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Montenegro (1981)

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A bored wealthy housewife on the verge of insanity cuts loose with some lively Yugoslavian immigrants who delight in their bohemian lifestyle.

Director:

Dusan Makavejev
Reviews
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Susan Anspach ... Marilyn Jordan
Erland Josephson ... Martin Jordan
Marianne Jacobi Marianne Jacobi ... Cookie Jordan (as Marianna Jacobi)
Jamie Marsh ... Jimmy Jordan
John Zacharias John Zacharias ... Grandpa Bill
Per Oscarsson ... Dr. Aram Pazardjian
Marina Lindahl Marina Lindahl ... Secretary
Bora Todorovic Bora Todorovic ... Alex Rossignol
Lisbeth Zachrisson Lisbeth Zachrisson ... Rita Rossignol
Svetozar Cvetkovic Svetozar Cvetkovic ... Montenegro
Patricia Gélin Patricia Gélin ... Tirke
Dragan Ilic Dragan Ilic ... Hassan
Nikola Janic Nikola Janic ... Mustapha
Mile Petrovic Mile Petrovic ... Zanzi Bar Customer
John Parkinson John Parkinson ... Piano Player
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Storyline

Marilyn Jordan, an American, lives in Stockholm with her Swedish husband and family. Her behavior is bizarre, perhaps mad: she poisons the dog's milk and advises the dog not to drink it; she sets the sheets afire as her husband sleeps; she crawls under the dining table to sing. While detained at airport customs for carrying pruning shears, she meets a young Yugoslav woman and goes with her to a Gypsy enclave where she's fought over, takes a lover, helps with the sordid entertainment at a bar, and returns home more dangerous than before. The film also tells parallel stories of Marilyn's daughter becoming a junior homemaker as the young immigrant practices her striptease. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Or Pigs and Pearls See more »

Genres:

Drama | Comedy

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Sweden | UK

Language:

English | Swedish

Release Date:

9 October 1981 (Sweden) See more »

Also Known As:

Montenegro - Or Pigs and Pearls See more »

Filming Locations:

Sweden See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Eastmancolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

On its original USA release, this film was cut by seconds to avoid receiving an "X" rating from the MPAA. This "R"-rated version was also soon seen on home video and premium cable in that country, but in more recent years the uncensored original has turned up on both as "unrated." See more »

Quotes

Customs Inspector: You are free to go.
Marilyn Jordan: [mockingly] I'm free... I'm free to go.
Customs Inspector: [clears throat] I'm... sorry for the inconvenience...
Marilyn Jordan: I'm free to go where?
Customs Inspector: [rolls eyes, gestures to Tirke] And you too.
Tirke: And my pig?
See more »

Connections

Featured in Sixten (1994) See more »

Soundtracks

"I Do, I Do, I Do'
Written by Benny Andersson (uncredited), Stig Anderson (uncredited) and Björn Ulvaeus (uncredited)
Performed by ABBA
Courtesy of Polar Music International
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User Reviews

The Madness of Civility Seeks Grounding in the Primal
21 October 2002 | by PiafreduxSee all my reviews

Others who have commented on 'Montenegro' seem to miss the film's point. Yes, it is a black comedy; no, it's not nihilistic. The characters do not behave in incomprehensible ways - they behave in ways alien to our Western acculturation & our snobby "everybody must do nice-nice to each other" civility. 'Montenegro' takes effete, overbaked, hypersophisticated, irrelevant Western sensibilities & turns them smack on their pointed little heads.

American Marliyn Jordan (Susan Anspach in a tour de force performance) lives in Sweden with her Swedish husband. Marilyn is not, as other commentators have misapprehended, a bored, psychotic housewife - she's a woman who, in her overbaked Western milieu of mind-blenching affluence, oversensitive men & women, diplomatic euphemism, & arcane, costly, "necessary", psychobabble (brilliantly depicted, & sent up, in the analysis scene), has lost touch with all that's primal, urgent, & vital in herself.

Already whacked out from living in her gilded, padded, safe-till-she's-numbed life, Jordan impulsively hooks up with a completely primal, totally up front & no bones about it, caveman & club bunch of howling, lusty Montenegrans. Once she's with them things happen very differently from the way they failed to happen in her previous ersatz saccharine-junkie life.

Jordan is in for keeps with people who play for keeps. Lust, blood, sex, ooze, vendettas, vengeance - all the primal, classical, down-deep-in-human-nature emotions & their instantaneous acting-out - are how things are for Jordan now in Montenegro. The suddenness, violence, & clarity of emotion & action repulses us because we're so used to warning labels on everything from cigarette lighters & child safety seats, & from self-esteem minuets in schools to language prohibitions in our workplaces. All that's out the window in 'Montenegro' with Marilyn Jordan fast losing her melancholia & madness, & rushing headlong into shameless, unbridled lust, man-baiting, cat-fighting, & knock-down (with that caveman club!) & drag out sex.

Watching 'Montenegro' we Westerners are intrigued, repelled, fascinated, revolted - but we can't turn away from the fluids & furze, the basal & nasal sensation, the genitals-out-in-the-winds-of-Fate abandon, & the cathartic, orgasmic, lethal, & vital primordial reckoning that is 'Montenegro' exploding on our retinae, in our ears, on our skin, in our nostrils, & in our wide-open mouths.

One wonders if Camille Paglia has seen 'Montenegro' because one expects she'd love it, because this film delves into things primal that Paglia's betes noires - radical gender feminist ideologues - reject and label "patriarchal violence against women" & "not women's way of knowing". Let's just say that 'Montenegro' isn't likely to be high on Gloria Steinem's, Patricia Ireland's, or Susan Sontag's list of all-time favorite films. That alone tells how worthy this film is of wide open embrace & enjoyment: 'Montenegro' doesn't cave or cop to salon intellectualism, pop psychology, Botox beauty, animal rights activist solipsism, or moral relativism. This is the real deal: down to brass tacks humanity stripped of culture & deodorant & Sani-Pure flush toilets & sparkling bidets & layers of insulation from the Real.

'Montenegro' isn't Greek Tragedy, it's not Shakespearian artistry, & it sure isn't Frank Capra or Spike Lee - it's pure primal, take no prisoners, heads-on-lances, bareass naked human nature turning back the clock & stripping away the veneer of Western propriety. It's an enrapturing, refreshing, uncensored look at the way we humans were...and still are. 'Monetenegro' gives us a pungent whiff of how we smell without deodorant, look without makeup, feel without politically correct "civilized" Thought Police cues, touch with unwashed hands, & taste blood-rare meat without first checking to be sure our side of veggies is certified to be "organic", washed, or attractively presented. Nobody calls for a cop in Montenegro, watches Oprah, or cares less what Dr. Phil advises; nobody hails a waiter without ducking for the dagger that will come hurtling his way; & nobody bats an eyelash without understanding up front that it means, "Come hither: Now!" In 'Montenegro' nobody trifles with food & wine & sex & death because they're the stuff of everyday life - life on the edge, life in the Now, into which Marliyn Jordan, body & soul, hurls herself.


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