Final Friday Films—an anti-bourgeois film series
“The problem is not to make political films but to make films politically.” —Godard / Gorin
MORGAN: A Suitable Case for Treatment
UK, 1966, 97 Min
Directed by Karel Reisz
Red diaper baby Morgan Delt (David Warner) is failing as an artist. Leonie (Vanessa Redgrave), his bourgeois wife, is divorcing him in order to marry fellow bourgeois Charles Napier (Robert Stephens), an art gallery owner. Locked into a personal world of fantasy, Morgan begins an all-out campaign to win back Leonie, performing all kinds of stunts, including putting a skeleton in her bed and much else to demonstrate what will ultimately be a meaningless life with her return to a bourgeois existence. When the stunts fail, Morgan plots to kidnap Leonie, who still nurtures residual feelings of love tinged with pity for Morgan. The plan fails, and Morgan is arrested and imprisoned but does not give up—he remains committed to revolutionary ideals. The final scene of the film was a calling to revolutionary youth the world over in 1966, particularly in England.
“Released in April 1966 – the month Time magazine’s Swinging London issue was published – His madness, therefore, is like the state celebrated by RD Laing: insanity not as a state worthy of condign treatment but as a rebellion, the only possible act of sanity in a mad, mad world.” —Jon Savage, The Guardian, February, 2011