Friday, April 14, 2017

Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? (1969)

Universal Pictures
Directed by Anthony Newley
My rating: 2.5 stars out of 4
IMDb Wikipedia

A middle aged popular singer recalls his life from a beach with his mother and two young children. He shows them a series of short films, beginning with his early childhood when he learns to love the stage from "Uncle Limelight". By early adulthood, he has become an idol and indulges in endless sexual encounters with his adoring fans. One of them gets pregnant and he marries her, but his affairs continue. He becomes enamored with young nymphet Mercy Humppe, threatening to end his marriage. Anthony Newley's first directorial effort is indulgent to say the least. He attempts to mimic Fellini's autobiographical style but is only partially successful, the end result more pretentious than Fellini's fine-tuned self mockery. The songs, though, are good, and the set design impressive.  Milton Berle plays "Goodtime Eddie Filth" constantly tempting him with sex and George Jessel is "The Presence", a wisecracking angel of death.

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