Archive of films O Lucky Man! / O Lucky Man!

United Kingdom
1973, 178 min

Section: Seven Close Encounters
Year: 2016

David Ondříček presents

In this second part of Anderson’s sarcastic trilogy bringing a taste of 1960s England, we meet Mick Travis as a company salesman who becomes an incredulous guide through a corrupt society. Malcolm McDowell once again excels in the main role, captured in the lens of Miroslav Ondříček, who also stood behind the camera for the director’s two previous pictures.


“I was absolutely fascinated by this film as a little boy, although I didn’t understand it at all. As an adult I now realise that this masterpiece is disturbingly topical.” – David Ondříček. When Lindsay Anderson first cast Malcolm McDowell in the main role of his sensational and, at the same time, acerbic satire of the British elite education system If…. (1968), the concept of “charismatic actor” wasn’t in common usage at the time, but this description is bang on. In the next part of this loose trilogy McDowell’s Mick Travis is now a company salesman, a “lucky man” who crosses paths with individuals from a broad social spectrum. For the director this is an opportunity for sarcastic tirades in all directions, against all sorts – from politicians supporting military regimes in developing countries, to cosseted gilded youth who rebel against the establishment. The fervour of the social criticism voiced by the erstwhile “angry young men” here encounters Anderson’s sense of the grotesque and his appreciation for subtle hyperbole.

Zdena Škapová

About the director

Lindsay Anderson (1923–1994) was a leading light of the Free Cinema movement. He began work as a documentary filmmaker which refined his talent as an observer and his sensibility towards social issues. He studied at Oxford University and, in addition to completing such titles as Wakefield Express (1952), O Dreamland (1953) and Thursday’s Children (1954), he cofounded the film magazine Sequence, which played a huge role in shaping the Free Cinema movement. He debuted with This Sporting Life (1963), which in no way indicated that his future directorial and screenwriting efforts would take the form of sarcastic critiques of society, culminating in the trilogy If…. (1968, Palme d’Or at Cannes), O Lucky Man! (1973) and Britannia Hospital (1982). Other films include In Celebration (1974), Look Back in Anger (1980), and The Whales of August (1987). Three of his films involved the collaboration of Czech cinematographer Miroslav Ondříček.


Park Circus Limited
15 Woodside Crescent, G37UL, Glasgow
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 141 332 2175
Fax: +44 141 332 2133

About the film

Color, DCP

Section: Seven Close Encounters
Director: Lindsay Anderson
Screenplay: David Sherwin
Dir. of Photography: Miroslav Ondříček
Editor: Alan Price
Art Director: Jocelyn Herbert
Producer: Lindsay Anderson, Michael Medwin
Production: Memorial Enterprises, Sam
Cast: Malcolm McDowell, Ralph Richardson, Rachel Roberts, Arthur Lowe, Helen Mirren
Sales: Park Circus Limited

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