Candy (1968)

CANDY (1968)
Article 2945 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 5-31-2009
Posting Date: 9-6-2009
Directed by Christian Marquand
Featuring Ewa Aulin, John Astin, Marlon Brando
Country: France / Italy / USA

Candy, who may or may not be an alien from outer space, finds herself assaulted and ravished by various individuals.

This movie was based on a novel cowritten by Terry Southern, the man who gave us the screenplays for BARBARELLA and DR. STRANGELOVE. It was a satirical novel modeled off of Voltaire’s “Candide”. I’ve not read the Southern novel, so I can’t compare this movie with it. I will say this, though; this is one of those movies that really tries to blow your mind… and fails. One problem is that it’s all just too obvious; if there’s a running theme in this one, it’s just that everyone wants to seduce the title character, and that’s hardly enough to make a two-hour-plus movie intriguing. It’s biggest problem, though, is that it slathers all of its elements on so shamelessly (cast of big-name stars, psychedelic visuals, surreal weirdness, jerky hand-held-camera-style cinematography, jagged editing) that it constantly crumbles under the weight of its own excesses. If I were to describe this movie in one sentence, I would say that it’s the IT’A A MAD, MAD, MAD, MAD WORLD of psychedelic art movies, and that’s no compliment. For me, the big question was this – which of the big name actors embarrassed themselves the worst here? I’d opt for Richard Burton myself, with John Huston and Walter Matthau coming across the best, and Marlon Brando giving a performance so weird as to be undefinable. Quite frankly, this movie made me appreciate the restraint and subtlety of BARBARELLA.

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1 Comment

  1. I thought John Astin came off best in dual roles as both Candy’s father and uncle, the latter with my favorite line after the girl was deflowered by Ringo Starr’s Mexican gardener: “there’s no sense in crying just because one slice has been cut off the old loaf!”

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