IMDb Rating 5.7 10 558


Downloaded 10,599 times
April 10, 2019



Jack MacGowran as Frightened Man
Jane Birkin as Pénélope
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749.21 MB
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A
1.43 GB
23.976 fps
92 min
P/S N/A / N/A

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by christopher-underwood 9 / 10 / 10

Fab film that captures perfectly a moment in time.

Wonderful is the obvious but apt accolade for this strangely obscure little gem made literally at the peak of what became known as 'Swinging London' or more generally the 'Swinging Sixties'. It looks absolutely fabulous with superb costumes and stunning sets. As for locations, I eventually tracked down the reservoirs at West Molesey as the primary source with Beesborough being the primary one and I assume the associated pumping station was that used both for the workplace scenes and the later rather manic cycle machine scenes. I had never realised the close connection between the Beatles and Roman Polanski but writer Gerard Brach (Cul de Sac, What? Fearless Vampire Killers and the film under discussion) seems to have been the main link, although actor Ian Quarrier and director Joe Masot were apparently big on the 'scene' during 1967 and 1968. George Harrison made considerable contributions to British cinema of the time but his more extreme Indian influences to this soundtrack are probably the only let down. Fortunately director Massot has assembled an alternative cut of the film using the original Wonderwall sessions and this makes for a much more acceptable viewing. Jack MacGowran, much favoured by Samuel Beckett but also appeared in Cul de Sac and Fearless Vampire Killers, is perfect in the role of obsessive mad professor cum obsessive peeping tom. Which brings us to Jane Birkin, who doesn't do too much in this (she doesn't even speak) but is 1967/68 London personified. She has that 'look', she can wear those clothes (or not) and moves with a grace that almost takes the breath away. Something between a butterfly and a gazelle. she floats through the film seemingly effortlessly, her role simply to move about with or without clothes and to 'react' to others. Fab film that captures perfectly a moment in time.

Reviewed by sfried 6 / 10 / 10

A wonderful little film, if you can find it.

Well, I just saw a restored print of this at the Screening room. It is a marvelous piece, light and yet moving, filled with wonderful visuals, a great performance by Jack McGowran and a marvelous (and unfortunately out-of-print) score by everyone's favorite Beatle, George. The synopsis above just doesn't do justice to the film. Yes, it's about a daffy old guy who peers in on a lovely young woman living next door, but there's nothing creepy or pathetic about it. In fact, he's actually quite a bit a of a dashing and romantic figure in his own detached, weird way. One of the most notable things about the film is the art direction, done by the band/art collective The Fool. An obscure folk group (sort of a lesser Incredible String Band) they made the most of what was most likely a thin budget by pouring every ounce of energy into creating two amazing sets for the adjacent apartments of the old man and the young model. They are, without a doubt, two of the coolest looking places to live I have ever seen in a movie (I would give my eye-teeth to live in either one of those flats) and they form as much of a part of the main characters as the portrayal by the actors themselves. The old scientist lives in Celtic-Medieval warren, inspired by Pre-Raphaelite design, and the young model lives in a mod Sixties psychedelic/glam environment suffused with overtones of 20's/30's nostalgia. Both apartments then are filled with a yearning for the past and so, the old man becomes no more of a romanticist than the girl, despite his age. He is actually quite dashing in his cape and tuxedo when engaging in some of his later escapades, like some bandit out of a Fantomas picture. No, this movie isn't about a pathetic old guy lusting after a lithe young thing. It's about a few other things more interesting and perhaps more touching, but you'll have to find out for yourself. In any case it's a nice little treat worth finding, if you can.

Reviewed by ferbs54 6 / 10 / 10

Blotter Optional

In the 1968 psychedelic curiosity "Wonderwall," we meet Collins, an absentminded microbiologist at the Metropolitan Water Board (played by Jack MacGowran) who has spent the better part of his life observing interesting and colorful objects through a small hole (test slides through a microscope). His life gets turned around one day when he discovers some new, even more colorful specimens to ponder: the swinging models and hippies who live, work and party in his next-door flat...and who he can now spy on, thanks to a small aperture in his moldering apartment. Known primarily today for George Harrison's psych rock and droning-raga soundtrack, "Wonderwall" is a souvenir of swinging London that should just manage to please modern viewers...even those who are not lysergically enhanced. Every one of Collins' numerous fantasy episodes, and every glimpse into that apartment next door, is like a peek into a psychedelic, color-saturated wonderland. Whether Collins' neighbors are engaged in a photo shoot, a pot party or a bout of lovemaking, director Joe Massot mines psychedelic gold, and costume designer Jocelyn Rickards decks one and all in retina-pleasing finery. Jane Birkin here plays a mod model who is the chief object of Collins' obsessed fantasies; yes, she HAD played another model just two years before, in Antonioni's "Blow-up." "Wonderwall" may bring to mind bits of other films, such as "Peeping Tom" and 1985's "Brazil," mixed in with some Monty Python and even the front cover of Spirit's classic 1970 album "12 Dreams of Dr. Sardonicus." It drags at times, and even this director's cut, shorn of a dozen or so minutes of previous footage, feels a bit padded. Still, I found it, for the most part, a colorful way to spend 73 minutes. As the always pithy Michael Weldon puts it, in my beloved "Psychotronic Video Guide," "it's good for the 'swinging London' fashions and the music." Blotter is optional.

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