6.9/10
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98 user 81 critic

Performance (1970)

A violent gangster seeks refuge from the mob in the Bohemian home of a former rock star.

Writer:

Donald Cammell
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
James Fox ... Chas
Mick Jagger ... Turner
Anita Pallenberg ... Pherber
Michèle Breton Michèle Breton ... Lucy (as Michele Breton)
Ann Sidney Ann Sidney ... Dana
John Bindon ... Moody
Stanley Meadows ... Rosebloom
Allan Cuthbertson ... The Lawyer
Anthony Morton Anthony Morton ... Dennis (as Antony Morton)
Johnny Shannon Johnny Shannon ... Harry Flowers
Anthony Valentine ... Joey Maddocks
Kenneth Colley ... Tony Farrell (as Ken Colley)
John Sterland ... The Chauffeur
Laraine Wickens Laraine Wickens ... Lorraine
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Storyline

Chas, a violent and psychotic East London gangster needs a place to lie low after a hit that should never have been carried out. He finds the perfect cover in the form of 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. Written by Brad Jackson

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Mick Jagger. And Mick Jagger. James Fox. And James Fox. See them all in a film about fantasy. And reality. Vice. And versa. See more »

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for sexual content, nudity, drug material and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

4 September 1970 (Finland) See more »

Also Known As:

Performance See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

GBP750,000 (estimated)
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Goodtimes Enterprises See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Black and White | Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The principle photography for Performance began on Monday, July 26, 1968. See more »

Quotes

Turner: [to Chas] I know how you do it! I know a thing or two about performing, my boy. I can tell you.
Pherber: He had the gift too, once upon a time. You should have seen him ten years ago.
See more »

Alternate Versions

Warner Bros removed around 20 minutes from the beginning of the film before the movie was submitted and the BBFC (under UK censor John Trevelyan) then made a further 16 cuts, most notably to the sexual clawing during the infamous flogging scene. The 1997 Maverick Directors video release featured the longer U.S print and restored all the BBFC cut footage. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Gangster No. 1 (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

Poor White Hound Dog
Performed by Merry Clayton
See more »

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User Reviews

Madness and sanity
19 March 2002 | by carangiSee all my reviews

This is probably one of the best cult movies ever made. I have seen it about 20 times now and even the last time, it was still not boring and I stayed up late again to watch it at 3 in the morning (even though I have it on video). "Performance" shows James Fox in a part you would never expect from him. The mobster with the secret past and deep dark secrets. Violent and with a "no mercy" attitude. Very impressive. Mick Jagger debuts as an actor in this picture and you can see he wants to do well in the beginning. I know the movie was shot chronologically and Jagger seems to be growing as an actor in each scene. The most impressive performance is the performance German/Italian actress Anita Pallenberg is giving here. As the Jagger's character says in the movie: "The only performance that makes it, that really makes it, that makes it all the way, is the one that achieves madness!" And Anita does just that. She is beautiful, decadent, dangerous, high and grounded and very much herself as Pherber. If you watch this movie, you should really try and focus on her, because she is full of surprises. French teen actress Michèle Breton only starred in this movie and the attention is drawn away from her completely by Pallenberg. That is a shame, because Breton does have some very strong scenes, like the one with Pallenberg when they are talking about the gangster. You can see that both Breton and her character are not sure what they are yet: are they children or young women? This movie clearly deserves 10 out of 10!


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