Last week, LoveFilm sent me Morgan: A Suitable Case for Treatment in time for Saturday evening viewing. I last saw it when it came out and was surprised to find how well I remembered whole scenes after hem hem years. Morgan, played by David Warner, is a working class artist married to, but soon to be divorced from, rich Leonie, (Vanessa Redgrave, so beautiful). His behaviour is erratic, to say the least. He refuses to accept that his wife has had enough of him and takes refuge in bizarre fantasies, mostly involving animals. (We’d see this again ten years later in The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin.)
It’s rather a subversive film in that at first the viewer is not sure whether or not Morgan is really mad. You tend to sympathise with him because his in-laws and Leonie’s new fiancé, Charles, are caricatures of upper class types of the time. Morgan’s dotty communist mother, (Irene Handl), calls him a class traitor. Marx is another of Morgan’s obsessions. First time around, I thought Morgan really cute and his escapades quite funny. Now, he seems like a dangerous stalker; laying traps for Leonie and Charles (Robert Stephens) and trying to blow up his mother-in-law. You constantly ask yourself why Leonie doesn’t change the locks/move house/get a court injunction (she does try this), to escape Morgan’s unwanted attentions? Uncomfortably, although determined to marry Charles and lead a normal life, she still finds Morgan’s behaviour a turn-on. Spoiled bitch. No wonder the poor chap's confused, and in the end he does go right over the edge.
I’d have to say it’s a good film, if only because I could remember it so well. It does show the best and worst of sixties films. Good soundtrack, very evocative of the period, a lot of Keystone Cops-type dashing about (think A Hard Day’s Night or The Knack), rather too much wackiness. When I was a theatre-mad schoolgirl, David Warner was right up there with Albert Finney and Tom Courtenay for us gels, and if you watch the film, you’ll see why. He’s still acting but I’d say he's less famous than the other two? Some young thing will have to tell me.