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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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4,752 ( 3,142)

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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:

This film is about madness. And sanity. Fantasy. And reality. Death. And life. 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 16mm footage of sex scenes were so explict that the film processing lab refused to develop it, referring to obscenity laws, and instead went on destroying it with hammer and chisel. See more »

Quotes

Chas: Why don't you - play us a tune, pal?
Turner: I don't like music.
Chas: Comical little geezer. You'll look funny when your fifty.
See more »

Alternate Versions

The Warner DVD is missing the line "Here's to Old England." in the 'Memo From Turner' scene. The Warner Archive Blu-ray features the missing line, but as a newly mixed correction to the mix, rather than as a fluid part of the sound mix as it was originally. The Blu-ray also reinstates the dubbing of London accents that previous releases rectified. Characters are dubbed in all their scenes prior to the phone call from Chas (Fox) to Harry (Shannon) in the bedroom. The bedroom scene and the remainder of the film features the original audio performances. Laraine Wickens thus escapes dubbing altogether as her scenes are all after the bedroom scene. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dusty and Sweets McGee (1971) 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

dazzling
31 August 2004 | by ginger_sonnySee all my reviews

Gangland enforcer James Fox gets involved with decadent fading rock star Mick Jagger in Nicholas Roeg's and Donald Cammell's cult film

Few films encapsulate drug-crazed Swinging 60s London like this one, though it was only seen three years after it was made and then heavily-edited because Warners were shocked at what they had financed. The film exceeded the boundaries of good taste that always epitomized British cinema.

This superbly shot, deeply disturbing, complex, often pretentious, often brilliant parable of confused identity was the first feature directed by leading cinematographer Roeg, sharing the credit with artist Cammell.

An eerily plausible Fox, cast against type, plays Chas, a sadistic gangster on the run who rents a room in the Notting Hill Gate home of Turner (Jagger), a reclusive, sexually ambiguous, washed-up rock star. Fox, his antithesis, is offered women and magic mushrooms before literally swapping personalities with the singer.

Fox abandoned the cinema for almost a decade after this film, such was its effect on him.



Verdict A dazzling, ideas-rich, extraordinarily inventive full-stop to the 60s


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