Sunday, April 05, 2009

4/3/09: Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment (1966)

If nothing else, Morgan is probably the most original movie I've seen all year. David Warner plays Morgan, a gorilla-obsessed artist whose offbeat shenanigans have led his more upscale wife Leoni (Vanessa Redgrave) to divorce him and take up with a man in her own social class. (How interesting to see Vanessa in a movie one day after enjoying her sister Lynn Redgrave in Georgy Girl, made the same year.)

Most of the film concerns looney-bird Morgan's attempts to win back his wife's affections by staging antics that are at best irritating and at worst profane and illegal. Part of the fun is guessing which of these unsuccessful attempts will put a chivalrous grin on Leoni's face—she doesn't even protest much when being kidnapped. The film is full of surreal editing gimmicks, like freeze-frames and sped-up motion (reminiscent of TV's Benny Hill) during some of the slapstick moments. But the real draw here is David Warner's lunatic turn as anarchist Morgan, who often put me in the mind of Peter O'Toole. Rating: 4/5.

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