O Lucky Man! Malcolm McDowell’s “Seinfeld” Connection!!

“O Lucky Man” – A Brilliant Movie’s “Seinfeld” Connection!

o-lucky-man!-poster

First, if you are not aware of this 1973 British film, this post will change all that. “O Lucky Man” is a brilliant, little known masterpiece starring Malcolm McDowell, who also conceived the idea for the film.

Young Malcolm McDowell

The Path From Malcolm To Cosmo!

So how does “O Lucky Man!” end up on “Seinfeld”? Well, it is a journey through the student revolts of the 60’s, the Cannes Film Festival, the brilliant Director Stanley Kubrick – AND Helen Mirren TWICE! – and it ends up on TV as Kramer’s worst nightmare!

seinfeld

Malcolm McDowell is a great character actor, with dozens of movie roles in a career that includes films like “Time After Time” AND “Caligula”, and has lasted more than 40 years…in fact, here is a post I did about his involvement in one of the most notorious movies ever made – CALIGULA:


https://johnrieber.com/2012/10/01/suspiria-caligula-zardoz-wacky-one-word-movie-wonders/

But here is how Malcolm McDowell exploded onto movie screens in the late 60’s!

If... Movie

It All Began With “If…”

“If…” is a searing look at class structure in Great Britian, directed by Lindsay Anderson. “If…” is a prescient look at rebellious youth, and the film was released on the eve of the real student upheavals of the late 60’s…

Malcolm McDowell If

“If…” was McDowell’s film debut. It’s an indictment of the British public school system, as we follow Mick and his friends through a series of indignities at the hands of the British school system. When Mick and his friends rebel – and rebel violently – the catch phrase, “which side will you be on” becomes quite real.

Malcolm McDowell If

“If…” won the Palme d’Or for best film at the Cannes Film Festival during the French student riots of 1969…it was a chaotic time in history, with student protests and riots that spread around the world.

a_clockwork_orange


Stanley Kubrick and “A Clockwork Orange!”

McDowell’s brilliant screen debut in “If…” caught the attention of Director Stanley Kubrick – who had just made “2001: A Space Odyssey.” He was in the process of adapting another novel into a film – the disturbing vision of the future: “A Clockwork Orange”.

a-clockwork-orange

Malcolm McDowell landed the lead role in Kubrick’s controversial masterpiece – at the time, it was nominated for Best Picture, Director and Screenplay.

a clockwork orange

At this point, McDowell was one of the hottest Actors in Hollywood…which led him to his most personal work ever…

o-lucky-man!

O Lucky Man!

After the success of “If….”, Malcolm McDowell suggested to Lindsay Anderson that they should work again. Anderson replied that good scripts don’t grow on trees and that McDowell should consider writing his own if he wanted to give himself a good part. Although the actor was only 30 at the time, he based the film around the concept of his own life story – and then brought it to writer David Sherwin who then crafted the screenplay.

Here’s the terrific trailer for the film:

o-lucky-man!-poster

It’s a modern day retelling of “Candide”, starring Malcolm McDowell as a young coffee salesman looking to conquer a world gone mad. Just as in the film “If…”, McDowell is named Mick. Here the young Mick is being trained in the world of coffee sales by veteran British Actress Rachel Roberts.

O Lucky Man

“O Lucky Man” is a sweeping epic of youthful ambition that runs headfirst into the moral complexities of the real world. McDowell and Director Anderson take us on a three hour trip into the surreal world of capitalism and greed – with some of the most unique images and storytelling techniques ever seen…

Introducing Alan Price!

Here’s an example of an innovative idea in the film: the movie includes Alan Price’s outstanding soundtrack. And I mean INCLUDES IT.

o lucky man alan price

What I love about the film is that you see Price performing much of the music live in the film. And the opening credits are over footage of Price singing the title track in a studio, while the film’s Director Anderson films him. In the photo above, you see the Director on the left in the chair as Price performs to the far right. Here is the song:

O Lucky Man!

Director Lindsay Anderson conceived the role of Alan Price’s music as a kind of Greek Chorus, commenting on the action – an eventually he becomes part of it as well.

o-lucky-man alan price

That’s just one of many unique directing touches on display in the film, which is a look at one man’s quest to succeed – at all costs.

o_lucky_man

Introducing Helen Mirren!

Also, look for Helen Mirren in one of her first roles as well, as the daughter of a wealthy industrialist…

Helen Mirren O Lucky Man!

Helen Mirren

Helen Mirren would not only star with McDowell in “O Lucky Man”, but also in “Caligula.” They both give dynamic audio commentary on the “Caligula” film, by the way…fascinating.

Here is my post on that notorious film!


https://johnrieber.com/2012/10/01/suspiria-caligula-zardoz-wacky-one-word-movie-wonders/

Helen Mirren O Lucky Man!

o lucky man! lindsay anderson

Mick’s journey is an amazing film to watch, and now the uncut british version of “O Lucky Man!” is available on DVD!

Mick Returns!

Malcolm reteamed with Lindsay Anderson on more time – as their character Mick returned in the film “Brittania Hospital.” It was a less successful satire of the British health industry…

Brittania Hospital


And Now, O Lucky Man’s “Seinfeld” Moment!

And now, here is how “O Lucky Man” ended up on “Seinfeld.” First, let’s get you set up: One of Mick’s many crazy adventures in the film involved him agreeing to be experimented on – in exchange for money…

Mad+scientist+-+O+Lucky+Man!

The leading Doctor at the Institute is intrigued with Mick, and begins to perform tests on him – leading to this exchange:

Professor Millar: What do you think is the most successful animal that’s ever lived on this earth?
Mick: The ant?

O Lucky Man!

Professor Millar: “The dinosaur. Uh do you realize that the dinosaurs dominated this globe for a hundred and forty million years before they became extinct? Man has been on this planet for only a fraction over forty thousand years and yet already he faces extinction. In fact, the species will be lucky to survive beyond the year two thousand and ten. Mankind has only one hope: science…The entire population of India could be rehoused on the moon within ten years. It’s only a matter of learning to live in a new way.”

o-lucky-man


“Learning To Live A New Way!”

“Learning to live in a new way.” Mick Travis finds out what that means, in a shocking hospital scene – as he sneaks into another patient’s room to find out how much money he is getting…and he pulls back the sheet to reveal THIS!

Pig Scene from O Lucky Man

Which Led To: Kramer’s Reveal!

seinfeld

Now to the “Seinfeld” connection! We all know how inquisitive Kramer is…

Seinfeld cast

Seinfeld: Season 5, Episode 5 – The Bris

In this classic episode, Jerry and Elaine get asked to be the godparents for their friend’s newborn baby. But unfortunately the position doesn’t last very long when Elaine hires a drunken rabbi to perform the Bris. While at the hospital, Kramer thinks he found a pig-man!

[Jerry reads newspaper]
Jerry Seinfeld: . Hospital receives grant to conduct DNA research. Government funds genetic research at area hospital… Yeah, so?
Cosmo Kramer: Pigman, baby. Pigman.
Elaine Benes: Oh, if I hear about this pigman one more time…
Cosmo Kramer: I’m tellin ya the pigman is alive. The governments been experimenting with pigmen since the fifties.
Jerry Seinfeld: Will you stop it. Just because a hospital gets a grant to study DNA doesn’t mean they are creating a race of mutant pigmen.

Seinfeld pig man episode

Kramer wanders into a room and begins talking to a patient – and you know what he finds – an exact copy of the “O Lucky Man” scene!

Cosmo Kramer Seinfeld

Cosmo Kramer screams

And one other note: remember when Kramer gets basted in the sun and turns out in Newman’s fantasy as THIS?

kramer_turkey_newman_seinfeld

Again, a very similar look to what we saw in the film…Someone on the writing staff was an “O Lucky Man” fan!

Pig Scene from O Lucky Man


O Lucky Malcolm!

And look for this great documentary all about Malcolm McDowell, a story he tells himself!

o_lucky_man



Categories: 70's Cinema, Academy Awards, Action Films, Awards, Books / Media, British Cinema, Cannes Film Festival, documentary films, Foreign Films, Golden Globes, London, Movies, Movies About Movies, Obscure Movies, Talent/Celebrities, TV Show, Uncategorized

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

14 replies

  1. Great piece! Wow, Mirren looks beautiful in this! I need to revisit it. It’s been a long time. Probably since the 80’s or so for me. Also enjoyed Price’s music clip you included.

    I don’t think I’ve ever seen Britannia Hospital. Looks amusing.

    Oh and I LOVE the pig man ep of Seinfeld. Nice job!

Trackbacks

  1. Remaking “The Last of Sheila!” One Of Ten GREAT Undiscovered 70′s Movies! | johnrieber
  2. Music’s Neglected Masterpiece! “O Lucky Man!” Soundtrack! « Music Platter
  3. Leonard Maltin’s LAST EVER Movie Guide! The End Of A Pithy Era! | johnrieber
  4. 2014 Oscar Season Is Here! Do Movie Reviews Matter? Goodbye To Leonard Maltin! | Film Fight Club!
  5. X-Rated Academy Awards! Obscure Oscar Trivia! Oscar’s Thirteen “X-Rated” Nominations! – johnrieber
  6. My Movie Alphabet! An A-Z Of My Favorite – And Most Offbeat Films! – johnrieber
  7. Happy Birthday Helen Mirren! From Her “Age Of Consent” To Controversial “Caligula!” – johnrieber
  8. “O” My! Mind-Blowing Films Beginning With “O”! “Movies A-Z” With 007! “My Boy Blue!” Zombies! Jennifer Aniston! – johnrieber
  9. Songs With An “O”! Brilliant Movies! Band Battles! Led Zeppelin! Paul Williams and Malcolm McDowell! – johnrieber
  10. A Murderous Hollywood Party Night! Malcolm McDowell’s “Pig Man!” Two Cult 70’s Movies With a “Seinfeld” Connection! – johnrieber
  11. Oscar’s X-Rated Past! The 13 Academy Award Nominations For X-Rated Films With An Awards Edge! – johnrieber
  12. Oscar’s “X-Rated” Nominations! Yes, Here Are The 13 X-Rated Academy Award Nominations! – JR-Sploitation!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Marian Wood

Aspiring Author and Poet

Love She Travels

Inspiring independent women to travel the world with confidence

ran travels

traveling the world on a budget

Binging on a Budget

"Help Me, I'm Poor."

Sunshine with Savannah

Writer aiming to cultivate kindness. | Exploring, learning, scribbling, finding sunshine wherever I go.

Enchanting Moments

travel | reading | food | fitness | real talk

The Romantic Vineyard

A Rich Harvest of Ideas to Help Your Marriage Grow

Notes from the U.K.

Exploring the spidery corners of a culture and the weird stuff that tourist brochures ignore.

Niamh R Blogs

Lifestyle | Petite Fashion | Travel | Entertainment

This Coffee Life

wellness & good reads

A Rambling Reviewer

Here be rambles and reviews.

B&S About Movies

We'll see you...at the movies.

Drew's Movie Reviews

Movie reviews from your average dude

Carrot Ranch Literary Community

Wrangling literary arts for writers: words for people!

The Annual Bloggers Bash

The Official Website for the Best Blogging Event of the Year!

But I Smile Anyway...

Musings and memories, words and wisdom... of a working family woman

Colline's Blog

A potpourri of books and things

Byrnewithme

Sustainable Living

Travel with Intent

A photographer's view of the world - words and images to inspire your travels and your dreams

Movie Reviews 101

Daily Movie Reviews & ABC Film Challenge

Cindy Bruchman

Films. Travel. Photography. Books. Let's talk.

lazy day project

slow down or you’ll miss the best part

From Michigan to Germany

A family from Michigan living abroad in Germany.

JR-Sploitation!

The world's wildest movies from an era of "everything goes!"

Eclectic Alli

A bit of this, a bit of that, the meandering thoughts of a dreamer.

fancypaper

Little Things Make Us Happy

Rust Belt Girl

reading and writing the Rust Belt

Cult Of The Cinema

Exploring Cinematic Diversity

Retired? No one told me!

Tonight I Dream. Tomorrow I Do!

beetleypete

The musings of a Londoner, now living in Norfolk

The Bloomin Brilliant Blog

A Little Piece Of My Life

Suzie Speaks

The Adventures Of a Thirty-Something Life

Cats and Trails and Garden Tales

Musings on cats, travel, gardens and life

The BookWorm Drinketh

Give Tea to the Tillerman, But Booze to the Bookworm!

Tranquil Dreams

Watching, Reading, Cooking & Travelling

Esme Salon

Share, Care & Inspire

An Historian About Town

History in the Making

Susie Lindau's Wild Ride

Come for Adventure. Stay for the Ride!

Robbie's inspiration

Ideas on writing and baking

a mindful traveler

explore, live, love...

Smorgasbord Blog Magazine

Blog magazine for lovers of health, food, books, music, humour and life in general

It Rains... You Get Wet

Still more lazy thoughts from this one...

By Hook Or By Book

Book Reviews, News, and Other Stuff

alexvorkovwriter

Flaming Goats Heads of Terror

Admit One Film Addict

Psychotronic Cinema

%d bloggers like this: