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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:

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:

GBP750,000 (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

According to Anita Pallenberg, one scene actually shows her shooting heroin, which she was just starting to get into at the time. 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 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 LA Plays Itself (1972) See more »

Soundtracks

Wake Up Nigger
by The Last Poets
Written by Jalal Nuriddin
Courtesy of Douglas Records
See more »

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User Reviews

Psychedelic Borgesian masterpiece!
30 November 2001 | by InfofreakSee all my reviews

Thirty years after its release 'Performance' still remains one of the most controversial movies of the 60s/70s. For many it is an arty pretentious bore that is only worth remembering for being a mother lode of imagery that has been mined extensively by MTV "talents" over the last twenty years. (Cammell/Roeg must be up there with Bunuel and Kenneth Anger as the most plagiarized source for rock video!)

For the rest of us 'Performance' could well be THE great movie of the psychedelic era, rivaled only by Antonioni's 'Blow Up' and Jodorowky's 'El Topo'. 'Performance' merges the hard boiled Cockney gangster world of the Kray twins (exemplified by James Fox's brutal Chas) with the freaks of the rock/drug world (Jagger's enigmatic Turner) and shows they have as much in common as they differ. Reality and fantasy blur, gender and personas get confused, and Chas and Turner become increasingly hard to tell apart.

All of this unfolds to an ultra-cool soundtrack of The Last Poets, Randy Newman, Jagger's lost classic 'Memo From Turner' and former Spector/Stones/Crazy Horse collaborator Jack Nietsche's Moog. Add to this plenty of sex, trips and Jorge Luis Borges references, and you've got yourself a mind-blowing movie experience!! Highly recommended to Grant Morrison fans.


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