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Films: C is for...

Candy

Oh dear, Richard Burton. And Marlon Brando, and Walter Matthau, and Charles Aznavour, and James Coburn… Most all the big names involved in this ludicrous adaptation of Terry Southern’s highly suspect ‘dumb blonde gets felt up by assortment of ugly nutballs in the name of countercultural satire’ could be said to be losing it with this one. Burton, as comedy Byronic poet with permanently windswept hair (even indoors) called MacPhisto (well, Bono’s clearly seen this film, then), takes the piss out of his famous gravelly voice with a silly mock lecture, gets driven about by Sugar Ray Robinson, and ends up shagging a life-size toy doll. Walter Matthau is a stock ‘crazed general’ flying about in a special plane and suffering from premature ejaculation. James Coburn is a bearded surgeon conducting a triumphantly bloody operation. Ringo Starr plays a revolutionary Mexican gardner who shags the ‘heroine’ over a pool table. Charles Aznavour plays a demented acrobatic hunchback who shags the ‘heroine’ over a knackered piano. ‘Best’ of all, Marlon Brando plays a levitating Indian guru. No-one, as you may have guessed, is coming out of this looking very good, except perhaps the cast and crew of the other Southern film adaptation The Magic Christian, which is a masterpiece of coherent narrative and razor-sharp satire by comparison.

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  1. Matt Patton

    July 24, 2010 at 1:55 am

    Actually, CANDY, like THE MAGIC CHRISTIAN, was a collaboration between Terry Southern and a spaced-out poet named Mason Hoffenberg. They were the only pieces of semi-worthwhile literature that Southern produced. Sort of. Nothing he wrote without Hoffenberg (including the script fort his film and BARBARELLA) was much good. And there was only so much that Buck Henry could do with this mess.

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