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O Lucky Man! (1973)

 -  Comedy | Drama | Fantasy  -  20 June 1973 (USA)
7.8
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 5,321 users  
Reviews: 71 user | 28 critic

This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors play multiple roles, giving the film a stagy tone.

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Title: O Lucky Man! (1973)

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Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 3 wins & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Michael Arnold Travis / Plantation Thief
...
Sir James Burgess / Monty
...
Gloria Rowe / Madame Paillard / Mrs. Richards
...
Mr. Duff / Charlie Johnson / Dr. Munda
...
Patricia
...
Stewart / Prof. Millar / Meths Drinker
Peter Jeffrey ...
Factory Chairman / Prison Governor
Dandy Nichols ...
Tea Lady / Neighbour
Mona Washbourne ...
Neighbour / Usher / Sister Hallett
Philip Stone ...
Jenkins / Interrogator / Salvation Army Major
Mary MacLeod ...
Mrs. Ball / Salvationist / Vicar's Wife
Michael Bangerter ...
William / Interrogator / Assistant / Released Prisoner
Wallas Eaton ...
John Stone (Coffee Factory) / Col. Steiger / Prison Warder / Meths Drinker / Film Executive
...
Master of Ceremonies (Nightspot) / Warner / Male Nurse
Bill Owen ...
Supt. Barlow / Insp. Carding
Edit

Storyline

This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors play multiple roles, giving the film a stagy tone.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Smile while you're makin' it. Laugh while you're takin' it. Even though you're fakin' it. Nobody's gonna know...

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy | Music

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

20 June 1973 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A szerencse fia  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

,  »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Helen Mirren was an 11th hour casting. Fiona Lewis started filming but was fired so Mirren was cast as Patricia instead. See more »

Goofs

The roof of the car is dented by Travis standing on it outside the Government Facility, yet when he returns it is in the process of being destroyed, yet the dent is gone. See more »

Quotes

Patricia: Daddy owns so much that he rarely misses anything.
Michael Arnold Travis: You're lucky. I've got to get there on my own.
Patricia: And where?
Michael Arnold Travis: Right to the top!
[pause. Then, pointing to a skycraper in the distance]
Michael Arnold Travis: How much a building like that is worth?
Patricia: The ground floor is £810,000 a year, it costed ten times that to build, and every three months its value increases by 20%.
Michael Arnold Travis: [Smiling patronizingly] How do you know?
Patricia: [With assurance] My father owns it.
See more »

Connections

References A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

Soundtracks

Palm Court Theme
(uncredited)
Music by Roy Gubby
Chappell Recorded Music Library
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Classic cinema that makes you stop, listen and learn.
9 May 2005 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A coffee salesman takes a rambling tour of 1970's Britain.

There comes a time when you think you know something about movies: What is good, what is bad, how things should go, how things should work, etc., etc. Thank goodness a movie comes along now and again that says "no you don't - you know nothing!" Oh Lucky Man! is like Pulp Fiction and High Hopes - it is a smarter film than you are a film watcher.

After a build up like that you might expect for me to say that this is a perfect film or that everything works. But it doesn't. The story rambles and pauses, moves left and right and tries to keep the audience on its toes. The humour is mostly black, but very true to life. People are often selfish and acting for themselves - while Travis (our hero - if we can call him that) is quite kind and thoughtful. Like an Adam that has been put in to the modern world rather than the garden of Eden.

I have seen this film twice. Like many films, once when I was too young to understand it. It is quite sexual graphic at times and that stuck in my memory for a long time. In one scene a black man plays out a scene at a sex club - and to this day I am puzzled as to what this represents. That the entirely white audience see the black as an entertainer to laughed at or cheered. That this is his only place?

Most anything-goes films are comedies, and while this has plenty of black comedy, I see it as social comment. Life has moved on from the 1970's, people have escaped their own class more, women have more of a role to play, people get away with things less. But no one can say - even viewing today - that it doesn't tell plenty of home truths about the UK.

(People that live outside the UK and never visit must be puzzled by what goes on here. I bet you would have to answer hundreds of questions if you watched it beside, say, an American.)

Lindsey Anderson sees all authority as being violent, ugly and corrupt. This is the kick in the balls society that existed before CCTV in police stations and human rights acts. Where people were fitted up for crimes that the police knew they couldn't have committed. I never wanted to walk down a time tunnel to 1970's Britain and this film is probably the last tie I have to that ugly and desperate decade.

Oh Lucky Man! is one of the best films ever made. It has something that few films ever have - instant cult appeal. You could watch this over and over again and not get bored with it, see something different and learn something new. They should bring it back as a musical or a stage play. While not every scene works and not every tune pleases, it is cinema from another world that we never quite had - but might have had if only the money men of Hollywood hadn't made their ugly mark on the world.

If you think film is about anything more than simple entertainment Oh Lucky Man! is a must-see...


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