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276 Ratings


Directed by Richard Lester
United States, 1968


An unhappily married socialite finds solace in the company of a recently divorced doctor.

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Petulia Directed by Richard Lester

Awards & Festivals

Writers Guild of America

1969 | Nominee: Best Written American Drama (Screen)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards

1968 | 2nd place: Best Actor

National Society of Film Critics Awards

1969 | 2nd place: Best Actor



Critics reviews

A dizzying slew of loose and rich images by cinematographer Nicolas Roeg is edited into something that captures urban cacophony and Antonioni-esque alienation. The sound design is especially good, the way city noises sometimes overwhelm the characters and sometimes disappear amidst their own dramas. A 35mm print is a rare occurrence.
August 12, 2015
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The picture is admirable for the way it’s put together — it has a purposely fractured, pop-art trendiness. The trouble is that Lester shows little but contempt for his characters. Even though Christie, always a marvelous actress, plays Petulia as not just scheming but also vulnerable, the movie is still stacked against her — only Scott’s noble doctor walks away with his dignity intact.
August 04, 2015
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Lester himself describes Petulia as a “sentimental love story,” and it is clear that his mini-montage strives for the fragmented poetics of a “Petulia, Mon Amour.” Unfortunately, Lester is no closer to Resnais than Jack Clayton was to Antonioni in the poetically pregnant pauses of The Pumpkin Eater… Still, Petulia emerges as Lester’s most effective film since A Hard Day’s Night, not so much because the style fits the subject but because Lester deftly maneuvers a dangerously eccentric cast
July 04, 1968
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