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The Buttercup Chain (1970)

R | | Drama | 12 March 1971 (USA)
Born to twin sisters on the same day in London, France and Margaret are more like brother and sister than cousins. The close relationship between the cousins is suspended when Margaret is ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
France
...
Manny
...
Margaret
...
Fred
...
George
...
Martin Carr-Gibbons
...
The Driver
Jonathan Burn ...
Alberto
...
Ullah
Susan Baker ...
Kate
Jennifer Baker ...
Ursula
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Storyline

Born to twin sisters on the same day in London, France and Margaret are more like brother and sister than cousins. The close relationship between the cousins is suspended when Margaret is sent abroad for schooling. Now a young woman, Margaret returns to London and resumes her intimate connection with France. Fearing that their relationship could become incestuous, France decides that he and Margaret should take lovers, and chooses Fred, a Swedish architectural student, to be his cousin's lover. For his mistress, France picks Manny, an American who has had many lovers. The foursome spends a romantic summer interlude at an estate in Spain, where Margaret beds Fred while France takes Manny. Once back in London, however, Manny senses that France is in love with Margaret and begins to suspect that he is using both Manny and Fred to suppress his own feelings. To spare the unsuspecting Fred, Manny seduces him. Upon discovering that she is pregnant, Manny is uncertain about the paternity of ... Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

When two people are in love they're a couple. When four people are in love they're the Buttercup Chain. See more »

Genres:

Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

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Language:

Release Date:

12 March 1971 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Ciranda do Amor Imperfeito  »

Filming Locations:

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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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Trivia

This was considered a major prestige counterculture movie for Columbia, and their first choice for director was the young Michael Reeves, hot from the success of his horror pic, " The Witchfinder General ". See more »

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User Reviews

Somewhat less than compelling
13 June 2010 | by (Denver, Colorado and Santiago, Chile) – See all my reviews

I'm generally a sucker for British swinging 60's movies like "Blow Up", "Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush" or "Goodbye Gemini". Even some of the ones that aren't very good have their charms. There's nothing especially "swinging 60's" about this movie though--the kind of "free love", swapping relationship between the four ridiculously attractive characters could really have occurred in about any era (in fact, if it happened in the 90's, when I was this age, or today, it might even have had a bisexual element to it). This movie is light and airy like a lot of late 60's/early 70's film and definitely somewhat removed from reality (i.e. these characters have plenty of money but seemingly no jobs): however, it also eventually turns into a kind of leaden melodrama.

The story involves a pair of male and female cousins (whose mothers were identical twins) played by Hywel Bennet and Jane Asher. They are very much in love with each other, and if they had simply acted on it a lot of tragedy (and no small amount of boredom) would have been averted. But instead they decide to find each other lovers--a blonde Swedish hunk (Sven Bertil Taube) and a ditzy American bimbo (Leigh Taylor-Young). Of course, the two lovers eventually fall for each other as well, and there is also a much older English man, who is in love with Taylor-Young's character, thrown into the mix . A pregnancy and a subsequent tragedy complicate matters.

The problem with this movie is that, while the two lead characters are by far the more interesting and are played by the two better actors (Hywell Bennet was in both "Twisted Nerve" and "Endless Night" with Haley Mills, while Jane Asher, a former girlfriend of Paul McCartney's, was in the excellent British cult film "Deep End"), WAY too much of the story really revolves around Leigh Taylor-Young's character. Taylor-Young was VERY attractive,of course, which might be why no one ever realized she couldn't act worth spit (She was kind of the female equivalent of Ryan O'Neal, who ironically she would later marry). Even if she were a far better actress though, her character is simply too ditzy and shallow to care much about, and her male partner Taube is simply too bland. Taylor-Young does have a nice topless dancing scene after she freaks out at a disco, but it still doesn't begin to redeem her generally wretched performance.

This movie simply gives too much screen time to the less interesting characters and less talented actors and never really develops and utilizes the more interesting and more talented ones. The four leads and the scenery (shot in England, Spain, and Sweden) all look very nice, but the movie overall is somewhat less than compelling.


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