7.0/10
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92 user 70 critic

Performance (1970)

Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of guest house run by... See full summary »

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
...
...
Pherber
Michèle Breton ...
Lucy (as Michele Breton)
Ann Sidney ...
Dana
...
Moody
...
Rosebloom
...
The Lawyer
Anthony Morton ...
Dennis (as Antony Morton)
Johnny Shannon ...
Harry Flowers
...
Joey Maddocks
...
Tony Farrell (as Ken Colley)
...
The Chauffeur
Laraine Wickens ...
Lorraine
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Storyline

Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of guest house run by the mysterious Mr. Turner, a one-time rock superstar, who is looking for the right spark to rekindle his faded talent. Written by Brad Jackson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This film is about madness. And sanity. Fantasy. And reality. Death. And life. Vice. And versa. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug material and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

4 September 1970 (Finland)  »

Also Known As:

Az előadás  »

Box Office

Budget:

£750,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

| (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Most of the audience walked out of the first preview screening. The release was delayed for two years while it was re-edited three times. Editor Frank Mazzola used montage of images and time jumps which later became his trademark style. See more »

Quotes

[on the intercom outside as Chas rings the front door]
Pherber: "Leave a message after the beep. Beep, beep, BEEP!
See more »

Connections

Featured in Indie Sex: Extremes (2007) See more »

Soundtracks

Performance
Performed by Merry Clayton
See more »

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User Reviews

 
You shoot too much of that s***, Pherber.
17 February 2004 | by (Vancouver, B.C.) – See all my reviews

This film operates on multiple levels and in cultures that we barely knew existed in 1970. The East End London mobster culture being one and the London counter-culture of drugs and music another. To further lend a surreal air, Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammel (who co-directed the film) present metaphors and psychological homologies- sadism, homosexuality, hierarchy in gangs and organizations- all stemming from central psychological needs for power and dominance combined with and expressed through sexuality. The first half of the film seems to anticipate Guy Ritchie- a glimpse into Cockney gangsters and "poofs" and then, Chas steps into Turner's lair and the film alters along with our consciousness. Suddenly, underneath the gangster/rockstar theme another, more deeply embedded theme emerges about identity and the part of others that we share in common(the deeper motivations and identities). Turner and Chas sense it in each other's "performance", all four main characters (arranged on a sexual continuum from the very female Pherber through 2 personae of androgyny to the very male Chas) explore their other parts as when Pherber puts a mirror, reflecting her breast on Chas. The shared motivational part comes from the "performance" of violence or art that Chas and Turner are fascinated by in each other. Add in some very strange camera angles and you have one of the very few films that ever did the impossible- represented altered consciousness to an audience (mainly) in straight consciousness. That last part depended on what year you saw it in theatres. In all, a very profound movie. Donald Cammell was a genius who never got his proper due.


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