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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.


Anthony Newley
1 win. See more awards »




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


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


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


Comedy | Musical


X | See all certifications »






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

Production Co:

Taralex,Universal Pictures See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


(1969 cut)

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)


Color (Technicolor)
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Anthony Newley cast his very own children, Tara Newley Arkle and Alexander Newley, as his children in order to enhance the film's sense of autobiography. See more »


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


Goodtime Eddie Filth: Hey, Eroticus, do you want me to throw you a line? I wish someone would throw me a line in this picture.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits. All credits come at the end. The actors take a bow on a custom-made, pastel-painted, portable stage on a beach as their names are credited in jagged, psychedelic print. See more »


References Moulin Rouge (1952) See more »


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

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User Reviews

A lost gem

I saw "Hieronymous Merkin..." when I was senior in high school, and a again a few years later when I was in the navy. It is truly one of those remarkable films that never leaves you.

It has a beautiful score. True, there are hits and misses. "Chalk and Cheese" is hokey and was remarkable only because Joan Collins seemed to seductively purr it more than sing. But there are several hits. "I'm All I Need" (I'm all I need/If I succeed/I'll Thank No one/Who gives a damn?/What I am is what I'm meant to be)is a defiant statement to an unseen,uncaring God. "Lullaby" (Lull-lullaby/Go to sleep/my little one) is as touching a song as I have heard. In fact I often sang it to my daughter, but more than that it expresses a father's fears and his determination to protect his child. The biggest hit of the show has to be the "Fairytale" (Once upon a time/when the world was greener/Princess Trampolina/Daughter of a king/Rode around the land in her royal carriage/Pretty as a princess ought to be/Suitors by the score sought her hand in marriage/None of them was quite her cup of tea). My personal favorite is "Oh What a Son of a Bitch (I Am)" (Oh, when I think of those overheated/Vestal virgins I've mistreated/Well, it's obvious I don't give a damn/Kid if you're wondering who your dad is/Look at the last of the big time baddies/Oh, what a son of a bitch, I am.

The movie' biggest drawback is its disjointed construction. There is no smooth narrative, but then how many movies exhibit smooth narratives today.

"Hieronymous Merkin..." was under-appreciated when it opened and now largely forgotten. I continually search the internet for a copy of the movie without any luck. I guess I will have to content myself with the record which I came across at a yard sale.

"Hieronymous Merkin..." wasn't necessarily ahead of its time, but it managed to capture the feeling of an era in a way with vision, humor, and music that deservingly make it a cult classic, or it would if someone had courage enough to re-issue it.

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