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Sympathy for the Devil (1968)

Godard's documentation of late 1960s Western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of ... See full summary »

Director:

Jean-Luc Godard

Writer:

Jean-Luc Godard
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Sean Lynch ... Commentary (voice)
Mick Jagger ... Himself - The Rolling Stones
Brian Jones ... Himself - The Rolling Stones
Keith Richards ... Himself - The Rolling Stones (as Keith Richard)
Charlie Watts ... Himself - The Rolling Stones
Bill Wyman ... Himself - The Rolling Stones
Anne Wiazemsky ... Eve Democracy
Iain Quarrier ... Fascist porno book seller
Frankie Dymon Frankie Dymon ... Black power militant (as Frankie Dymon Jnr.)
Danny Daniels ... Black power militant
Ilario Bisi-Pedro Ilario Bisi-Pedro
Roy Stewart ... Black power militant
Linbert Spencer Linbert Spencer
Tommy Ansah Tommy Ansah ... (as Tommy Ansar)
Michael McKay Michael McKay
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Storyline

Godard's documentation of late 1960s Western counter-culture, examining the Black Panthers, referring to works by LeRoi Jones and Eldridge Cleaver. Other notable subjects are the role of news media, the mediated image, a growing technocratic society, women's liberation, the May revolt in France and the power of language. Cutting between three major scenes, including the Rolling Stones in the studio, the film is visually intercut with Eve Democracy (Wiazemsky) using graffiti which amalgamates organisations, corporations and ideologies. Godard also examines the role of the revolutionary within Western culture. Although he believes Western culture needs to be destroyed, it can only be done so by the rejection of intellectualisation. "There is only one way to be an intellectual revolutionary, and that is to give up being an intellectual" Written by <gary.elshaw@vuw.ac.nz>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Jean-Luc Godard on Black Power, Rape, Murder, Fascism, Acid, Pornography, Sex, Revolution, Brutality and all the other things that make life worth living. See more »

Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 April 1969 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

One Plus One See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Cupid Productions See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (director's cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was beset with a variety of production difficulties; among other things, the studio burned down and Brian Jones was arrested for cannabis possession. See more »

Alternate Versions

's original director's cut (titled "One Plus One") runs approximately 110 minutes and consists largely of additional footage of the black power militants. The film's producers were dissatisfied with this cut and deleted 11 minutes, changed the title to "Sympathy for the Devil" to underscore the Stones connection, and added the final version of the title song to the film's soundtrack, over a freeze-frame of the last shot. These changes were all made without Godard's knowledge; when he finally saw them at the film's London Film Festival premiere, he allgedly went berserk and physically attacked one of the producers. See more »

Connections

Featured in Voices (1968) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Pretentious and Boring Mess
3 August 2008 | by claudio_carvalhoSee all my reviews

In the 60's, having as the background the rehearsal and recording of "Sympathy for the Devil" in the classic album "Beggar's Banquet" by the revolutionary bad boy Rolling Stones – Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Bill Wyman and Brian Jones – plus Marianne Faithful, Godard discloses other contemporary revolutionary and ideological movements – the Black Power through the Black Panthers, the feminism, the communism, the fascism - entwined with the reading of a cheap pulp political novel divided in the chapters: "The Stones Rolling; "Outside Black Novel"; "Sight and Sound"; "All About Eve"; "The Heart of Occident"; "Inside Black Syntax"; and, "Under the Stones the Beach".

"Sympathy for the Devil" is another pretentious and boring mess of the uneven director Jean-Luc Godard. The narrative and the footages are awful, but fortunately I love the Stones and "Sympathy for the Devil" and it is nice to see them in the beginning of their careers; otherwise this documentary would be unbearable. My vote is three.

Title (Brazil): "Sympathy for the Devil"


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