"If you have a friend, on whom you can depend you are a lucky man."
- title song (ALAN PRICE)
"Smile while you're makin' it Laugh while you're takin' it Even though you're fakin' it Nobody's gonna know..."
- (ALAN PRICE)
"Sell, sell, sell -- sell everything you stand for."
- (ALAN PRICE)
Film Comment - 09/01/2007
"There are moments worthy of Bunuel here....This is Anderson at his peak, surrounded by a great cast playing multiple roles..."
Sight and Sound - 01/01/2008
"[N]owhere in cinema will you find such a bleak worldview infused with such infectious, ebullient, indomitable joy, attentive to the magical propensities of life even when at its darkest."
Uncut - 06/01/2008 4 stars out of 5 -- "The result is a brilliant, rambling dissection of religion, politics, philosophy, sex; the whole kitchen sink..."
Lindsay Anderson, working again with Malcolm McDowell and Robert Sherwin, continues his comic comment on corruption in British society when Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell), the school boy from IF. . ., sets out, like a modern Candide, to make his way in the business world. Anderson stretches the boundaries of cinema with an eclectic use of movies within movies, silent-film-style title cards, surreal fantasies, actors playing multiple parts, and a live soundtrack. Alan Price appears on screen singing several songs. In the lyrics to one song he sings, "Someone has to win in the human race, if it isn't you, then it has to be me," which is thematically linked to Mick's rise and fall in his career journey from lowly coffee salesman to assistant to Sir James Burgess (Ralph Richardson), the most evil man in the world.
This is a very fast-paced, wildly creative, cinematic tour-de-force that set the standard for expanding the boundaries of British cinema in the early 1970s. McDowell, who is on screen in almost every scene, keeps the bizarre situations from overwhelming the human emotions with a marvelously expressive performance. In the end, with a sly Zen message, Anderson tells us that in a crazy world we can only look within ourselves for a reason to smile.
In O LUCKY MAN!, young Mick Travis, a trainee sales rep for a coffee company, earnestly begins his journey up the ladder of success, and has a wild series of misadventures along the way. Travis becomes a political scapegoat for his girlfriend's father, and almost gets mutilated when a surgeon tries to use him as a human guinea pig in a questionable scientific experiment. Then Travis finds religion and goes on another ill-fated mission to save souls. But, in the end, he falls on his feet again, and realizes that he's a very lucky man indeed, just to be alive.
Big Business |
Black Comedy |
Rags To Riches |
This film was Britain's official entry in the 1973 Cannes Film Festival.
Original score by Alan Price.
Additional cast: Philip Stone (Jenkins/Interrogator/Salvation Army Major), Mary McLeod (Mary Ball/Salvationist/Vicar's Wife).
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