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You Are What You Eat (1968)

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A montage of the weird, a freak-out film that appeared when the expression was in fashion and in flower, along with the flower people. The film was one of the first exponents of the mobile ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Paul Butterfield ...
Dave Dixon ...
John Herald ...
Sharmagne Leland-St. John ...
Super Nun Sister Immaculata Baby! (as Countess St. John)
Barry McGuire ...
Rosko ...
John Simon ...
Himself (archive footage)


A montage of the weird, a freak-out film that appeared when the expression was in fashion and in flower, along with the flower people. The film was one of the first exponents of the mobile camera-rock track-optical effect school of filmmaking, and it is much a document as it is a documentary. A repellent and fascinating depiction of the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, along with Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco and the East Village in New York. Tiny Tim amounts to something resembling a recurring motif and narrator. Written by alfiehitchie

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Documentary | Music





Release Date:

24 September 1968 (USA)  »

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Did You Know?


The original planned title of this movie was "Love Is the Answer... What Was the Question". See more »


Featured in Flashing on the Sixties: A Tribal Document (1990) See more »


The Family Dog
Written by John Simon
Performed by John Herold
See more »

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User Reviews

New version is more complete
1 July 2013 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

"You Are What You Eat" has been uploaded to YouTube. Here is the link: It is not the clearest transfer, but I think it is now complete. It has the Super Spade scenes I mentioned in my 2002 review. "You Are What You Eat" is an artifact capturing that brief patchouly scented moment when the world's youth migrated toward its free love Mecca, the Haight Ashbury. Before the mean spirited chill of hard drugs, Charlie Manson, Nixon and Pol Pot shocked everyone back to their senses. It's puzzling, incoherent and unflatteringly besotted with unattractive flakes pontificating nonsensically, yet still rather engaging. The new version is 1:11 long.

The film begins with notorious San Francisco pot dealer Super Spade who is described in reviews at the time of the film's release. The fact that before "You Are What You Eat" was released Super Spade was murdered and left in a sleeping bag beneath a cliff by the Point Reyes lighthouse seems ominously portentous. Rumors after his death of imminent mob control of the Haight caused a whole, new emigration of older hipsters to the countryside in search of some Utopian dream that perhaps wasn't there.

Tiny Tim duets with his then girlfriend Eleanor Baruchian on "I Got You Babe" while mania-addled girls (inserted from The Beatles 1965 Shea Stadium concert) scream for their idols. Nature, leaves and flowers accompany a plaintive " Don't Remind Me Now of Time" sung by Peter Yarrow with whispers of "in the sky". Hell's Angels Motorcycles and a black screen precede the film's first title "The Heart Attack" (a narrator recounting how a loved one died after seeing motorcycles and while taking pictures of the Pope).

Youthful frolics include a desert ceremony with bearded conga drummers, ritualized dancing, body painting and a proper "Freak Out" with Zappa on stage (the music in fact a jam featuring John Simon & The Electric Flag with Michael Bloomfield on lead guitar).

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