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The Party’s Over (1965)

The Party's Over poster.jpg

In the week that has seen the loss of fabulously stylish British director Guy Hamilton, it is interesting to look at a curio in his body of work. However it was so heavily censored that Hamilton got his name removed from the credits. This originated with a screenplay by Marc Behm (Charade, Help!) and is an attempt to understand the sordid backdrop to what became known as the Swinging era in London. The thing is – it was filmed in 1963 so necessarily pre-dates that year (65-66) and in ways was already outdated by the time of its release in a seriously modified version. An American girl Melina (Louise Sorel) in London gets involved with what might be called beatniks dedicated to partying and prone to a spot of necrophilia. The most engaging of these characters, Moise, is played by Oliver Reed. When the girl disappears her fiance Carson sends for her father (Eddie Albert) who is distraught when they discover her at a morgue: and there’s one good shot here, a POV from the body drawer… Apparently there were two major narrative changes, including the addition of Reed’s voice-over and a happy-ish ending between Melina’s friend Nina and her fiance. The music was by John Barry but one can only ponder at what might have been. This is certainly not how Hamilton would want to be remembered and since Swinging London was really only 200 socialites, actors and musicians having sex with each other perhaps it’s best forgotten.

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About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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