Locks Sometime," a fairytale pastiche adding Red Riding Hood, Cinderella, and Alice in Wonderland. This track was composed by Bill Dorsey, who also wrote the very brief "Darwin" (sung by all four Monkees), the slightly longer "String for My Kite" (Davy), and "Wind Up Man," depicting all four as mechanical singers laughing at the brainwashed audience. The group embarrass themselves in costume for "I Go Ape" (sung by Micky), a cover of the 1958 hit from Neil Sedaka and Howard Greenfield, then the guest stars gather for the 50s salute: Micky sings Danny and the Juniors' 1958 smash "At the Hop" (composed by Artie Singer, John Medora, and David White); Davy and Peter take turns with The Diamonds' 1957 hit "Little Darlin'" (composed by Maurice Williams); all four share vocals on "Shake a Tail Feather" (composed by Otha Hayes, Verlie Rice, and Andre Williams), originally a 1963 recording for The Five Du-Tones, more recently a hit from James and Bobby Purify. It's certainly a grand sight to see Brian Auger, Jerry Lee Lewis ("Whole Lotta Shaking' Going' On," "Down the Line"), and Little Richard ("Tutti Frutti," "Long Tall Sally"), all atop Fats Domino ("I'm Ready," "Blue Monday"). More extras take up space before the truly bittersweet finale: as Davy's "String for My Kite" fades, Peter comes in and sits at the clavinet, doing an amazing solo performance of Bach's "Solfeggietto," followed by Nesmith and Dolenz, on guitar and drums, beginning the only group performance of Nesmith's "Listen to the Band," issued as the group's tenth single Apr 26 (12 days after this telecast). The 45 was recorded in Nashville June 1 1968, with Nesmith on electric guitar, but no other Monkees present; this take is slower, but features all four for the last time during the 60s (unfortunately, at the three minute mark, more extras arrive, and the whole thing just collapses into cacophonous chaos). The closing credits feature the rip off "California Here It Comes" (from the 1921 standard by Al Jolson, Buddy De Sylva, and Joseph Meyer), the final vocal for Peter Tork (the four would first reunite on two occasions during the 1986 revival). By the time this was broadcast, the group (now a trio) had already issued their seventh LP Feb 15, INSTANT REPLAY, followed by THE MONKEES PRESENT Oct 11, then (minus Nesmith) the June 1970 release of CHANGES.

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