Have you seen this Mick Jagger movie?
As a Studio Executive said when he saw the film:
“Even the bath water was dirty.”
Hey, Let’s All Get Naked With Mick Jagger In A Bathtub!
Imagine Mick Jagger naked in a bathtub with a number of different women – in a movie performance he made at the height of the Rolling Stones popularity – around the time of “Honky Tonk Woman” and “You Can’t Always Get What You Want”…a classic British gangster movie that is now out on Blu-Ray!
“This Film Is About Madness.”
The original film poster says it all…because it was “madness” for Mick Jagger to make a film where he willing puts himself naked in a bathtub – WITH KEITH RICHARD”S GIRLFRIEND! –
Talk About Your Love Triangle!
Anita Pallenberg was a beautiful model and Actress in the late 60’s, and she was also Rolling Stones Guitarist Keith Richards’ girlfriend.
So, deciding to star with Mick in a movie with lots of nudity was an interesting move – you can only imagine the potential for trouble…
Jumping Naked In The Tub With Mick!
The script was full of sex scenes, including several with Mick in a bathtub. Can you say…AWKWARD?
Warner Archive has a new Blu-Ray version of “Performance!” The film was a British gangster thriller starring Mick Jagger and James Fox – each playing dual roles! First, check out the trailer!
The film was produced in 1968 but not released until 1970!
Even though The Rolling Stones and Jagger were at the height of their popularity, the film wasn’t released for two years after it was made!
Why Two Years In The Vault?
So why was the film made in 1968, and released in 1970? First, let’s recap the plot of the movie….Chas is a violent and psychotic East London gangster – who needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out.
Chas finds the perfect cover in the form of a 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. That is, of course, Mick Jagger – again playing two different roles.
Trouble On The Set!
As you can imagine, Keith wasn’t happy with his girlfriend’s movie choice.
According to wikipedia:
“It was intended that the Rolling Stones would write the soundtrack but due to the complicated nature of the various relationships both on and off-screen, this never happened. It was widely rumored that Anita Pallenberg, then in a relationship with Keith Richards, and Mick Jagger played out sexual scenes in the film ‘for real'”…
Whether true or not, the rumors swirled all around this film – gossip that the sex was real, that it broke up Keith and Anita…
A Great “Performance!”
But forget about the gossip, the affairs, forget it all and just focus on the movie: the film is an explosive, violent and very graphic film – an experimental gangster film very much in line with the “anything goes” attitude prevalent in the late 60’s – and bravo to Mick Jagger for doing the film. If you have any interest in the counter-culture movies of the late 60’s and early 70’s, this is for you.
The Film’s Notoriety!
The content of “Performance” was a surprise to the studio. It has been reported that during a test screening, one Warner executive’s wife vomited in shock. James Fox notes in Richard Lester’s TV series “British Cinema of the Sixties” that a Warner exec said of the scene depicting Jagger in a bath with Pallenberg and Breton, “even the bath water was dirty.”
This “Dirty Bath Water” Got Shelved!
The response from the studio was to deny the film a cinematic release! It has been claimed that at one stage Warner Bros. wanted the negative to be destroyed. Instead, it sat on a shelf for two years before finally being released.
Luckily for us, the film exists, and is now available on a beautifully remastered Blu-Ray, thanks to Warner Archive – and it is a flawed masterpiece…
Jagger wasn’t the only star to work in provocative movies:
Oscar winner Helen Mirren made a number of shocking films in her career – you can see them all here:
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