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Errol Morris (2010)



Our Score
Following two films about US foreign policy and militarism (The Fog of War, Standard Operating Procedure), acclaimed documentary maker Errol Morris returns to his favourite "stranger than fiction" territory with this playful yet poignant portrait of romantic obsessive Joyce McKinney. An American former beauty queen, McKinney became a 1970s UK tabloid sensation after allegedly kidnapping, imprisoning and indecently assaulting her estranged Mormon boyfriend. This is a juicy though superficial movie, as interviews with the bubbly, now 60-something McKinney and other key figures quirkily combine with animation, stock footage and archival clips to detail the totally bonkers story behind the salacious headlines. Candid revelations about magic underwear, S&M, and even dog cloning, keep you intrigued, although Morris borders on the exploitative by compounding the absurdity of events by using titillating phrases flashed up on-screen like newspaper pull-quotes. The end result is concerned with the subjective nature of truth, rather than actual facts, but its overall effectiveness is weakened as Morris neither challenges statements nor looks at their wider significance.


Premiere. Errol Morris' documentary about former US beauty queen Joyce McKinney, who hit the headlines in 1977 for a strange kidnapping case. When her Mormon boyfriend was sent to England to act as a missionary, she abducted him and kept him chained up in a remote cabin, where she tried to seduce him into giving up his religion. Featuring interviews with McKinney and the journalists who covered the story. Previously shown on BBC4.

Cast & Crew

Director Errol Morris

Other Information

Language: English Colour and Black and White Theatrical distributor: Dogwoof Available on: Available on DVD Released on: 11 Nov 2011


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