• Errol Morris (2010)
  • US
  • 87 min
Film Review
Reviewed By
3 out of 5

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.

Plot Summary

Documentary from award-winning director Errol Morris, charting the stranger-than-fiction story of former US beauty queen Joyce McKinney, whose pursuit of her estranged Mormon lover to the UK in the late 1970s led to a number of lurid newspaper stories.

Cast and crew


Errol Morris

Other Information

Colour and Black and White
Theatrical distributor: 
Available on DVD
Released 11 Nov 2011
Certificate E