4.9/10
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Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969)

Heironymus Merkin screens an autobiographical movie of his life, growth and moral decay.

Director:

Anthony Newley
Reviews
1 win. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Anthony Newley ... Heironymus Merkin
Joan Collins ... Polyester Poontang
Alexander Newley Alexander Newley ... Thaxted
Tara Newley Arkle ... Thumbelina (as Tara Newley)
Milton Berle ... Goodtime Eddie Filth
Connie Kreski Connie Kreski ... Mercy Humppe
George Jessel ... The Presence
Bruce Forsyth ... Uncle Limelight
Patricia Hayes Patricia Hayes ... Grandma
Stubby Kaye ... Fat Writer
Ronald Rubin Ronald Rubin ... Skinny Writer
Louis Negin ... Producer Peter
Tom Stern ... Producer Ron
Ronald Radd Ronald Radd ... Critic Bentley
Rosalind Knight Rosalind Knight ... Critic Penelope
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Storyline

Hieronymus Merkin has recently turned 40, and is in the midst of preparing a film that details his life's history and development. Portraying himself as a marionette being controlled by an unseen puppet master, young Merkin is led away from the innocence of youth and into the waiting arms of one woman after another by Goodtime Eddie Filth. With Filth's guidance, Merkin steadily transforms into a self-centered womanizer, save only for the longing he feels for his one lost love, Mercy Humppe. As the producers of his life story scream for him to come up with an ending, Merkin must look back and decide what, if anything, he's learned from his experiences. Written by Jean-Marc Rocher <rocher@fiberbit.net>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

It's the Adult Movie EVERYONE Wants to See! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Musical

Certificate:

X | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 1970 (Australia) See more »

Also Known As:

.... Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? See more »

Filming Locations:

Piccadilly, London, England, UK See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(1969 cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

When the film was originally released in 1969, some newspapers refused to advertise it, compelling cinephiles to call up their local theaters to learn the title. A few theaters even temporarily expanded their marquees to fit the entire title. Other theaters truncated the title to "Heironymous Merkin". See more »

Goofs

The color of Thumbelina's ice-cream cone changes between brown and white and pink. See more »

Quotes

Hieronymous Merkin: This is what we learn from our fairy story / Of the donkey and the royal lass / If you go in search of a greater glory / Chances are you're gonna lose your ass.
See more »

Crazy Credits

May we remind patrons that contributions to the Yetta Lipschitz Academy for the Performing Arts are tax deductible. See more »

Alternate Versions

There is both an R-rated and an X-rated version. The R-rated version removes a few seconds of the sex scene with Mercy Humppe following the carousel sequence and tones down the suggestiveness of the "Princess and the Donkey" sequence. The X-rated version contains all the footage cut for the R version. See more »

Connections

References  (1963) See more »

Soundtracks

If All the World's a Stage
(uncredited)
Performed by Anthony Newley and Chorus
Music by Anthony Newley
Lyrics by Herbert Kretzmer
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Magickal Overview
29 January 2010 | by loredenizenSee all my reviews

This is an extraordinary film. But it's not for everyone, and it must be viewed in it's context.

There was a time when Anthony Newley was one of the biggest stars in the world. With two hit Broadway musicals and a slew of movies under his belt, and songs STILL being covered by today's artists ("Feeling Good" is currently enjoying a popular resurgence courtesy of Michael Buble'"), Universal Studios gave him carte blanche to make any movie he wanted. Newley had already established a proved track record of using his own life as source material. Making this kind of film was a logical next step for him.

In many respects, this film is a masterpiece. It is utterly unique; visually beautiful, it looks like a lucid dream. Newley was a master of symbolism, and the way he illustrates different levels of reality and different states of consciousness is nothing short of brilliant. Highly "Jungian", this film is meant be viewed and interpreted like a dream. Many reviewers have lambasted "Heironumus" for it's use of symbolism, but on the contrary, that is the beauty and magic of the film. Anyone familiar with the Western Hermetic Tradition will delight in the eloquence with which this movie speaks. It cannot be an accident that "Heironymus" was filmed in Malta, the home of the Knights Templar. It makes one question how deeply into the occult Newley must have been.

PLOT SUMMARY: Heironymus Merkin, a major star, is making a film about his own life, told as a fairy tale/epic myth. He is screening it for his mother and two toddler children. It is his intent that his children know the truth about who their father is, warts and all. The film-within-the-film is still in production, and Heironymus battles with the studio, writers, and critics for the integrity of his personal truth.

The film is:

about mid-life crisis

an exposition of internalized toxic shame

an examination of the repetition compulsion

A confession

a cry for help

a treatise on the unreality of life

a rare look at celebrity-hood from a celebrity's point of view

a self-portrait of a sex-addict

a dissertation on erotic mania

AND it's a musical-comedy.

The movie is many things, confusing, because Newley was himself confused. Then again, aren't we all to some degree? The greatest thing about "Heironymus" is all the questions it brings up. It inspires deep process, and that is what makes it Art, and a true gift to the world.

I am committed to helping this film finding it's audience.


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