7.0/10
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97 user 75 critic

Performance (1970)

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

Writer:

Donald Cammell
Reviews

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ON DISC
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

Donald Cammell was influenced by Artaud's theories on the links between performing and madness. See more »

Quotes

Chas: [on the phone] What a freak show.
Tony Farrell: Well, where are you then?
Chas: Oh, you know, on the left.
Tony Farrell: Oh, yeah. Yeah.
Chas: It's a right piss-hole. Long hair. Beatniks. Druggist. Free love. Foreigners.
See more »

Connections

Featured in London: The Modern Babylon (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

Gone Dead Train
Written by Jack Nitzsche & Russ Titelman
Performed by Randy Newman, (vocals); Ry Cooder, (guitar, bottleneck slide and dulcimer); Lowell George, (guitar); Russ Titelman, (guitar); Bob West,(bass) and Milt Holland (percussion.)
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A great film, well worth the wait
23 June 2004 | by gray4See all my reviews

I missed this film when it came out over thirty years ago, and have looked out for it ever since. At last, after a rare showing on BBC's arts channel, it has proved to be well worth the long wait.

It is a complex film, starting and finishing as a gripping and violent gangster movie, with the more philosophical and erotic section with Jagger and Pallenberg slotted between the gangster elements. James Fox as gangster on the run is a revelation. Why didn't he get parts like this again? He is far more convincing than his contemporary Michael Caine in this kind of role, with a scary viciousness combined with his 'Jack the Lad' charm.

Although Mick Jagger and Anita Pallenberg don't seem to be playing anything more than themselves, they are perfect foils for Fox. As they embroil Fox in their weird games, the writers/directors Nicholas Roeg and Donald Cammell create brilliantly the mushroom-based trip that they take him on and through. The film also evokes a fascinating and nostalgic picture of late '60s London and is a reminder that the "swinging sixties" had their grimy and violent side. Overall, a great film that deserves far wider recognition.


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