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O Lucky Man! (Two-Disc Special Edition) (2007)

Malcolm McDowell , Lindsay Anderson  |  R |  DVD
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)

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O Lucky Man! (Two-Disc Special Edition) + If... (The Criterion Collection) + A Clockwork Orange
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Product Details

  • Actors: Malcolm McDowell
  • Directors: Lindsay Anderson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC, Special Edition, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 1.0), English (Mono)
  • Subtitles: English, French
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • DVD Release Date: October 23, 2007
  • Run Time: 178 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (85 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000UJ48VS
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #46,148 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "O Lucky Man! (Two-Disc Special Edition)" on IMDb

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

This sprawling, surrealist musical serves as an allegory for the pitfalls of capitalism, as it follows the adventures of a young coffee salesman in Europe. Many actors play multiple roles, giving the film a stagy tone. Malcolm McDowell, Ralph Richardson,

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
137 of 140 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
One of the most brilliant motion pictures ever made, and a strong contender for the best British film of all time. "O' Lucky Man" originated in an idea from Malcolm McDowell about a coffee salesman traveling throughout England. McDowell and director Lindsay Anderson, who collaborated on "If" (winner of the 1969 Palme D'Or at Cannes) resurrected the character of Mick Travis (McDowell) for an epic-length feature in 1973. After several failed attempts by McDowell to write a script, David Sherwin ("If...") penned the screenplay.
"O' Lucky Man's" greatest strength is its incredible scope: in merely three hours, the film provides a nihilistic and a-humanist answer for the meaning of life... a remarkable accomplishment for a single feature film. As salesman Travis journeys across the United Kingdom and attempts to sell coffee in England and Scotland, he has a series of loosely-connected experiences with a series of individuals, played by eleven actors in multiple roles, who represent fundamental literary archetypes. The situations Travis encounters run the gamut of human experience, from titillating and humorous to wildly surreal to sublime and poetic -- yet all revolve around the picture's central theme: that true success in life depends exclusively on luck and chance, instead of ethics or morality. Sherwin and Anderson handle the story's constant shifts in mood with finesse and ease, and during the picture's three-hour running time, every scene (without exception) packs a huge punch. Thematically, "O' Lucky Man" draws from classic allegories, notably "Candide.
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38 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Brilliant Cosmic Allegory August 18, 2005
Format:VHS Tape
I really love this movie, but only view it every few years, like a fine wine that is savored on special occasions. Every viewing evokes in me a sublime and bittersweet floodgate of angst and nostalgia that only someone who was young in the late 60s and early 70s could understand.

Other reviews have detailed the plot and themes in this sprawling, surrealistic allegory, so I'll just comment on a few themes and symbols not mentioned previously. The apple that is given to Mick seems to symbolize the Biblical "fruit of the tree of knowledge", which is used in the movie to great effect when he arrives at the medical center where gruesome genetic experiments are being conducted. Also, the genetic experiments seem to evoke Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, in which a compliant population is genetically engineered to love it's servitude. The shocking scene with a genetic "freak" shows a man's head on a sheep's body. The sheep is symbolic of one who unquestioningly follows authority and conforms to society.

I disagree with the reviewer who interprets the ending scene as Mick being "literally beaten into smiling". I beleive this is a reference to the Zen Buddhist practice in which a Zen master, suddenly and without warning, strikes a student with a rod to shock him out of illusory delusion, and into sudden enlightenment. The scene in which Mick is approaching the military base has him listening to a radio lecture on Zen, which would support this interpretation. The fact that Lindsey Anderson "awakens" Mick by striking him on the face with the very script of the movie itself, adds a cosmic "mobius strip" ending to the movie, and enlightens Mick into understanding that his true self is not to be confused with any of the roles he has played in the story, good or bad! A brilliant allegory about life!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars lucky to say the least May 1, 2004
Format:VHS Tape
I recently watched O Lucky Man again with a friend who was watching it for the first time, and I became accutely aware of the feelings I had when I first watched it. It was an exhilarating and inspirational experience. I envied my friend for a moment and then I got back to the picture...and I realized how much better this movie gets after repeated viewings. Wow!
But as so many have said here in these reviews, a DVD release (Criterion are YOU listening??) packed with extras is sooooo overdue. I've only ever seen this film on vhs and I'm salivating at the thought of seeing it on DVD...
It'll be like watching it for the first time...
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply THE BEST October 7, 2005
Verified Purchase
No synopsis can adequately describe this movie. On the surface

it is modern take on Voltaire's Candide but with ten times the

dark humour, bitter social satire and cynicism. I have seen that

movie when I was 16 and no other movie ever had equal effect on

me. It was liberating - like reading "Breakfast of Champions" or

"Slaughterhouse Five" for the first time.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful reissue at long last! July 13, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
Like many other folks, I was profoundly moved by the film and music of O Lucky Man. Years later, when my wife finally saw the film I had talked about for so long, she offered the opinion that it was a little boys adolescent fantasy, and in retrospect, I think there is some truth in that.
I still think of it as an amazing bit of work, and was lucky enough to attend a seminar on it in Los Angeles, hosted by Lindsay Anderson and Malcom McDowell, in which we learned among other things that the song "My Home Town" had a sequence of someone attempting suicide, which Travis tries to stop by climbing a rain gutter and effect a rescue, only to have it tear away from the building at the last moment. Anderson discovered that even the original negative of the scene had been destroyed by Warners, who felt that film was too long, and ordered the cut. Anderson joked about the impact of a 3 minute scene on a movie that was already running at a "leisurely pace" and found a first generation print of the scene under his bed. That night was to be the first time the film was to be screened as it was intended. This was not to be, and although he hand carried a print of the scene to be spliced into the film for the night, somehow, it still never happened! Which led to a very funny, and pissed off director howling at Hollywood for it's classic ineptitude. I'm waiting for my VHS copy to arrive to see if the video release has the footage restored. I'm recalling this from memory, about 15 years ago.. so I hope I haven't made too serious a mistake here.
The music however is another matter. The integration of the Alan Price and his band into the film, the strength of the songwriting, made it one of my favorite albums.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Ahead of it's time
Ambitious morality play (movie) with musical interludes by Alan Price as directed by Lindsay Anderson. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Stewart Grant
5.0 out of 5 stars o lucky man!
40-year-old alan price soundtrack still sounds contemporary and serves well as a greek chorus. multiple roles are fun. movie is amazingly relevant after all these years.
Published 3 months ago by james ferguson
4.0 out of 5 stars Good movie, but it sure is no "if...."
My first exposure (like many others) to Malcolm McDowell was A Clockwork Orange. I became quite enamoured of his acting and eagerly sought out his other works. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Ed
4.0 out of 5 stars A good film that is showing its age.
Finally got around to seeing this film after a few decades. The music from the film has held up extremely well but the whole film seems a bit dated. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Tony C.
5.0 out of 5 stars A very special kind of fantasy, from the great Lindsay Anderson...
Sad to report that the cinema styling of Lindsay Anderson is now almost gone from the world of film enthusiasm. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Leslie Karen Rigsbey
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
I have always found it to be engaging. Fine, Fine music. Fun satire. A classic in every sense. See it.
Published 4 months ago by Rich McDonough
5.0 out of 5 stars great must see movie
I saw O Lucky Man about 28 years ago after my sister couldn't stop talking about it. it was one of th first things we ever both liked. poor Mick, he starts off so positive. Read more
Published 5 months ago by cathy halfin
3.0 out of 5 stars Then vs Now
Absolutely loved this one in the '70s, but, on second look years later, age has taken its toll on the lot of us, perhaps.
Published 5 months ago by Dave Scheinman
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Film
I give the DVD only 4 stars, because the film is split between two discs! WTF? Still, it's well worth buying.
Published 6 months ago by KenB
3.0 out of 5 stars Between Despair and Precarious Hope............
Having seen this movie last night, I decided to wait 24 hours for a "full" comprehension of this FLAWED product......... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Raymond Louis Llompart
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Split Across Two Discs
I've never had a problem with the film being split as long as it comes at one of the built in chapters...I'm guessing it's at the point where Mick wakes up at the "studio" of Alan Price's band, as it was on the laser disc and vhs....makes a great break for a pee or a snack. Have you... Read More
Oct 22, 2007 by J. A. Goodman |  See all 4 posts
Why isn't this out on DVD yet?
This is one of Helen Mirren's early films, and she is splendid in it. You would hope that a distributor would notice that and use it to promote a DVD release.
Sep 4, 2006 by Nicolas S. Martin |  See all 3 posts
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