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"I did have a good time at Wild in the Streets, which is more than I can say for Petulia or 2001 or a lot of other highly praised pictures. Wild in the Streets is not a work of art, but then I don’t think Petulia or 2001 is either, though Petulia has that kaleidoscopic hip look and 2001 that new-techniques look which combined with “swinging” or “serious” ideas often pass for modern picture art."--"Trash, Art, and the Movies" (1969) by Pauline Kael

PETULIA Careful. Can you tell I'm not wearing a brassiere?
PETULIA Don't think about it. It will only excite you.

Related e



Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Petulia is a 1968 American drama film directed by Richard Lester and starring Julie Christie, George C. Scott and Richard Chamberlain. The screenplay by Lawrence B. Marcus is based on the novel Me and the Arch Kook Petulia by John Haase. It was scored by John Barry.



Petulia Danner is a young socialite married to a savagely abusive architect. At a benefit concert for victims of traffic accidents, she meets Dr. Archie Bollen, with whom she became smitten as he treated an injured Mexican boy. Archie is in the process of divorcing his wife Polo, sifting through relationships with the new man in his ex's life, his estranged sons, and well-to-do friends who only know Archie as one-half of a couple. Petulia and Archie embark on a quirky, desperate, and ultimately tragic affair.



Filmed on location throughout San Francisco, Petulia included scenes at the apartment building located at 307 Filbert Street, the Cala Foods on Hyde, and in the lobby of the Fairmont Hotel where Janis Joplin was filmed lip-synching to a pre-recording in May 1967.


Petulia had been listed to compete at the 1968 Cannes Film Festival, but the festival was cancelled due to the events of May 1968 in France.

Giving the film four stars, Roger Ebert wrote in his Chicago Sun-Times review of 1 July 1968: "Richard Lester's Petulia made me desperately unhappy, and yet I am unable to find a single thing wrong with it."


Both Marcus and Turner were nominated for the Writers Guild of America Award for Best Written American Drama.


Lester utilises the current west coast musicians of the time Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company, the Grateful Dead playing "Viola Lee Blues", The Committee, and Ace Trucking Company are briefly featured in club sequences. Grateful Dead members Jerry Garcia, Mickey Hart, Bob Weir, Phil Lesh, Ron "Pigpen" McKernan, and Bill Kreutzmann appear in cameos during the movie's apartment house medical emergency scene as onlookers. Jerry Garcia also appears in duplicate on a large mural and in triplicate on a bus bench both times in stylized solid black and white.

Petulia was an influence on filmmaker Steven Soderbergh.


The film was released on VHS. A US DVD was released in 2006.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Petulia" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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