Following his discharge from the US Navy after WWII, Freddie Quell is having difficulties adjusting to non-military life partly due to his war experiences in the tropics. He has a violent temper. He is obsessed with sex, which is partly why he can't and won't commit to his teenaged girlfriend, Doris Solstad. And he is an alcoholic, drinking primarily concoctions he creates himself with dangerous ingredients. It is these factors in combination that lead to him being fired from one job after another, from department store portrait photographer to cabbage picker. Wandering one night in 1950 while drunk, he stumbles upon a yacht being used by Lancaster and Peggy Dodd, the yacht aboard which their daughter Elizabeth will get married. Feeling a connection to the stranger, Lancaster invites Freddie to stay aboard to work. In addition to that work, Lancaster indoctrinates him into his cult, named the Cause, which purports to do things as varied as cure serious maladies and create world peace....Written by
Paul Thomas Anderson initially wanted to put his own children in the film during the early scenes set at the portrait studio, but he decided against it because his mixed-race children did not have a period appropriate look. See more »
At the beginning of the film, when the end of W.W.II is announced (August 15, 1945), the U.N. is mentioned. The U.N. did not yet exist. It was established October 24, 1945. Additional Information: During WWII the allied nations (Great Britain, Canada, Australia, USA etc.) sometimes also were known as the United Nations, so this identification would have been possible. See more »
Joakin delivers yet another masterclass of a performance.
A fine acting performance by Joakin Phoenix, who plays a miss-fit drifter type, who falls under the spell of a cult leader. An intense film that on a first viewing found, rather heavy going in places. After re-visiting the movie I found it totally absorbing in a most gripping way. This one once seen, will never be forgotten and that surely is the test of a fine movie.
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