23 user 9 critic

Joanna (1968)

A provincial girl is entangled in the mod morality of London.


Michael Sarne


Michael Sarne (screenplay)
Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. See more awards »


Learn more

More Like This 

Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

A British wartime aviator who cheats death must argue for his life before a celestial court.

Directors: Michael Powell, Emeric Pressburger
Stars: David Niven, Kim Hunter, Robert Coote
Horror | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Jack and Dora, abandoned by their parents as babies, are desperate to find each other after years of adoption. Jack's young life has been spent with a sadistic family. Dora, whose life has ... See full summary »

Director: Garth Maxwell
Stars: Alexis Arquette, Sarah Smuts-Kennedy, Bruno Lawrence
Belle de Jour (1967)
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A frigid young housewife decides to spend her midweek afternoons as a prostitute.

Director: Luis Buñuel
Stars: Catherine Deneuve, Jean Sorel, Michel Piccoli
1-900 (1994)
Romance | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Sarah, 30, single, well educated, likes art, places a voice ad for phone sex, inviting replies from men under 35, sturdy and sensual. Wilbert, a chubby middle aged architect, leaves a ... See full summary »

Director: Theo van Gogh
Stars: Ariane Schluter, Ad van Kempen


Cast overview, first billed only:
Geneviève Waïte ... Joanna Sorrin
Christian Doermer ... Hendrik Casson
Calvin Lockhart ... Gordon
Donald Sutherland ... Lord Peter Sanderson
Glenna Forster-Jones Glenna Forster-Jones ... Beryl
Marda Vanne Marda Vanne ... Granny
Geoffrey Morris Geoffrey Morris ... The Father
Michelle Cook Michelle Cook ... Margot
Manning Wilson Manning Wilson ... Inspector
Clifton Jones ... Black Detective
Dan Caulfield Dan Caulfield ... White Detective
Michael Chow ... Lefty
Anthony Ainley ... Bruce
Jane Bradbury Jane Bradbury ... Angela
Fiona Lewis ... Miranda De Hyde


Joanna Sorrin, a whimsical and fanciful country girl, goes to London to follow a fashion design course. She comes into contact with the capital's young jet set and becomes the mistress of Gordon, the black owner of a night club. Unfortunately her lover happens to kill a man and is sent to jail. As she is pregnant from Gordon, Joanna returns to her parents'home. But the young woman has not yet said her last word. She WILL be back in Swingin' London ! Written by Guy Bellinger

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Joanna is mad, mod, the best!


Comedy | Drama | Musical


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

24 November 1968 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Joana See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Laughlin See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent were asked to write the theme song. However it was dropped in favour of Rod McKuen's music, but went on to be a major UK hit for Scott Walker See more »


When Joanna, Lord Sanderson, Beryl and party go to Morocco (North Africa) for vacation Joanna gives Sanderson a gift which he calls a compass. The gift is not a compass, it's a sextant, a more complex navigating instrument. See more »

Crazy Credits

Panavision is the first thing to be credited. The production seal follows. Then, "This film is entirely fictional..." appears on the screen. Director Michael Sarne is then credited, followed by the rest of the crew members. The actors are not credited. The title of the film appears last and blinks on and off in neon, soft-focus letters. See more »


Referenced in The Post (2017) See more »


Hello Heartaches
Music and Lyrics by Rod McKuen
Sung by Barbara Kay
Published by Twentieth Century Music Corporation-ASCAP
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

A Mess
9 February 2001 | by nsouthern51See all my reviews

"Joanna" is almost impossible to find on videocassette -- for a good reason. Director Michael Sarne (Myra Breckinridge) uses superimpositions, dream sequences, extraneous sounds, alternating b&w/color, Altmanesque overlapping dialogue, and long-held static shots to "orchestrate" the story of an innocent, pleasure-seeking art student (Genevieve Waite) trying to find happiness in "mod" London. Joanna herself is a sweet creation and an endearing character. But Sarne's irritating direction nearly ruins the film.

Stylistically, "Joanna" is over-the-top, embarrassing, and laughably self-indulgent. A classic example: the scene where Joanna enters a room, dressed all in green, and everything else in the room is painted the exact same color. What was Sarne thinking?

Sarne's humour (eg. the scene with the "jam jars") consistently falls flat, and he never manages to get decent performances from his actors --even Donald Sutherland looks disoriented here.

Some (though not all) of the music (by Rod McKuen) is gorgeous -- particularly "Two Schoolgirls," the title song, "I'll Catch the Sun," and "Ain't You Glad You're Livin' Joe" --- making the o.o.p soundtrack LP a valuable, worthy find. But Sarne has no sense of how to pair music with image in a film --- so the songs feel thrown, haphazardly, on top of their scenes -- as if Sarne wanted to use the music, but didn't know how or where to include it.

A rare exception to this rule occurs during the final sequence - a musical number at a train station. Joyous and refreshing (and not simply because it signifies the end of the picture), the finale recalls the bittersweet mood/style of Jacques Demy's picture "The Umbrellas of Chebourg." Why didn't Sarne use this mood/style for the entire picture? It would have improved the film substantially.

The dialogue in "Joanna" is wildly uneven. It might be easy to dismiss the characters' lines as all trite and cliched, but that isn't the case. From time to time, you'll hear a bit of dialogue in this picture that is (intentionally) laugh-out-loud hilarious, and reveals greater depth to the characters. The best example is when Joanna meets her soon-to-be-lover, a black nightclub owner/hipster (Calvin Lockhart), and he exclaims, "Hey, Joanna -- how you been?" Joanna, who constantly tries to fit in with everyone, seems to miss the "hip" rhetoric of his question and responds limply, "I been fine. How you been?" as he speeds away. It's a funny, well-planned beat, but those are few and far between in this picture.

If you have the chance to see "Joanna," it's a mildly interesting experience, but I wouldn't recommend going out of your way to find a copy (as I did). This picture is a failed experimental effort from the sixties that deserves to be forgotten.

5 of 11 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 23 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Recently Viewed