Candy (1968) - Rotten Tomatoes

Candy (1968)




Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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In this big-budget adaptation of Terry Southern's satiric sex farce (the sort of project that could get an immediate green light in the late 1960's and at practically no other time before or since), Ewa Aulin is Candy, a sweet young woman who doesn't seem entirely aware of the powerful sexual desire she brings out in men. While her father (John Astin) and mother (Elsa Martinelli) try to keep Candy in line, the task proves to be all but impossible, as she's seduced by a remarkable variety of men in her journeys, including a booze-addled poet (Richard Burton), a mystical guru who lives on a truck (Marlon Brando), a gardener from Mexico (Ringo Starr), a fanatical military man who refuses to leave his plane (Walter Matthau), a pair of uncomfortably high-strung doctors (John Huston and James Coburn) and even her own uncle (Astin, again). The Byrds and Steppenwolf contributed songs to the soundtrack; the screenplay was written by Buck Henry.


Ewa Aulin
as Candy Christian
Richard Burton
as MacPhisto
James Coburn
as Dr. A.B. Krankheit
John Huston
as Dr. Dunlap
Walter Matthau
as Gen. Smight
Ringo Starr
as Emmanuel
John Astin
as Daddy, Uncle Jack
Anita Pallenberg
as Nurse Bullock
Marilu Tolo
as Conchita
Fabian Dean
as Segeant
Enrico Maria Salerno
as Jonathan J. John
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Critic Reviews for Candy

All Critics (5) | Top Critics (1)

A solid four stars worth of magnficent disaster.

Full Review… | May 28, 2008
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Great curio value because it is so patently a product of its time

January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews for Candy


"In my country we have a saying, a centipede has a thousand feet but cannot tap dance." "I don't understand the connection." "I guess something got lost in the translation." The mid/late '60s was a great era for mind-bogglingly whacked-out cast lists with equally diverse results, from Casino Royale (abysmal) to It's A Mad Mad Mad Mad World (hysterical), to The Magic Christian whose zaniness Candy most closely resembles. Check it out: Richard Burton, Walter Matthau, Ringo The Beatles Are Still Together Freaking Starr, John Huston, Addams Family's John Astin (in a dual role), boxing legend Sugar Ray Robinson, James Coburn, and the Method Man himself Marlon Brando! Throw in music from the Byrds and a Buck Henry screenplay of one of the decade's most scandalous books co-written by Terry Southern and you've got a cult curiosity that just screams "Watch Me!" Does it measure up? My rating should tell you "yes and no." The episodic format of Candy, played with doe-eyed innocent perfection by newcomer Ewa Aulin, bouncing from one lusty sexual predator to another like an Alice in Molesterland is completely loose-limbed. There's no story development, just some outrageous situations which sometimes produce laughs, and surprisingly little visible nudity for a movie the New York Daily News called "the ultimate dirty movie." The only social commentary I can see is that men in what are considered lofty, respected, or trusted fields - a poet, a surgeon, a military C.O., a hospital administrator, an uncle, a guru - are just as base and lascivious as anyone else. Matthau is a riot as the leader of a paratroop commando unit that has been in constant airborne mobilization for six years, and Enrico Salerno has a great bit as an experimental filmmaker. "Did you see my last project? It was called 'Gumbo.' Soup, nothing but soup!" Richard Burton has a lot of fun as the lecherous poet MacPhisto whose every utterance is dramatic, and with long hair and billowy clothes constantly being blown by unseen fans. But if there's one "must-see" performance, it's Brando in fall-down funny hijinks as the guru/charlatan. His 15-20 minute see-it-to-believe-it contribution makes this up-and-down (or should I say in-and-out) mishmash worthwhile by himself.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

The only place to begin this review is by sayin that in the first 30-minutes, Ringo Starr, playing a Mexican gardner, kind-of rapes the title character. Next to him, at the time, Richard Burton is raping a plastic mannequin and Sugar Ray Robinson is mixing drinks. I'm not kidding. Apparently intended to be some spoof of pornography written by Buck Henry, Candy is the object of desire of everyone she comes into contact with. As she goes forward through her journey, she meets lots of different people who also pretty much try to rape her. She's very nice about it. But the guys are clearly just kind of jumping on top of her. The she's led into the back of a moving semi, where Marlon Brando, playing an Indian yogi, actually gets down with her in way she comfortable with. They travel through deserts and snowy mountains, screwing in various positions. It made absolutely no sense to me. In the end, nothing is learned or gained except that Ewa Aulin was a stunning Swedish flower who needed to be in a better movie.

Nik Browning
Nik Browning

Ah yes, another B-movie that somehow roped Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, and Ringo Starr into it's twister of catastrophe. I'm not saying that Candy is the worst B-movie ever made, but it's certainly a weird and not exactly good film. Candy focuses on the main character Candy Christian (played by Ewa Aulin), who apparently comes from outer space, and lives among the humans. She constantly gets into sexual mishaps with the strangest of characters who are all attracted to Candy, including a popular poet Maphisto (Richard Burton), the household gardener Emmanuel (Ringo Starr), and several other eccentric characters. This film made absolutely no sense. First of all, if Candy is from outer space, why does her father live on Earth? It's clear that this was made in the late 1960's, as most of the film is completely random and feels like it was written in a drug-induced haze, which it probably was. That's also some of the fun of the film. Most of the actors were probably on drugs during filming, so most of their reactions to the dangers in the film are just hilarious, such as: "Hey, there's a gang of biker chicks following us!" "What could they want?" "Perhaps they want to talk to us?" I mean really, what person thinks like that? The acting as you could guess, is pretty poor, but probably because the actors know what this film is. I think I was most surprised by the amount of big name stars in this film. I mean, this has Richard Burton, Marlon Brando, Ringo Starr, and more. How did they get so many of these stars? I'm guessing their budget was pretty high, or they got these celebrities to exploit their popularity so they can get higher ticket sales. This film, along with Yellow Submarine, is often chosen as the films that sum up an era. And I'll agree, it shows, with all the psychedilic imagery that the sixties encompassed. Really, Candy is pure camp. It makes no sense, but some of the subtleties is what makes it kind of fun to watch. I'll say this though, there are too many friggin sex scenes! They aren't even good sex scenes, they are painful to watch! If you decide to watch Candy, don't watch it with high expectations. Just expect a stupid, nonsensical, yet strangely entertaining time. (Real rating: 69%)

Catherine Sumida
Catherine Sumida

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