A Private War
Crazy Rich Asians
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All Critics (16)
| Top Critics (5)
| Fresh (11)
| Rotten (5)
| DVD (1)
Director Reisz sustains the free-flowing tone with cinematic stunt work.
Instead of providing the subtle, gradually disintegrating character of Morgan, Reisz dwells on the comedic aspects of each prank, cunningly milked for maximum yaks, in the process ceding any hope of the observer taking Morgan seriously.
Morgan sticks in the memory as a collection of funny moments, with the fatal habit (shared by If..., among others) of confronting issues, then farting around when the going gets rough.
Not since Alec Guinness played Gulley Jimson in The Horse's Mouth and vitalized that sly bohemian scapegrace with charm and poignancy have we seen an artistic nonconformist as wild as David Warner's Morgan Delt.
The jumpy cutting and mannered visuals date it very badly now, though Vanessa Redgrave (in her movie debut) is high compensation.
Karel Reisz directs with his usual sympathy for character; sadly, it's not quite enough.
The physical creakiness only adds to the sense of mental dilapidation suffered by the anti-hero.
The director's attempt to blend reality and fantasy is sometimes successful, but the humor is strained as a result and doesn't always work.
Poor Morgan, one feels; victim of a satire that doesn't bite, lost in a technical confusion of means and ends, and emerging like an identikit photograph, all bits and pieces and no recognisable face.
A cult fave from the 1960s.
Reisz' black comedy has not aged well, but it's a good capsule of its time, a combo of the angry mood of Look Back in Anger and the anarchic-nihilistic humor of Swinging London, which may explain why it was a campus favorite.
It is a cult favourite from the sixties but I find the humour to be dated with a bit of a superficial feel to the case of the mentally disturbed.
Marvelously twisted, "Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment" is a tale of a boyish eccentric (David Warner) who's oddly consumed with three subjects: his estranged wife Leonie (Oscar-nominated Vanessa Redgrave), jungle beasts and communism. He adds hammer-and-sickle emblems wherever he can, can't help associating random human behavior with similar animal activity and intensely plots to win back Leonie's love. None of these obsessions draw him much favor, however, and his artist's temperament begins to cross the line between whimsy and genuine dementia.
Much of the film's charm derives from the playful chemistry between Morgan and Leonie -- Leonie is resolved to drop him for her own good, but also can't hide her delight at his uninhibited, daredevil mischief. Redgrave perfectly captures these mixed feelings in her first major role, while also managing to be exquisitely sexy. Otherwise, Morgan's courtship hijinks -- typically involving him sabotaging the flat Leonie shares with her uptight new fiance Charles (Robert Stephens) -- are lots of fun. In one of the wildest scenes, Morgan rigs the apartment with loudspeakers to blast music and sound effects as the couple start to make love. "Morgan"'s New Wave affectations and washed-out, black-and-white cinematography are somewhat dated (it looks even older than it is), but this is one of the decade's great cult movies.
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