Thursday 10 January 2013

10 Worst Films Of The 1960's

 I am not exactly what you'd call a 'movie buff', but I do love discovering great obscure flicks from 1960's. The genres I am particularly obsessive about are: early 60's British 'Kitchen Sink' dramas, 'Swinging London' films and psychedelic weirdness from both, Europe and America. It is a sheer joy to discover long-lost 'Kitchen-Sink' masterpieces like Term Of Trial (1962) with Laurence Olivier or The Party's Over (1963) with Oliver Reed, interesting art-house B-movies like Jess Franco's Venus In Furs (1970), or Swinging London madness of Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (1967). But every now and then, you inevitably get burned - you discover an absolute dud. In this day and age, when no film is really 'lost' anymore, flops and failures of bygone eras are re-emerging on DVD. What's worse, some of them undeservedly earn status of 'lost classics'. Here, I have compiled a little list of films to avoid - I have wasted a lot of time watching them and I warn you not to waste yours. Nearly all of them flopped at the time of the cinematic release, but now are easily accessible on DVD or YouTube .  Tempted by a good cast, good director, cool poster (or all of it combined) you may feel like you want to see some of them. Well,believe me, you don't. I tried to focus on films which are absolutely unwatchable - not only they are badly written or/and actors are miscast, but there is nothing else to hold your attention - no amazing sets, costumes,music, nudity or erotic scenes ( Just to note - I tried to avoid blatant B-flicks, therefore no Roger Corman, Russ Meyer, Hammer films etc.). So, I present you 10 lost 60's classics that should have remained lost....

10. PETULIA (1968)

Director: Richard Lester
Cast: Julie Christie, George C. Scott, Richard Chamberlain

In 1968, American expatriate Richard Lester was one of the 'hottest' directors in Britain. Having made A Hard Day's Night (1964) and Help! (1965) with The Beatles, as well as brilliant Swinging London comedy The Knack...And How To Get It? (1965) and John Lennon vehicle How I Won The War (1967), Lester was now heading back to his homeland to conquer Hollywood. Julie Christie , after her appearance in David Lean's epic Doctor Zhivago and her Oscar-winning role in Darling (1965) was also at the height of her fame.It seemed like a match made in heaven - pairing up Richard Lester with Julie Christie should have resulted in one of the funniest comedies of 1960's. Instead, it resulted in this strangely lucklustre drama about abused housewife (Christie) who starts an affair with a divorced doctor (Scott). The film doesn't work, because Lester could not decide what kind of film he wanted to make. In Petulia, he abandoned his trademark absurd humour, perhaps wishing to move into more 'serious' territory'. But the film oscillates somewhere between comedy and drama, and as a result ends up being neither. It's not funny enough to be a comedy, and not serious enough to be a drama. It's just plain dull. Julie Christie had a flair for bringing out comical undertones in dramatic roles, which she showed so well in  Billy Liar (1963), fore-mentioned Darling and period drama Far From The Madding Crowd (1967) (all three films were directed by John Shlesinger), but we see none of it in Petulia. She tries too hard to make her character kooky (I hate that word) and ends up being just plain annoying.Also, what is going on with her hair!? Is it a wig? It looks terrible....
The film has a small bonus in a form of performances from Grateful Dead and Janis Joplin. Find it on YouTube, but don't bother with a rest of Petulia. That poster looks retty cool, though. It's such a shame that the scene depicted in it doesn't actually occur in the film...


Director(s): Val Guest, Ken Hughes, John Huston, Joseph McGrath, Robert Parrish
Cast: Peter Sellers, David Niven, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles, Woody Allen, Deborah Kerr, Jean-Paul Belmondo

The rights to this James Bond novel were sold in late fifties, before Albert Broccolli and Harry Saltzman bought the rest wholesale from Ian Fleming. In 1967, the owner, Charles K. Feldman, not wanting to compete with 'proper' versions of Bond, decided to film it as a pastiche and recruited a cast of A-list stars such as David Niven, Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress, Orson Welles and young Woody Allen. On paper it sounded like a brilliant idea. So what went wrong?

 Well, the answer is Peter Sellers. Reportedly he was very difficult on the set, showing up and disappearing whenever he felt like it, and constantly disrupting the filming with various shenanigans. Four directors, including legendary John Huston, walked out of the project, unable to work with him. Orson Welles hated Sellers so much, that he refused to be in the same room as him, even during shooting of the scenes in which they were together, which made a shooting difficult, to put it mildly. Not surprisingly the result was a total chaos. Casino Royale doesn't have anything even remotely resembling a coherent plot. Some men, all of them claiming to be James Bond, chase some nice looking ladies around, but that's about it. It is very hard to sit through more than fifteen minutes of this mess. My only question is: How can a film (or even a mess) with Peter Sellers and Woody Allen in it  - possibly the greatest comics of all time - be this unfunny?

(As all of the Bond fans surely know, the proper version of Casion Royale was filmed in 2006)       


Director: Jack Cardiff
Cast: Marianne Faithfull, Alain Delon

The thought of Marianne Faithfull wearing a leather jumpsuit and nothing underneath sounds quite appealing, doesn't it? Well,my dear male reader, you gonna have to rely on your imagination to picture it, because although this film promises a lot, it delivers very little -  it's nowhere near as erotic as you might think. If it's nude Marianne Faithfull you're after, then I must disappoint you. You can see about as much of her skin on this poster as throughout the whole film. It is a dull story of  two pretty dull people having an affair. I think one of them is married, but I can't remember which one. In fact, I am struggling to remember anything about this film whatsoever, even though I saw it twice. Alain Delon gives probably the worst performance of his career. What was he doing in this film anyhow? I can understand why Marianne Faithfull took the role, but why did he?
Anyway, I am gonna save you an hour an half of utter boredom - she dies in a motorcycle crash at the end. Now you really don't have a reason to watch it.

I've noticed that a lot of people get my blog after typing into google 'Marianne Faithfull nude'. I have no idea why. But since there's a demand, there should be a supply..

Her brief cameo in I'll Never Forget What' isname (1967), a comedy by Michael Winner with Oliver Reed. As naked as she ever got in any film....Enjoy!



Director: Mark Robson
Cast: Sharon Tate, Patty Duke, Barbara Parkins, Lee Grant

Very poorly adapted from a bestselling novel by Jacqueline Susan, Valley Of The Dolls is a story of three young actresses and their adventures in harsh and unforgiving world of show business. I say 'poorly adapted' because the script tries to squeeze too much action from the novel into the film , which as a result is way too long. Film focuses on characters of Anne (Barbara Parkins) and Neely (Patty Duke), but in a way which doesn't really reveal anything about them as characters. They both seem so fake and phoney that it is impossible for a viewer to relate to them, or  believe in existence of  people like them in real life. The only interesting character, Jennifer (Sharon Tate)  - a doomed starlet who marries mortally ill singer, and takes roles in porn movies to pay for her husband's health care - is kept in the background. Also, the passing of time in the film is not indicated in any way. The story is presumably spread through several years, but not only the characters don't age, but the reality around them - the cars, the costumes does not change. A simple credit at the bottom of the screen saying '2 years later' would definitely help in some of the scenes.

If you're hoping for a '60's vibe' in this film, you will be disappointed - there isn't any. Although made in 1967, Valley Of the Dolls feels like a film made in early 1950's.Everything in it screams of 1950's - beginning with costumes and sets, through 'safe' handling of a controversial subject ('dolls' was a slang word for amphetamine pills abused by all three characters) to characters' hopes and aspirations; the way they talk and act, etc. Not to mention the suited crooners and the general old-fashion-musical feel.  Even in 1967, this film must have looked like a relic of a bygone era. Today it just looks dated beyond pardon. The only reason anybody ever watches it, is the rare appearance of Sharon Tate - at the time wife of Roman Polanski, and  future  victim of a murder from hands of Charles Manson's Family. She reportedly hated the book, the film and her own appearance in it. It's hard to blame her.


Director: Joseph Losey
Cast: Dirk Bogarde, Monica Vitti, Terence Stamp

With this cast and director, this should have been one of the greatest British films of the 1960's. Previous collaboration of Losey and Bogarde resulted in my all-time favorite The Servant (1963) - a criminally underrated masterpiece. Monica Vitti was a star of Michelangelo Antonioni's Italian films and Terence Stamp - a 'Swinging London' bachelor was also a star on the rise, especially after the role in critically acclaimed The Collector (1965). So why on earth did any of them agree to appear in this dismal adaptation of mediocre spy novel? Neither the director, nor the actors really 'felt' the genre, and unfortunately it shows. The most uncomfortable one was Bogarde as a pantomime villain in a ridiculous blond wig. Monica Vitti  spoke very little English at the time, and some of her lines sound like they were learn phonetically. Terence Stamp gives possibly the most forgettable performance of his career. The filming was apparently constantly disrupted by arguments between Losey and Vitti. Dirk Bogarde  was not getting on with his Italian co-star, either. He remarked (years later): I fell in love with every woman I ever worked with. Except for Monica Vitti. The resulting film was embarrassingly bad. In a first fifteen minutes, so many characters are introduced , and so little about their motives is revealed, that you simply lose track of what is going on. Soon after, you lose interest. This film doesn't even have that campy quality which makes Barbarella or Danger: Diabolik so appealing.

Modesty Blaise  flopped and was disowned by anybody who had anything to do with it. Joseph Losey soon redeemed himself with brilliant The Accident (1967) which also starred Dirk Bogarde. Monica Vitti returned to Italy where she remained a big star. But Modesty Blaise had a destructive effect on Terence Stamp's career - not only did he turn down the role in Alfie to star in Losey's film, but Modesty Blaise also deprived him of the leading role in Blow-Up. He was Antonioni's original choice for the role, but Italian director was obsessively jealous of his muse Monica Vitti  and he constantly suspected her and Stamp of having an affair (something Stamp always denied). Few weeks before shooting  Blow-Up, Antonioni replaced Stamp with then-unknown David Hemmings. Terence Stamp is bitter about it to this day.

5. PRIVILEGE (1967)

Director: Peter Watkins
Cast: Jean Shrimpton, Paul Jones

The idea - just the idea, mind you - sounds vaguely interesting. A pop idol is used by his evil, manipulative managers to spread destructive message to the adoring fans. It ceases to sound interesting and start sounding ridiculous when you find out, that the message is not consumerism or permissiveness but....Christianity.
Steven Shorter (Paul Jones) is a hysterically adored pop star (imagine Lennon, Jagger and Dylan rolled into one). Lonely at the top and sent halfway to bedlam by his hectic touring schedule, Steven  meets a young painter (Jean Shrimpton) and the two begin an affair. At the same time, unbeknownst to Steven, his managers team up with a sinister religious dignitaries, who worried about growing godlessness among youth, decide to re-invent Steven Shorter as born-again Christian in hope of  converting the masses.

What did not work here was a pair of film's main stars. Casting musicians and models  in films can bring interesting results  (Mick Jagger in Performance or Twiggy in Ken Russell's 1920's extravaganza Boyfriend (1972)). Here, it failed miserably. The acting skills of Paul Jones and Jean Shrimpton are almost non-existent. Jones, who in real life was a lead singer of Mod/Rn'B hit-makers Manfred Mann, is particularly irritating. He wants to make the character of Steven  'troubled' and 'mysterious', bu instead he comes across as 'arrogant' and 'bored', leaving viewer wondering what the hell all these screaming teenagers see in him. His godawful stage act, worthy more of a first-year Perfoming Arts student rather than a biggest star in the world, only adds to that impression. Even worse is Jean Shrimpton - wooden to the point of comical and almost inaudible.

Paul Jones and Jean Shrimpton during filming of Privilege. Shrimpton had this exact facial expression throughout he whole film.

Terence Stamp, who was Jean Shrimpton's boyfriend at the time, tried to talk her out of taking the role in Privilege, sensing the lack of her acting skills. Shrimpton got so offended, that she dumped him (that sent Stamp in a downward spiral of depression, which some time later resulted in him quitting acting for a few years).

The silliness of the plot  in Privilege resulted in some truly cringeworthy scenes - like the one where the whole stadium shouts 'We will conform!' - did director Peter Watkins really thought that low of young people?  The rise of counterculture and anti-war protests in 1967, made Privilege irrelevant practically on the day of its release.Slated by the critics for a half-baked concept and bad acting, and ignored by the public, Privilege disappeared, not to be seen for another 43 years. Unfortunately, in 2010, BFI  remastered and released this dud on DVD. Don't buy it, unless you run acting class and want to show your students what 'bad acting' means...


Director: Monte Hellman
Cast: James Taylor, Dennis Wilson, Warren Oates

 Made in 1971, so technically not a sixties film, but it certainly tried to captured he spirit of the decade just gone. Some film aficionados might try to convince you that this film is 'like Easy Rider or Vanishing Point, but cooler'. It's a spot-on description, but only if  by 'cooler' they mean 'a mediocre rip-off and blatant attempt to cash-in'.
Film tells a story (if you can call it that) of a racing driver (James Taylor) and his mechanic (Dennis Wilson). They pick up a hitchhiker (Laurie Bird). Not much happens and not much is said. The girl mostly looks bored while driver and mechanic talk about cars. They meet another racing driver (Warren Oates) who challenges them to the cross country race to Washington. To be honest, I've only seen it once, about five years ago, and all I remember was a general feeling of boredom, and a mental note to myself not to ever give it another chance (which means I must have really hated it)
It's another example of the film where casting musicians did not work out. James Taylor's acting is about as dull as his songs. Dennis Wilson - The Beach Boys' drummer - had a movie star good looks, not quite matched by his acting ability.

If you're into Easy Rider vibe, there are some other great films from 60's/early 70's era. If you like films about American hippie Counterculture, I recommend The Strawberry Statement (1969) or Getting Straight (1970) or even Antonioni's Zabriskie Point (1970, a failure, yes, but at least an interesting one). If it's pure road cinema you're after I recommend almost forgotten Scarecrow (1973) with Al Pacino and Gene Hackman. Just don't waste your time on Two-Lane Blacktop.  

3. CANDY (1968)

Director: Christian Marquand
Cast: Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, James Coburn, Walter Matthau, Eva Aulin, Ringo Starr, Charles Aznavour

Terry his best he co-wrote a script of Dr. Strangelove with Kubrick and helped Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper to write Easy Rider. At his worst he was responsible for Candy. The film was based of Southern's 1958 novel (co-written with Mason Hoffenberg) which in turn, was very, very loosely based on Voltaire's Candide.
Film is a story of  Candy (Eva Aulin) and her erotic journey through modern America. During that journey she meets an eccentric writer (Richard Burton), insane general (Walter Matthau) , hapless Mexican gardener (Ringo Starr), sinister surgeon (James Coburn) and suspicious Guru (Marlon Brando). We don't know why the journey is happening, where  is she going, and to be honest we don't know what is going on most of he time. The film was supposed to be a satire on something, presumably contemporary America, but frankly, even a 10 year old child would be capable of wittier observations than the ones made by the film. Eva Aulin - former Teen Miss Sweden, in a film often loses parts of her outfit -  at tines her entire outfit  - but unfortunetely, even that doesn't make the film any more watchable.


Neither do all the star cameos. Most of them were friends of Terry Southern or Christian Marquand  who charged no fee or a reduced fee. Neither one of them will count Candy as their best moment.The film of course flopped. Not that Terry Southern learned a lesson. Year later, in 1969, he was involved another film based on his script and  made  in very similar vein - The Magic Christian with Ringo and Peter Sellers (admittedly slightly more watchable than Candy).

Eva Aulin and Ringo Starr at the premiere of Candy, 1968

2. 200 MOTELS (1970)

Director: Frank Zappa
Cast: Ringo Starr, Keith Moon, Pamela Des Barres

OK, let me put it straight: this is not a film! It's a CCTV footage! Frank Zappa, who directed this thing, was one of the finest musicians of his generation, but should have not been let anywhere near a camera. I say 'directed' but it's hard to see signs of any direction. He might have as well left a rolling camera at the Hot Rats launch party (actually, no - that makes it sound almost watchable). Normally you could blame drugs, but Frank Zappa, apparently wasn't doing them at all.There's no excuse for this. Don't get me wrong - I am all for psychedelic nonsense. I love Magical Mystery Tour or The Monkees' Head. But this!!? This is just a waste of celluloid tape. There is no plot, there aren't even any characters, just a bunch of people shouting over each other - among them Ringo in a ridiculous wig, looking very confused , and the Who's drummer Keith Moon. There is a chance that you might have heard of 200 Motels through I'm With The Band - an autobiography of Pamela Des Barres - late 60's/early 70's LA groupie queen. She talks about the film quite extensively. I am not sure why she bothered to mention it at all - especially since her own appearance lasts about fifteen seconds during which she says one line (dressed as a Nazi dominatrix). How could this rubbish ever get a cinematic release, I will never now. And why did anybody bother to release it on DVD?


Director: Jean-Luc Godard
Cast: The Rolling Stones

In the words of Dante Alighieri, Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.....
Now, I would lie if I said I was a fan of Jean-Luc Godard. There is so much I hate about his films, that I don't even know where to start... His annoying male protagonists, who always act like prepubescent boys. His adolescent views on love and sex. His tendency of bombarding a viewer with meaningless political slogans..His at best childish grasp of politics, especially Socialism and Communism...I could go on and on. OK, so Breathless (1959) is an important film. Some of his early 1960's movies are watchable, mostly thank to the sheer physical beauty of his leading ladies. After all, who can resist the charms of Anna Karina in Vivre Sa Vie (1961), Brigitte Bardot in Le Mepris (1963) or Chantal Goya in Masculin Feminin (1964)? But, when deprived of distraction in form of a beautiful actress, his films are inevitably exposed for the pretentious, dull duds that they are. First sign of that was Weekend (1967) - film so irrepressibly awful and boring, that they should screen it to convicted criminals as a punishment. You'd think hat making a worse film was hysically not possible. Unfortunately it was.....

Godard had quite a lot of hopes connected with One Plus One. Initially, he wanted to recruit The Beatles (whom he always criticised for not being political enough). He had a meeting with John Lennon in London, during which he refused to reveal absolutely anything about the project. Suspicious Lennon turned him down. Mick Jagger, on the other hand, jumped into opportunity - he always wanted to work in movies (that was before Performance). The scenes with The Rolling Stones shot at Olympic Studios are nothing more than a simple documentary - Stones work on.....That's right, 'Sympathy For The Devil'. We can see a development of the song from a slow, acoustic ballad to its final form with bongos, and electric guitar. What we can also see is Brian Jones in a very bad condition - he seems completely detached from what is going on in the studio.

Brian Jones and Jean-Luc Godard, 1968

Although the scenes with The Stones are pretty dull, they are probably the best in the whole film. Other scenes include:  woman walking around  the forest and giving an interview about Socialsm. Iain Quarrier (known from Wonderwall, Fearless Vampire Killers and Cul-De-Sac; also the producer of One Plus One) walking in circles around newsagents reading Communist Manifesto, and Black Panthers on the car park somewhere in Battersea (and what would they be doing in Battersea?) reading Black Panther Manifesto, and shooting three women for no apparent reason. In other words, the usual boring, pretentious rubbish that Godard was known for.

Initially, Godard wanted to get rid of all the scenes with Stones, but producer Iain Quarrier disagreed. What's more, he demanded for  the title to be changed into Sympathy For The Devil (he knew that The Stones were the only thing in the film that would attract any audience). Two men got into a heated argument during which Godard called Quarrier a fascist.
Godard first unveiled this film during Cannes festival in 1968 which coincided with infamous May 68 riots. A passionate socialist, Godard, along with Francois  Truffaut and few other  Nouvelle Vague directors, demanded putting festival on hold to demonstrate solidarity with strikers in Paris. What's more, he wanted a complete nationalisation of French Cinema, which he felt should be under 'worker control'. He got into a heated argument with Roman Polanski who was there to present his hugely successful Rosemary's Baby. Polanski, a Polish expatriate, who unlike Godard or Truffaut actually experienced life under Communist regime was unimpressed. He rightly noted: People like Godard and Truffaut are like little kids playing at being revolutionaries. I've passed through this stage. I was raised in the country where these things happened seriously (Christopher Sandford, Polanski, p 159). Godard called Polanski a fascist and told him to 'fuck off to Hollywood' (He had an annoying habit of calling a fascist anybody who disagreed with him).
When Sympathy For The Devil was finally premiered , nobody was impressed. Apart from the Stones bits, which have a value as a documentary, the film deserves to be flushed down the toilet.  

So there it is. I think I made my case. If you think that I got something terribly wrong, do speak up. Any additions to the list are also welcome.


Jurgen Muller, Movies of The 60's, Tashen, 2004
Peter Doggett, There's A Riot Going On, Cannongate, London, 2007
Peter Biskind, Easy Riders And Raging Bulls, Simon & Shuster, London, 1998
Christopher Sandford, Polanski, Century , London, 2007

The Real Blow-Up, BBC Documentary, 2002


Mark said...

Have to disagree with some choices; Casino Royale was undeniably a flop but there's still much to enjoy and you have to applaud a film so thrown into chaos that some semblance of coherence still exists within it.

Privilege is a genuinely good film. Indeed Peter Watkins never made a bad picture. Ok, The Shrimp and Paul Jones aren't much in terms of acting, but the ideas and themes within are gripping and the direction and cinematography really convey them well.

Modesty Blaise is godawful. I'm a HUGE fan of the books so believe me when I say this was an absolute cheesy insult in which hardly anything from the initial source is brought across to the film. It ought to have been a female James Bond, albeit not as camp as even Bond had become at that stage. Instead we get 60s screwball and song routines!?

Mark said...

PS I think I blogged about Privilege myself last year so that if you fancy looking for it will convey my feelings about it far better than I can here. Suffice it to say as a meditation on what was to come; The cash Cow-ell all consuming obsession pop across various media it was uncannily precise. The scenes of the people shouting about how they will conform really aren't so different are they to scenes of screaming adoring youths making the sign of the X in front of Cowell et al some 30 yrs later? The reason Christianity is the primary focus is because the Govt are behind it, they want a return to Victorian values.

if I can add one film to the mass/mess it would be Work Is A 4 Letter Word. But I'm sure there are many many more

Call me Riku said...

I bought Casino Royale a few months ago and found it totally unwatchable. Not seen any of the others but I'm slowly building a collection of British 60's films. Nothing will beat 'Blow-Up' for me though.

Peter said...

Mark, like I said, the idea behind Privilege sounded interesting.

My main issue with this film is that it fails to portray the stage charisma of Steven. As a viewer,I am not buying his 'act', and I can't see why the public in the film would. I've read your blog post about Privilege, and you write about how powerful that scene at the stadium was.Now, I could not see Steven's act as anything more than laughable and cringeworthy, therefore the intended effect of the scene was absolutely lost on me.Also I am not convinced about the parallels that you make between masterminds behind Steven and Simon Cowell. Yes, the man is responsible for lowering of the standards in pop music and TV. But the standards were already getting lower and lower long before he came along. To me, Cowell and his success is a creation of the public, rather than vice versa. As for the whole government thing, I can only say, that if the government was so in touch with people and capable of creating something so popular as Steven in Privilege, they wouldn't even need a more obedient society.

rl81 - All the other films are just as unwatchable as Casino Royale..

Mark said...

Well obviously we'll have to agree to disagree but I do genuinely think that the scene at the stadium was cinematically stunning at the very least, it naturally depends just how much you've bought into the film to be swept up into it any further.

The point of the government thing is that they took Steve as puppet whose popularity they knew would allow them to get society to conform to their will. They nailed their colours to his flag to push their products and their desires rather than your belief that they created him right from the off.

I think Jones has a difficult task in getting the character across, be it at turn intensely charismatic and electrifying yet in reality deeply blank and bland. It'd be a huge ask for a real actor, so its no surprise he stumbles between the stools.

Like I say, we have different opinions. Wouldn't do for us all to like the same thing.

You have Candy nailed just right though. Godawful film.

Monkey said...

I've not seen Two-Lane Blacktop or Candy but I'm broadly in agreement with most of your choices - even if you over egg the pudding. Modesty Blaise in particular has been a bugbear of mine for years.

However, I'm pleased I've seen them. Yes, they are mostly rubbish but just little details (like Petulia's groovy flat) make them interesting period pieces if nothing else. And the Stones in the studio scenes alone would make your number void in my book.

Great provocative article. Nice one.

Unknown said...

alot of people were 'naive' about socialism back then, including that err historian guy that just died,hobsbawn! thats it!

Edward Ockham said...

Just found your blog. Great stuff. When I saw the title I just knew that privilege would be there. And Sympathy for the Devil. But I think you are being a little hard on Two Lane Blacktop, which I saw years ago and really liked.

Wilthomer said...

Well done sir!! "Girl On A Motorcycle" and "Priviledge" are two of those films I'd heard about for eons and owned and loved the soundtrack LP's for both and finally saw the movies and thought, at the conclusion of both: "What was so amazing about these?".
Funnily enough unbenownst to your post I just posted an entry on "Top Ten Great Rock n' Roll Moments In 60's Films".

rasputin1963 said...

Agreed, these films are awful. Especially cringeworthy are the orgasmic moues and pouts Marianne Faithfull does whilst astride her motorcycle (in rear-projection).

For some reason, I do like to watch PETULIA every now and then, if only for the "groovy" 60's colors and quasi-New Wave camerawork.

You get spoiled when you see a truly good mid-60's film like DARLING or GEORGY GIRL (or even SMASHING TIME).

Anonymous said...

You also forgot the British film, "The Touchables" 1968, about these 4 beautiful women who first steal a wax figure of Michael Caine from Madame Tussads, then kidnap a British rock star, and keep him in a big clear plastic bubble house in the country. They use him for sex. A very weird film to say the least, but I still had to add it to my British film collection.