YouTube Treasure: Joan Collins As Polyester Poontang

Categories: Film

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One of the many weird twists in Joan Collins's career came when she costarred with hubby Anthony Newley in his unforgettably titled 1969 epic Can Hieronymous Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?

The pretentious film filled with fourth-wall breaking, Felliniesque flashbacks, and swirling cameras (along with a sizable part for Milton Berle) seemed to be an apologia for Newley's antics, seeing as he plays a self-indulgent musical performer with a penchant for unrepentant hedonism.

In the movie, he does it with real-life wife Joan Collins (as the immortally named Polyester Poontang) and lusts for adolescent Humppe, played by Playmate of the Year Connie Kreskie, who always looked like an inflatable doll waiting to be popped.

Add some seaside numbers, a wisecracking "presence" played by George Jessel, and an unseen director voiced by Newley, and you've got a little too much Anthony Newley, but nothing you will soon forget.

The result won an award--the Golden Turkey--and helped cement the disintegration of the Newleys' relationship and (temporarily) their careers, though Roger Ebert bravely stood up for the film's aspirations.

And I like it too!

It's bold and inventive, and though it grows way tedious, there are eye popping scenes like this one of Joan Collins singing "Chalk and Cheese" to a windup human puppet, some astrological dancers, and a naked Newley.

(Talk about too much Newley!)

Pop fromage doesn't get any more raw than this.

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6 comments
RobertAllenFirth
RobertAllenFirth

And it got slapped with an "X" rating back then, along with "Beyond the Valley of the Dolls" and "Midnight Cowboy."

nostradavid
nostradavid

Polyester Poontang - don't mess with her merkin.

SouthernDave
SouthernDave

Priceless! Didn't this movie start a movement to bring back silent films?

 

Speaking of which,  Newley tried FOREVER to get his own Chaplin musical to Broadway.

 

He always fancied himself. Period.

 

But he also fancied himself as a Chaplin-esque character in the stage musicals "Stop the World, I Want to Get Off" and "The Roar of the Greasepaint, the Smell of the Crowd."

 

Can't beat the smell of this one.  .

 

 

bwaybill
bwaybill

Another amazing find from you. This one might even top Black Devil Doll From Hell.

PhilNY
PhilNY like.author.displayName 1 Like

I always heard Milton Berle had a sizeable part.

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