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Petulia [DVD] [1968]


Price: £8.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Petulia [DVD] [1968] + Darling [DVD] [1965]
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Product details

  • Actors: George C. Scott, Julie Christie, Richard Chamberlain, Arthur Hill, Shirley Knight
  • Directors: Richard Lester
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Digital Classics DVD
  • DVD Release Date: 27 April 2009
  • Run Time: 100 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001THPPD0
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 62,893 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Set during the swinging sixties in San Francisco, Richard Lester's landmark romantic drama tells of the charmingly kooky socialite Petulia (Julie Christie), who has been recently married to David (Richard Chamberlain). Unhappy with her marriage, she embarks on a love affair with a melancholy recently-divorced doctor (George C. Scott) as they try to make sense of their dispassionate lives.

Through Nicolas Roeg's cinematography, the non-linear, fragmented love story loops back and forth and the dark reality emerges from the idyllic façade of sixties opulence. As the story of Petulia's abuse at the hands of her husband unfolds, the lovers try to find the courage to change the course of their lives in the face of their respective demons.

'It's a very real film about two people trying to get through to each other' - director Richard Lester (A Hard Day's Night).

DVD Extras
  • Featurette The Uncommon Making of Petulia
  • Theatrical Trailer

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 22 Aug 2006
Format: DVD
The beautiful Julie Christie - there has never been another screen actress, before or after who has her radiant appeal. She made Petulia - a strange, hyperbolic and surreal sort of film - in 1968 at the height of her stardom. She'd just won the Best Actress Oscar for Darling a few years previously and was now considered one of the icons of the swinging sixties, which made the decision to have her star in this film all the more appropriate.

Now out on DVD, Petulia is just as bizarre, frustrating - and even as irritating - as it was thirty years ago, but the film is worth revisiting, mainly for performances by Christie, Scott and Chamberlain and also for the colourful images of San Francisco during the late 1960s. Directed by Richard Lester, with Nicolas Roeg as cinematographer - who gives the film an artier look than it really deserves - Petulia skewers time like a knife.

The film utilizes fast forward and backward cuts, which at the time seemed avant-garde and unconventional, but today it comes across as sort of exasperating. It begins when Petulia, a rich, married, kooky waif, played by Julie Christie, propositions Archie, a tired divorced surgeon, played by George C. Scott, at a San Francisco charity ball. She tells him that she has a husband, but that she desperately wants to have an affair with a married man.

Obviously a little odd, Petulia manages to capture Archie's heart and arrives with a tuba and bruises at Scott's apartment quite early one morning. He's a little hesitant to get involved with her as he still has feelings for his wife Polo (Shirley Knight). Archie's friends, Barney and Wilma (Arthur Hill and Kathleen Widdoes), understanding nothing, show him films of himself and his former wife, in hopes of reconciliation.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By gustavus on 25 Oct 2012
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Richard Lester was one of the most interesting directors to emerge in the 1960s - no small claim - and "Petulia" is still his best film. At the time, it seemed quite a leap forward for Lester, who was simply thought of as a director of comedies and musicals. A tragic story was not what we were expecting from him after such movies as "The Knack", "A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum" and those two Beatles movies, even though the savagery and sophistication of "How I Won The War" (a very unpopular film) in 1967 had indicated that there was a lot more to Lester than a genius for quick jokes and innovative editing. "Petulia" is the most disciplined and far-reaching of all Lester's films - it cuts very deep, and it still seems to be about the problems that most people have with their lives. 1968 was the year of such great movies as "2001 - A Space Odyssey", "Playtime" and "Hour Of The Wolf", but I rather think "Petulia" might be the best of the lot.
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By Mr C J Shaw on 13 Dec 2014
Format: DVD
A film I missed in the 60's but probably would not have 'got' if I had seen it in 1968. Under its 'Kooky' surface is a real horror film. It just goes to prove how male-orientated and sexist the 'swinging sixties' really were. Julie Christie was arguably the most beautiful screen actress of her time and to see her in such a role is truly shocking - as it was to see Richard Chamberlain acting against type. An amazing film!
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Curious and quirky cult gem that could only have been made in the 60s as they really don;t make them like this any more. Sharply observed, deftly directed and beautifully played, this is highly recommended for fans of offbeat cinema.
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