Petulia

  • 1968
  • Movie
  • R
  • Comedy, Drama

PETULIA was a transitional work for director Richard Lester, a cross between the jump-cutting gimmickry of his earlier films (A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, THE KNACK) and the more conventional storytelling of JUGGERNAUT and ROBIN AND MARIAN. Extravagantly praised by some critics and dismissed by others, it is nevertheless one of the best American films of the sixties...read more

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PETULIA was a transitional work for director Richard Lester, a cross between the jump-cutting gimmickry of his earlier films (A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, THE KNACK) and the more conventional storytelling of JUGGERNAUT and ROBIN AND MARIAN. Extravagantly praised by some critics and dismissed by

others, it is nevertheless one of the best American films of the sixties (if largely by default). Archie Bollen (George C. Scott) meets Petulia Danner (Julie Christie) at a San Francisco charity function with countercultural pretensions (The Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company

provide the entertainment). Bollen doesn't know that Petulia recognizes him as the surgeon who operated on a young mexican boy whom she and her husband David (Richard Chamberlain) had befriended on a recent trip to Tijuana. David is an abusive husband who may have caused the boy's injuries.

Through flashbacks, which come at a rate of maybe one every ten minutes, we see a large portion of the Tijuana trip, and the subsequent surgery in all its gory detail. Bollen, meanwhile, has his own problems. Divorced, his ex-wife has married a man he despises, and he spends most of his free time

either on absurd "divorced Dad" excursions with his two sons (their trip to Alcatraz is a highlight), or trying to figure out exactly what Petulia means to him. PETULIA is both a finely observed comedy of manners set in the San Francisco of the late sixties, and an absorbing drama about abuse and

betrayal. Nicholas Roeg did the cinematography.

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  • Rating: R
  • Review: PETULIA was a transitional work for director Richard Lester, a cross between the jump-cutting gimmickry of his earlier films (A HARD DAY'S NIGHT, THE KNACK) and the more conventional storytelling of JUGGERNAUT and ROBIN AND MARIAN. Extravagantly praised by… (more)

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