O Lucky Man! (1973)

O Lucky Man! (1973), directed by Lindsay Anderson.

Another of the epically bizarre, absurd social satires of the period. From a script by Malcolm McDowell, inspired by his nine hated months as a coffee salesman.

It's not really a sequel to if... (1968), but the main characters have the same name and many of the actors return. It's done as a repertoire ensemble, with the same actors coming around again and again as different characters. We have some visual quotes from A Clockwork Orange (1971).

Episodic and more or less incoherent. It is the odyssey of McDowell, a naive yet ambitious and amoral young man who gets laid a lot. What exactly is being satirized? Unless it is all of England reaching a post-war bottom. We have skits on:

In the final segment the director appears as himself making this movie and we see McDowell auditioning for something much like if... (1968). When the young man asks for his motivation in smiling, the director bops him on the head with the script. Then we cut to a cast party and dance, complete with balloon drop.

Leisurely paced and three hours is a bit much. We keep cutting to a pop band for musical commentary: Alan Price, formerly of "The Animals".

McDowell and Helen Mirren would reunite (so to speak) in Caligula a few years later. "I think she has forgiven me by now" he says.

Netflix has the 2-disc special edition. McDowell, Price and co-writer David Sherwin provide an edited-together commentary track. They are enthusiastic in their regard and nostalgia for this picture.