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Performance (1970)

A violent gangster seeks refuge from the mob in the Bohemian home of a former rock star.

Writer:

Donald Cammell
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Fox ... Chas
Mick Jagger ... Turner
Anita Pallenberg ... Pherber
Michèle Breton Michèle Breton ... Lucy (as Michele Breton)
Ann Sidney Ann Sidney ... Dana
John Bindon ... Moody
Stanley Meadows ... Rosebloom
Allan Cuthbertson ... The Lawyer
Anthony Morton Anthony Morton ... Dennis (as Antony Morton)
Johnny Shannon Johnny Shannon ... Harry Flowers
Anthony Valentine ... Joey Maddocks
Kenneth Colley ... Tony Farrell (as Ken Colley)
John Sterland ... The Chauffeur
Laraine Wickens Laraine Wickens ... Lorraine
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Storyline

Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of guest house run by the mysterious Mr. Turner, a one-time rock superstar, who is looking for the right spark to rekindle his faded talent. Written by Brad Jackson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

See them all in a film about fantasy. And reality. Vice. And versa. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug material and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 1970 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Performance See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

£750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Goodtimes Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Some of the minor members of Flowers' gang were allegedly real London gangsters. See more »

Quotes

Pherber: How do you think Turner feels like, huh?
Chas: I don't know. He's weird. And you're weird. You're kinky!
Pherber: He's a man! Male and female man! And he feels like me.
Chas: No! No he doesn't!
See more »

Alternate Versions

The 1997 Warner Home Video 'Maverick Directors' Widescreen PAL-VHS edition of 'Performance' (Cat. No: S015399) and the 2007 Region 2 DVD (DY11687) feature shots not featured in previous "X" cuts (such as 1981 Warner Home Video PAL-VHS WEV 61131). These appear while Chas (Fox) is being whipped by Joey Maddocks (Valentine), S015399 and DY11687 feature a reverie while Chas loses consciousness. This is a montage of shots of boxers. Chas (Fox) shoots Joey (Valentine), who is now seen, unlike in previous versions, to rise from the bed and mutter something at Chas's feet to which he replies 'You're dead Joey'. Directly after, Fox has another newly featured line in which he tells the remaining hood (Murray) to 'Get out of my flat'. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) See more »

Soundtracks

The Hashishin
Written by Jack Nitzsche
Mouth Bow Solo by Buffy Sainte-Marie
Dulcimer Solo by Ry Cooder
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of the greatest films ever made, period.
17 September 2002 | by secret7See all my reviews

PERFORMANCE captured the perverse sub-culture of organized "working class" gangsters with an unromanticized authenticity not matched until THE SOPRANOS came along three decades later. But it's not just a gangster movie; it's a heady brew overflowing with subtle and insightful intuitions about the power and dangers of the ego, the male-female equation, power structures, sex, drugs and rock'n'roll. Mainstream viewers might be put off by the radical "rococo" editing, which was well ahead of its time -- as were the "rock video" sequences which feature some of Mick Jagger's finest musical moments (playing blues guitar; and singing and dancing at the peak of his prime in the scene where he regains his "demon.") The soundtrack also features stellar cuts from Randy Newman and Merry Clayton, a great score by Jack Nitszche, and what may be the very first "rap" song ever recorded on film, by the Last Poets. Wall-to-wall intercuts bounce us around among story points connected on the quantum level; they may seem arbitrary and confusing, but rather than trying to "get" the story as it unfolds, the first time viewer is advised to just go with the flow and absorb as much as possible, enjoying the beautifully choreographed violence, the awesome soundtrack, the quirky characters and intriguing storyline. If you get into the mystical and psychological subtext, you'll probably end watching this movie more than once, and you'll get more out of it each time. But even on a superficial level, this film has plenty to enjoy. All the performances are excellent; James Fox and Jagger are outstanding. Movies don't get any better than this. P.S. -- Although Nick Roeg is a fine director, much of the credit for this masterpiece goes to Donald Cammell.


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