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George P. Breakston,
Young Catherine Morelli (Julie Christie), who lives in Rome, goes to Geneva to find romance at her father's wedding. There she begins a nearly nymphomaniacal pursuit of a mystery-fantasy man called Gregory (Michael Sarrazin).
When she sees him at a hospital fund-raiser, newlywed San Francisco socialite Petulia Danner, who has been married to naval engineer David Danner for six months, seems determined to have an affair with soon to be divorced physician Dr. Archie Bollen, who has been married to his wife Polo for close to ten years, their marriage which many saw as being perfect. Archie doesn't even know Petulia's name, but only knows her as the woman who brought in a young Mexican boy into the hospital with serious injuries. Petulia's pursuit of Archie is relentless - she even declaring that they will someday be married - even as Archie dates another woman named May. Archie eventually learns part of the reason why Petulia is so determined to cheat on David as her relationship to David and David's wealthy father are brought to light. Archie also learns that getting involved with Petulia in any regard has its consequences, both for Petulia herself and for him, most specifically in his relationship to Polo.Written by
In many ways, this is a plot less, jumble of the movie, but at the same time there is something really fantastic about it, and some movies are better off jumbled up cause its fitting, never more so than in the case of "Petulia." George C. Scott plays a recently divorced man who willingly begins a semi-affair with Petulia, who is married to an abusive man. She is a 'kook', to use a 1960s term, but not in the Goldie Hawn silly mold.
Scott's character takes life as it comes. He's very easy going, and its nice to see him in a role in which he rarely raises his voice or gets manic or seems to care what happens one way or the other. He loves Petulia but does not take her very seriously, until she is badly beaten up by her husband.
The editing can be studied by film students. Its a main part of the story as its told primarily through flashbacks. The beautiful city of San Francisco is used to full advantage.
Christie has rarely been more beautiful. Richard Chamberlain has his best movie role. Shirley Knight, Arthur Hill and Joseph Cotten round out the memorable cast.
I urge all serious moviegoers to get a glance at this one. 9/10.
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