• Candy



    Released By: Kino Lorber
    Released On: May 17, 2016
    Director: Christian Marquand
    Cast: Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, James Coburn, Walter Matthau, Ewa Aulin
    Year: 1968
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    The Movie:

    The 1960's, depending on who you ask, were a wonderful time for film; boundaries broken, new techniques investigated, and the weight of a healthy counterculture influencing a vast number of movies that hit the screen during the psychedelic era. Some of these films were fantastic and mind-blowing, others under-appreciated and only recognized years later due to longevity, some vastly entertaining despite being terrible, and some just outright garbage with no redeeming value, whatsoever.

    Christian Marquand's 1968 film Candy, based on the 1958 controversial novel about the sexual adventures of a teenage girl, falls squarely into the last category. Candy Christian (Ewa Aulin) is a naive, leggy blonde high school student who happens to have her father (John Astin) as one of her teachers. When a famous poet named MacPhisto (Richard Burton) visits her school, Candy is awakened by his passionate reading of his own works, and later accepts a ride home from the elderly laureate in his Mercedes limo. Awash in booze, MacPhisto rages to the young girl about his "growing need", which he demonstrates in her basement play room by humping a blonde mannequin while Candy gets busy on the pool table with Mexican gardener Emmanuel (Ringo Starr....no, really.) Candy's eager deflowering of the young Spanish Beatle couldn't have come at a worse time, though, and her father shows up with some of his friends just in time to catch her in the act.

    Deciding that the best course of action is to send Candy away to New York City for schooling, Mr. Christian, his twin brother, Jack (again...John Astin) and Jack's wife Livia bundle the little trollop up and whisk her off to the airport. Unfortunately for the travelers, they encounter Emmanuel's biker sisters, who are none too pleased that their innocent brother has given up his virginity so easily. A fight ensues in which Candy's dad is knocked into a coma, and only the sudden arrival of an army transport headed up by the racist Brigadier General R.A. Smight (Walter Matthau) saves the family from further harm. Their trip to New York suffers a further slight setback, thrown off by Smight's need to get into Candy's pants, but the Christians persevere, landing in New York and getting Candy's father into an operating theater to free him from his coma. Dr. A.B. Krankheit (James Coburn) is a more than able surgeon, aggressively attacking the illness and flipping off the audience with bloody fingers, but chaos soon reigns when Candy's uncle tries to get it on with her in her dad's hospital bed, and a jealous nurse reacts poorly to Krankheit's attempt to do some exploring of his own.

    The mafia, a crazy film director, and a whacky yogi (Marlon Brando) are waiting once Candy escapes the bedlam of the hospital, but they all have the same ideas in mind; and those ideas involve young Candy being placed into a variety of compromising positions. Is there a supernatural reason? Some guiding higher power in the universe? Who knows. With no rhyme or reason, Candy runs from one sexual situation to another, and with drug-crazed film makers apparently at the helm, it's a safe bet that no logic will prevail in this sorta-porn with no payoff.

    Yeesh. Cult film or not, spectacular cast or no-names, Candy is a flaming bag of poop. Consisting entirely of cheesy comedy, wacky shooting techniques, and psychedelic montage sequences of visuals and the music of the time...not to mention less nudity than a PG-13 film, this is not a movie that is going to appeal to everyone. Once the novelty of seeing stellar cast members in bizarrely unlikely situations wears off (in case you're wondering, that's pretty much in the first 15 minutes with Ringo Starr, though it does pop up again with Brando as a Maharishi), Candy becomes an absolute BORE that obscenely overstays its welcome at 125 minutes. That's right....over 2 hours of a joke played out in the first 20 minutes. While the book has received accolades for being brilliant satire and housing many other pieces of intellect, the film version contains no such wit. It's just a bad film directed by a man who should never have directed again (good news...actor Christian Marquand didn't direct another film after this one) and adapted for the screen by a man who would largely be remembered for milking the Get Smart cow well past death. Aside from the 60's look of the film (inherent in many of these films, good or bad), there is nothing to recommend about Candy...but like a number of other films, good or bad, it surely has a niche of weirdo fans.

    Video/Audio/Extras:

    Kino Lorber brings Candy to Blu-ray in an AVC-encoded 1.85:1 transfer that looks good. The print is not pristine by any stretch, but it's largely clear and detailed (in some cases, a little too detailed, revealing cover-ups) with good colour and blacks, with almost non-existent dirt and debris, though it does maintain a decent gain structure.

    The DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 track is acceptable on the whole, though the source material is not fantastic to begin with; but dialogue is primarily audible and coherent. However, there are a number of moments during the film when the track exhibits a harsh, distorted sound that's grating on the ears. Still, it's perfectly serviceable.

    A few extras are also included here. First up is Interview With Screenwriter Buck Henry (16:51) in which the writer discusses why he got on board with making the film (like Vincent Price's involvement in Dr. Goldfoot and the Girl Bombs, it's all about the vacation in Rome), making a film dirty but not too dirty, and working with the actors and other crew involved on the film.

    Interview With Film Critic Kim Morgan (9:30) features, derp, Film Critic Kim Morgan discussing the reaction to the film when it was released, and her own take on it.

    A 60-Second Radio Spot, a 30-Second Radio Spot, and Theatrical Trailer are also included.

    The Final Word:

    I don't like Candy. Not one little bit. But for those who do, Kino presents an acceptable transfer of the film with a few interesting extras.


    Click on the images below for full sized Blu-ray screen caps!





















    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Andrew Monroe's Avatar
      Andrew Monroe -
      Not a great film by any means and yes, it's too long, but I have a certain fondness for this one. It's fun watching for all the cameos - and Richard Burton in particular is pretty darn good here - the groovy 60s ambiance is fab eye candy (har har)...but most of all....Ewa Aulin!!! She's the boss.
    1. John Bernhard's Avatar
      John Bernhard -
      Fan here. Movie is a kind of demented Euro trash nirvana for me.I was 10 when this was released & as such waited years to finally see it. The poster of Ewa in the cockpit was like Raquel from 1 MILLION YEARS BC ( and ten years later, the Farrah poster ) was everywhere.Plus the cast! Besides the big names ( who are mostly pretty bad here )Elsa MartineliSugar Ray RobinsonAnita PallenbergMarilu ToloFlorinda BalkanI haven't cracked my BD yet though, I am a little afraid it won't really work for me now ( haven't seen it for 15 yrs or so ).
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      You guys aren't alone, everyone I've talked to enjoys this, haha. I, as you can tell, did not.
    1. Scyther's Avatar
      Scyther -
      Yeah, I'm a sucker for this one, too. Aulin steals the show.
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Well, shut my mouth
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      You'll all love the higher resolution, it makes the cover up job on her ass really POP!
    1. Scyther's Avatar
      Scyther -
      It's definitely a hot mess, though, for sure. Haha.
    1. SuperDevilDoctor's Avatar
      SuperDevilDoctor -
      Richard Burton's monologue about how he saved his chauffer from a giant snake and integrated Louisiana's public schools is... weirdly hilarious!
    1. John Bernhard's Avatar
      John Bernhard -
      Despite not liking it your review makes it sound like a blast Mark, I think that's a sign of a fair and well written review.Of course now I will be scrutinizing Ewa's ass with the zoom feature
    1. Mark Tolch's Avatar
      Mark Tolch -
      Thanks, John. I really didn't like it, but there's no doubt that it was an experience.