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Privilege

  • Comedy
  • Drama
  • 1967
  • Peter Watkins
  • 98 mins
  • PG

Summary

Steven Shorter is the ultimate British music star. His music is listened to by everyone from pre-teens to grandparents. He has no trace of public bad habits or drug involvement. Everyone in Britain loves him. His handlers begin to use his popularity for projects like increasing the consumption of apples after a bumper crop as an aid to farmers. The handlers decide that Steven should support God and Country next. This leads to, among other things, a rock version of "Onward Christian Soldiers," and the inclusion of a Nazi salute to make it clear (to the viewer) how far the British population will be taken for love of God and Country under Steven's guidance. Steven is very plastic in his direction, shifting as his handlers point him toward new projects until he meets Vanessa Ritchie, an artist who makes him look at what's happening.

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Review

A star rating of 2 out of 5.

Director Peter Watkins made the chilling atomic warning, The War Game, which was banned by the BBC, and a brillliant documentary-style account of the Scottish battle of Culloden. In this uneven satire, real-life pop star Paul Jones is the rock idol who finds himself manipulated by the Church and the State, who seek to contain the violent instincts of his fans. This entails a change of image that transforms him into a religious leader. It's filled with confidence, but little conviction. Jean Shrimpton, one of the fashion icons of the time, is the singer's girlfriend - unfortunately her acting talent doesn't match her looks. Johnny Speight, creator of TV's Alf Garnett, wrote the story.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Steve ShorterPaul Jones
Vanessa RitchieJean Shrimpton
Alvin KirschMark London
Julie JordanMax Bacon
Martin CrossleyJeremy Child
Andrew ButlerWilliam Job

Crew

rolename
DirectorPeter Watkins
DirectorDerek Ware

Details

Theatrical distributor
Rank Film Dists Ltd
Released on
1967-02-28
Languages
English
Available on
DVD and Blu-ray
Formats
Colour
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