O Lucky Man! is a 1973 British comedy-drama fantasy film, intended as an allegory on life in a capitalist society directed by Lindsay Anderson.

By Balthazar Malevolent


'Oh, Lucky Man' is the second film in director Lindsay Anderson's Mick Travis trilogy. The screenplay was written by David Sherwin and Malcolm McDowell, who actually played the main character Mick Travis. Malcolm McDowell was, as they say, on a roll at the time, particularly as the world recognised him after the crime phantasmagoria 'A Clockwork Orange', which would go on to become a cult movie. The genre of 'Oh, Lucky man' can be defined with great difficulty: either it's a satirical drama, or it's an absurdist farce, or maybe it's just a parable or an existential movie. 'Oh, Lucky man' is not a film for everyone, the generation brought up on Marvel special effects will hardly understand what the film is about. But even if a teenager watches it, the movie will definitely stay in his memory for its unconventionality and even exclusivity of some sort. Also, you have to respect the age of 'Oh, Lucky man' - it's almost fifty years old and still considered one of the landmark films in British cinema history!

It starts with an ambitious guy called Mick Travis coming in for a job interview. He passes it easily, also he knows how to approach his potential employer in the 'right' way, and almost immediately receives an assignment to a remote county. Mick Travis sets off at once. Having got there, he meets some rather strange people, but Mick pays no attention to them, but soon receives an invitation to a party with sexual orgies. In a way, Mick begins to find himself in this setting, but the company sends him even further away. Mick sets off again, but gets lost along the way and ends up in a restricted area where a secret military base is located. No further details as the action of the film and its development is a must-see to thoroughly understand why 'Oh, Lucky Man' is considered epochal!

Indeed, Lindsay Anderson presents his film as a satirical drama about the man's place in the world. The thought, of course, is philosophical, it is difficult to fit it into the boundaries of standard cinematography, you have to prepare carefully. In the case of 'Oh, Lucky Man', everything has been done on the edge between genius and madness. One must get into the very essence of the picture and find the ability to read the context conveyed by Lindsay Anderson. In 'Oh, Lucky Man' you can see an unexpected symbiosis of auteur perspectives from Pier Paolo Pasolini and Rainer Werner Fassbinder, perhaps two of the most talented directors, with their work full of metaphors, allusions and sacred thoughts. And here one can see why Lindsay Anderson's creation is so invaluable!

Malcolm McDowell delivers a great performance in his role. You won't wonder for a second what Mick Travis is supposed to be like. His wide-open eyes literally engulf you, you hold your breath watching the adventures and misadventures of his character, watching him change, understanding his values and life views. But the most brilliant thing in Malcolm McDowell's work is the way he perfectly understands his character, how he fits into the very concept of the picture. The actor took part in writing the script, but nevertheless, this in no way detracts from the merits of his incarnation of Mick Travis. But not only Malcolm McDowell deserves flattering words, but also other actors, such as the magnificent Helen Mirren in her young age who plays such unexpected and ambiguous role, though almost all characters are like that in this movie and also they tend to return in the plot(!).

O Lucky Man
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