Petulia (1968)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

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Movie Info

Petulia is Richard Lester's ode to the Swinging Sixties: a time of psychedelic instability when neither those who were square, nor those who were hip, really had it right. George C. Scott is Archie Bollen, a divorced San Francisco doctor in the midst of "discovering himself." Julie Christie is Petulia Danner, a peculiar young beauty recently married into an established family. Archie's sterile apartment and detached, bemused manner exemplify his inability to emote. Petulia's forward nature and desperate tenderness betray her fear of her sullen, abusive, pretty-boy husband (Richard Chamberlain). The physician and the newlywed embark on a schizophrenic love affair amid Pepsi references, automated motels, roller derbies, and a cameo by Big Brother and the Holding Company -- but they never achieve the daring to truly change their lives.
Rating:
R
Genre:
Classics , Drama , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
 wide
On DVD:
Runtime:
Studio:
Warner Home Video

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Cast

George C. Scott
as Dr. Archie Bollen
Arthur Hill
as Barney
Joseph Cotten
as Mr. Danner
Julie Christie
as Petulia Danner
Richard Chamberlain
as David Danner
Rene Auberjonois
as Salesman
Richard Dysart
as Motel Receptionist
Lou Gilbert
as Mr. Howard
Roger Bowen
as Warren
Barbara Colby
as Patient
Peter Albin
as Band Member
DeAnn Mears
as Nurse
Eric Weiss
as Michael
Nate Esformes
as Mr. Mendoza
Maria Val
as Mrs. Mendoza
Kevin Cooper
as Stevie
Vincent Arias
as Oliver
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Critic Reviews for Petulia

All Critics (11) | Top Critics (2)

...an anti-The Graduate ... an essential film from and about America in the dying days of the '60s, yet the modernism of its style and ambitions makes Petulia impressively ahead of that time.

Full Review… | January 25, 2008
Film.com
Top Critic

Jack-rabbiting technique embodies foreboding and dissonance rather than gimmicky whimsy

Full Review… | March 15, 2010
CinePassion

Innovative in narrative and style, Lester's dissection of mores and manners through marriages and affairs captures vividly the zeitgeist of the Summer of Love and the violent Vietnam War with brilliant turns from Julie Christie and George C. Scott.

Full Review… | July 14, 2008
EmanuelLevy.Com

Julie Christie in her Oscar role + Richard Lester direction. Enough said.

March 8, 2008
Video-Reviewmaster.com

Petulia lives on with its vague curiosity and a genuine emotional sting.

Full Review… | August 18, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Curious one-shot US film in the midst of Lester's British period

November 5, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Audience Reviews for Petulia

Richard Lester's Petulia is a layered and mature work, but its opaqueness and cold demeanor make it difficult to enjoy.

Garrett Cash
Garrett Cash

I don't remember this movie well, but I can tell you that the summary on here is totally wrong. Look it up on imdb, that's the real summary. Anyway, this is another one of those love and divorce and affair related movies. Pretty average, from what I remember.

Aj V
Aj V

Super Reviewer

½

Sometimes you really don't know what to say about a movie other than "that was one of the goofiest exercises in cinema I have seen in a long time." The main story is constantly intercut with short clips of future, past, or random events, incongruous moments and locales pop up just to make you scratch your head, all the while involving you in a melodramatic-romantic-comedic-mystery! Reminiscent of Bunuel infused with a swinging '60s sensibility, would not be out of place as an aperitif during a David Lynch film festival either. Throw in some fantastic masterful camerawork by Nicolas Roeg and you've got an experience you won't soon forget, or sort out.

Doctor Strangeblog
Doctor Strangeblog

Super Reviewer

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