August 29, 2009

"He liked actors. I didn't know then, of course, that he was a celibate homosexual."

"If he cast you as the lead in a movie, it's probably because he fell in love with you. I didn't understand any of this. I just thought he liked me because I was very talented. It was that too, but it was much more complex. He fell in love with people who were unavailable."

So says Malcolm McDowell about Lindsay Anderson, whom he contrasts to Stanley Kubrick: "Stanley was sort of anti-actor and anti-drama. He didn't know what the hell you were talking about if you wanted to actually analyze the scene... Then I realized that it was an enormous gift because he was saying to me, 'You can do it. Create it. Find it.' That was really fabulous, and I really went for it."

Everyone remembers Kubrick. Do you still think about Lindsay Anderson? I remember when everyone was talking about "O Lucky Man." Here's the scene — with McDowell — that freaked us out something awful:


EDH said...

Everyone remembers Kubrick. Do you still think about Lindsay Anderson?

Never heard of him or the movie, O Lucky Man.

But evidently, the Seinfeld writers did.

Parodic inspiration?

Bissage said...

I freaking adore that movie!

Lindsay Anderson teaches Malcolm McDowell a valuable life lesson at the very end:

“I said smile.”


“Don’t ask why.”

“What’s there to smile about?”



Hey, talk about your tough love!

sierra said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
sierra said...

I remember that movie, and still occasionally use "honey" as a euphemism. I also remember Lindsay Anderson's appearance at the end. If McDowell didn't realize he was gay, he wasn't being observant.

Awesome said...

O I love this movie :) See it if you haven't.

William said...

I saw it in its season and cannot remember a single thing about it. Didn't Anderson also have a film called If that came out about the same time. I have a vague memory that the movie dramatized, i.e. glorified, an alienated student at a posh school who shot the place up. The films of Anderson have followed those of Antonioni, Godard, and most of Truffaut down the memory hole. Fellini, Bergman, and Carol Reed abide.

blake said...


That other movie may have been If.... I remember seeing this bizarre film at a young age (on TV). Managed to be both strange and sort of boring, or so it seemed at the time.

Doesn't it end (a la Grapes of Wrath) with MM nursing on some youngish woman?

Bissage said...

I don’t remember “if . . .” at all except for the rooftop climax and I was in my early twenties when I saw it. Yikes!

But in “O Lucky Man!” there is a scene where a starving MM comes across a big pile of food set up around a church altar and he tucks right in. He’s caught in the act of stealing by a matronly woman who chides him with something like “This food belongs to God.”

Then she takes pity on him and says something like “But you’re just a child” and she pops out a boob and begins suckling him right there on the church floor.

Maybe that’s what you’re thinking of, blake. Maybe not.

Skeptical said...

I don't know how anyone can look at McDowell and not see Alex in A Clockwork Orange.

PatCA said...

Wow, that is a freaky scene. For some reason, heartbreaking.

Maybe I need to order it from Netflix.