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Hammersmith Is Out (1972)

R  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  12 May 1972 (USA)
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Ratings: 5.9/10 from 245 users  
Reviews: 11 user | 6 critic

The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (... See full summary »


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Title: Hammersmith Is Out (1972)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Jimmie Jean Jackson
Billy Breedlove
General Sam Pembroke
Dr. Krodt
Guido Scartucci
Henry Joe
Marjorie Eaton ...
Lisa Jak ...
Linda Gaye Scott ...
Miss Quim
Mel Berger ...
Fat Man
Anthony Holland ...
Pete Rutter
Carl Donn ...


The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Burton) offers the innocent orderly (Bridges) vast riches if he'll help him escape. Written by Steve Crook <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


HAMMERSMITH, master criminal and nut, is out. Watch Out !


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »




Release Date:

12 May 1972 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Engrenagem  »

Filming Locations:

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)


See  »

Did You Know?


The film was selected to screen in competition at the 22nd Berlin International Film Festival in 1972 where it was nominated for three awards including the Golden Bear for Best Film. The movie won two Bears there, a Silver Bear for Best Actress for Elizabeth Taylor), and a Silver Bear for an Outstanding Artistic Contribution for actor-director Peter Ustinov. See more »


Hammersmith: One of my earliest memories is of a woman... and a snake.
See more »


Referenced in Andy Hamilton's Search for Satan (2011) See more »


When Were Your Dreams Worth Remembering
Music by Dominic Frontiere
Lyrics by Sally Stevens
See more »

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User Reviews

What would Lloyd say
11 October 2014 | by (Ibansk) – See all my reviews

I just watched 8/8 episodes on YT. I can't say for sure if the latest digital release. Looks about the same -- even though I had to learn more about Faust later, I can't say for sure about what Lloyd thinks about his sons' weird choice of scripts. But he was in Airplane! I liked both films for different reasons. Burton is at his creepy best and Liz faked Texan as good as anybody. And I'm also a sucker for any Texas movie. Watch Roadie.

I Think Rex Reed wrote this review: Like biblical lepers, the people responsible for an atrocity called "Hammersmith Is Out" should be forced by law to carry a warning bell and cry, "Unclean, unclean!" I used to think Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had no taste. Now I'm convinced they'll do anything for money. I shudder to think what they were paid for this insult to the intelligence of sane moviegoers everywhere, or that they were indeed paid at all to turn out such trash, but "Hammersmith Is Out" is one more nail in their coffin. In this feeble and demented attempt to retell the Faust legend, the devil (Burton) is locked in an insane asylum disguised as a maniac called Hammersmith. With the aid of a retarded orderly (Beau Bridge«) and an illiterate waitress (Taylor), he escapes, breeds crime and pestilence, corrupts the world, launches wars, and litters the scenery with discarded corpses along the way. It must have seemed like a fine idea in the humorous head of Peter Ustinov, who directed it, but did anybody ever bother to read the script? On film, it looks like the hysterical ravings of undisciplined, self-indulgent narcissists who babble incoherently in a d i r e c t descent toward self destruction. They should have taken one hard look at the end result and set t^e negative on "Self-Destruct." Beau Bridges rises up in bed, picks his nose and mumbles about venereal disease. Elizabeth Taylor, as a platinum blonde hash slinger called Jimmie Jean Jackson, rises up behind her greasy counter covered with ketchup (or is it real bloodstains? This is the kind of home movie where it wouldn't seem to matter since they leave all the mistakes in as "camp") and drawls "What'll ya have?" in an Ozark accent that sounds like Judy Canova on a binge. People are always rising up into the frame and leaning on things with no movie to support them. A short cut later, they are both rutting like hogs on top of a garbage sack while a Coca- Cola sign flashes on and off with mutton-headed symbolism. After selling their souls to the devil, he tells them "One of the first things I remember is a lady with a snake," as he munches a shiny apple. The jokes are about that obvious, the desperate attempts at wit are vulgar and cheap. The dialogue is downright filthy, and the performances are obnoxious. Richard Burton walks through the movie in a curious trance, as though in some advanced state of self-hypnosis. Elizabeth Taylor clumps through each scene in a screeching display of self parody, allowing everyone around her to massacre her talent and accent her numerous physical and intellectual handicaps. I didn't think she could sink any lower after X, Y and Zee, but an all- time bottom is reached (even for her) as she ; writhes on a valentine-shaped^ bed with a pig person like two hippos in heat, spouting obscene toilet talk in some kind of orgasmic stupor. Waddling her enormous derriere across the screen in a manner so offensive it would bring litigation from any dignified, self- respecting performer, and saying lines like "I'm the biggest mother of them all," she inspires pity instead of laughs.

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