Ref NoLA/1/07
TitleO Lucky Man!
DescriptionAnderson followed the success of If… by re-uniting with the team of writer David Sherwin, actor Malcolm McDowell and cameraman Miroslav Ondricek. O Lucky Man! developed out of a rough script written by McDowell entitled 'Coffee Man' based on his experiences as a trainee coffee salesman. From this initial idea Anderson, McDowell and Sherwin fashioned an epic film about Britain, what Gavin Lambert described as 'the ultimate road movie'. O Lucky Man! follows the picaresque adventures of Mick Travis (McDowell), the namesake of the rebellious schoolboy in If… Travis begins the film as a travelling coffee salesman embarking on a journey during which he encounters a myriad of characters including mad scientists, shadowy bureaucrats, big businessmen, the Salvation Army and violent tramps. The film tackles a range of subjects including medical experimentation, local corruption, the ethics of big business and urban poverty. The film stars many of Anderson's unofficial 'company' of actors who worked with him on stage and screen including Rachel Roberts, Ralph Richardson, Arthur Lowe, Graham Crowden, Bill Owen and Mona Washbourne. The film is unconventional and experimental in tone and style with many of the actors playing dual or triple roles in the film. The film also features Alan Price and his band who provide a Greek chorus of sorts with their musical interludes. Anderson himself appears in the film on a number of occasions, most notably in the final scene of where, at an audition for roles in the film, he strikes Mick Travis across the face with a copy of the script. Filming took place in the spring and summer of 1972 in a variety of locations across England and Scotland. The film was Britain's official entry at the Cannes Film Festival in 1973 where, despite gaining many favourable reviews, it failed to win any awards. It was well received in the US but was greeted with mixed reviews in the UK. The film originally had a lengthy running time of 186 minutes but at the insistence of Warner Bros a number of scenes were trimmed from the American release which ran at 166 minutes. Anderson later fought to have the missing scenes reinstated in prints of the film. Material relating to the film includes various drafts of the script and diary account by David Sherwin of writing of script; production material; correspondence with Warner Bros re film (including problems with script and later reinstatement of cut scenes); an extensive photographic record of the making of the film; promotional material including US and Polish cinema posters; cuttings from UK, US, European and Japanese press; audio-tape of songs from film
Date1971 - 1987
Extent6 boxes
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