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O Lucky Man! 1972 *****

Lindsay Anderson’s 1972 magnum opus takes Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) on an epic journey through the social strata of 70’s Britain. Starting out as a salesman, Travis becomes involved with pop music via Alan Price, Love with Helen Mirren, suicide, big business, international intrigue and some extremely strange scientific experiments. The recurring characters he meets are played by a stock company of actors including Arthur Lowe, Sir Ralph Richardson, Graham Crowden and Rachel Roberts, allowing Anderson to draw up a fierce polemic about the capitalist system and the struggle the individual faces to live within it. McDowell is excellent as Travis, Price’s songs are wonderfully expressive, and O Lucky Man!’s string of excellent, involving scenes from David Sherwin’s script add up to 184 minutes of ambitious, striking slice of British cinema at its most idiosyncratic.

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