6.9/10
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105 user 84 critic

Performance (1970)

A violent gangster seeks refuge from the mob in the Bohemian home of a former rock star.

Writer:

Donald Cammell
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Fox ... Chas
Mick Jagger ... Turner
Anita Pallenberg ... Pherber
Michèle Breton ... Lucy (as Michele Breton)
Ann Sidney Ann Sidney ... Dana
John Bindon ... Moody
Stanley Meadows ... Rosebloom
Allan Cuthbertson ... The Lawyer
Anthony Morton ... Dennis (as Antony Morton)
Johnny Shannon ... Harry Flowers
Anthony Valentine ... Joey Maddocks
Kenneth Colley ... Tony Farrell (as Ken Colley)
John Sterland ... The Chauffeur
Laraine Wickens Laraine Wickens ... Lorraine
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Storyline

Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of guest house run by the mysterious Mr. Turner, a one-time rock superstar, who is looking for the right spark to rekindle his faded talent. Written by Brad Jackson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Vice. And versa. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug material and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Producer Sanford Lieberson gave Philippe Mora the 35MM short ends of the movie to film his first feature film Trouble in Molopolis (1969). See more »

Quotes

Pherber: I don't recognize your voice.
Chas: Well, I've been away, haven't I?
Pherber: And I don't recognize your face.
Chas: You should see my motor.
Pherber: [looks at Chas quizzically]
Chas: My motor. Had an argument with a cement wall on the way over. Goodbye the Ferrari.
See more »

Alternate Versions

In most versions the voices of Johnny Shannon, John Bindon and Laraine Wickens have been overdubbed. This was because the actors' own voices were thought to be "too cockney" for non-UK audiences to understand. The 2007 Region 2 DVD (DY11687) features the voices of all three actors throughout the feature, none of the previous overdubs are present in this version. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Ban the Sadist Videos! Part 2 (2006) See more »

Soundtracks

Performance
Performed by Merry Clayton
See more »

User Reviews

 
You shoot too much of that s***, Pherber.
17 February 2004 | by donduttonSee all my reviews

This film operates on multiple levels and in cultures that we barely knew existed in 1970. The East End London mobster culture being one and the London counter-culture of drugs and music another. To further lend a surreal air, Nicolas Roeg and Donald Cammel (who co-directed the film) present metaphors and psychological homologies- sadism, homosexuality, hierarchy in gangs and organizations- all stemming from central psychological needs for power and dominance combined with and expressed through sexuality. The first half of the film seems to anticipate Guy Ritchie- a glimpse into Cockney gangsters and "poofs" and then, Chas steps into Turner's lair and the film alters along with our consciousness. Suddenly, underneath the gangster/rockstar theme another, more deeply embedded theme emerges about identity and the part of others that we share in common(the deeper motivations and identities). Turner and Chas sense it in each other's "performance", all four main characters (arranged on a sexual continuum from the very female Pherber through 2 personae of androgyny to the very male Chas) explore their other parts as when Pherber puts a mirror, reflecting her breast on Chas. The shared motivational part comes from the "performance" of violence or art that Chas and Turner are fascinated by in each other. Add in some very strange camera angles and you have one of the very few films that ever did the impossible- represented altered consciousness to an audience (mainly) in straight consciousness. That last part depended on what year you saw it in theatres. In all, a very profound movie. Donald Cammell was a genius who never got his proper due.


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 1970 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Performance See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Goodtimes Enterprises See more »
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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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