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Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969)

Heironymus Merkin screens an autobiographical movie of his life, growth and moral decay.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Heironymus Merkin
Polyester Poontang
Alexander Newley ...
Tara Newley ...
Goodtime Eddie Filth
Connie Kreski ...
Mercy Humppe
The Presence
Bruce Forsyth ...
Uncle Limelight
Patricia Hayes ...
Stubby Kaye ...
Fat Writer
Ronald Rubin ...
Skinny Writer
Producer Peter
Producer Ron
Ronald Radd ...
Critic Bentley
Rosalind Knight ...
Critic Penelope


Hieronymus Merkin has recently turned 40, and is in the midst of preparing a film that details his life's history and development. Portraying himself as a marionette being controlled by an unseen puppet master, young Merkin is led away from the innocence of youth and into the waiting arms of one woman after another by Goodtime Eddie Filth. With Filth's guidance, Merkin steadily transforms into a self-centered womanizer, save only for the longing he feels for his one lost love, Mercy Humppe. As the producers of his life story scream for him to come up with an ending, Merkin must look back and decide what, if anything, he's learned from his experiences. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Heironymus Merkin, the most talented movie star who ever sang, danced and loved girls, girls, girls.


Comedy | Musical


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Release Date:

26 March 1970 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

.... Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
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Technical Specs


(1969 cut)

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound Recording)


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Did You Know?


Playboy magazine devoted ten pages of one of its 1969 issues to this film, complete with photographs of many of the nude female stars. Connie Kreski was cast as Mercy Hummpe after being named Playmate of the Year in 1969. See more »


The color of Thumbelina's ice-cream cone changes between brown and white and pink. See more »


Hieronymous Merkin: "Birth of a Nation" was a hit, but imagine how amazing it would have been with a few songs and dances.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. All credits come at the end. The actors take a bow on a custom-made, pastel-painted, portable stage on a beach as their names are credited in jagged, psychedelic print. See more »


References The Birth of a Nation (1915) See more »


When You Gotta Go
Performed by George Jessel
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User Reviews

A Magickal Overview
29 January 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This is an extraordinary film. But it's not for everyone, and it must be viewed in it's context.

There was a time when Anthony Newley was one of the biggest stars in the world. With two hit Broadway musicals and a slew of movies under his belt, and songs STILL being covered by today's artists ("Feeling Good" is currently enjoying a popular resurgence courtesy of Michael Buble'"), Universal Studios gave him carte blanche to make any movie he wanted. Newley had already established a proved track record of using his own life as source material. Making this kind of film was a logical next step for him.

In many respects, this film is a masterpiece. It is utterly unique; visually beautiful, it looks like a lucid dream. Newley was a master of symbolism, and the way he illustrates different levels of reality and different states of consciousness is nothing short of brilliant. Highly "Jungian", this film is meant be viewed and interpreted like a dream. Many reviewers have lambasted "Heironumus" for it's use of symbolism, but on the contrary, that is the beauty and magic of the film. Anyone familiar with the Western Hermetic Tradition will delight in the eloquence with which this movie speaks. It cannot be an accident that "Heironymus" was filmed in Malta, the home of the Knights Templar. It makes one question how deeply into the occult Newley must have been.

PLOT SUMMARY: Heironymus Merkin, a major star, is making a film about his own life, told as a fairy tale/epic myth. He is screening it for his mother and two toddler children. It is his intent that his children know the truth about who their father is, warts and all. The film-within-the-film is still in production, and Heironymus battles with the studio, writers, and critics for the integrity of his personal truth.

The film is:

about mid-life crisis

an exposition of internalized toxic shame

an examination of the repetition compulsion

A confession

a cry for help

a treatise on the unreality of life

a rare look at celebrity-hood from a celebrity's point of view

a self-portrait of a sex-addict

a dissertation on erotic mania

AND it's a musical-comedy.

The movie is many things, confusing, because Newley was himself confused. Then again, aren't we all to some degree? The greatest thing about "Heironymus" is all the questions it brings up. It inspires deep process, and that is what makes it Art, and a true gift to the world.

I am committed to helping this film finding it's audience.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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