O Lucky Man!

Screening on Film
Directed by Lindsay Anderson.
With Malcolm McDowell, Ralph Richardson, Helen Mirren.
UK, 1973, 35mm, color, 174 min.
Print source: HFA

In this modern Candide, actor Malcolm McDowell (reprising the name if not the character of the hero of Anderson’s If . . .) portrays a young man in search of fame and the better things in life. O Lucky Man! was developed from an original treatment by McDowell, based on his experiences as a coffee salesman before he became an actor. Buoyed by optimism in a sea of sham and corruption, McDowell’s salesman pushes his way to the top, only to fall and rise and fall yet again. The film is a brilliant allegorical version of a neo-fascist, modern England, where individuals, institutions, businesses, and governments are rife with corruption. Underlining and counterpointing the action of the film is a wonderful score by Alan Price.

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Treasures from the Harvard Film Archive: N–R