Morgan is a film that could only be from the sixties – the characters, plot and scenery would make it impossible to re-make in the modern age. And in truth, I don’t think any director would be overly keen to take it on.
The movie revolves around Morgan, said by a doctor to be a ‘suitable case for treatment’. We first meet Morgan (David Warner) on the day of his divorce from the stunning Leonie (Vanessa Redgrave). He is a mixed-up artist and dreamer with communist leanings and a love of gorillas, she is a posh girl from the best end of London.
After the separation, Leonie plans to marry art dealer Charles Napier (Sir Robert Stephens) and sets up an injunction to keep Morgan from ruining her future life. And this is where the ‘fun’ begins.
Morgan breaks into Leonie’s house several times as well as setting up camp outside in an old banger, threatens Charles with a gun at his studio, plants a bomb under Leonie’s bed – before eventually kidnapping her with the aid of her mother’s wrestler boyfriend, played by Arthur Mullard. All done with a dose of humour obviously. This is a comedy after all.
Inevitably, it all comes crashing down for Morgan, his madness goes one step too far and…well, you’ll have to watch the movie for the end result.
Is it a good film? Well, it’s interesting and at times fun, without living up to its comedy billing. I’m not sure how far you can go with comedy based around mental illness to be honest, even in less enlightened times.
Vanessa Redgrave is wonderful as the ‘it girl’, Irene Handl plays the usual part of ‘Cockney mum’ and David Warner does well enough as the artist struggling with a marriage break-up and mental breakdown.
But as a movie, its selling point will be as a 60s period piece rather than classic cinema.