‘Candy’: a bizarre sex comedy featuring Marlon Brando as a long-haired, sex-crazed psychedelic guru

Marlon Brando explaining to Swedish actress Ewa Aulin how strong his tongue is.
As far as movies go, 1968 flick Candy has it all. A star-studded cast comprised of Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, James Coburn, John Huston (playing the head doctor of a mental institution), Walter Matthau, John Astin (best known for his role as Gomez Addams on TV’s The Addams Family), Ringo Starr (as Emmanuel the Mexican gardener) and striking Swedish actress and beauty queen Ewa Aulin. Add a killer soundtrack composed by Dave Grusin which includes The Byrds and Steppenwolf and you have the perfect flick. What else could you possibly need? While I’d venture to say that would be enough for most movie fans to give Candy a whirl, there is so much more to this cult classic than just the Oscar-winning actors in the cast and the movie’s outrageously hot, 23-year-old blonde starlet.

Based on the scandalous 1958 book by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg, Candy is a film centering around Ewa Aulin’s character of Candy Christian—a high school student pursued by pretty much every male who comes into contact with her. In fewer than ten minutes into the movie we meet alcoholic poet MacPhisto, Richard Burton’s character whose prose and persona are so seductive that he causes his female fans to faint. MacPhisto’s dramatic entrance is enhanced by invisible fans that blow his wild hair, long scarf, and cape (!) as he recites a fictional poem Forests of Flesh while a bevy of teenage girls swoon and scream. A few even bend to kiss the stairs that MacPhisto walked on as he exited the lecture hall. At this point, Candy has been rolling for about fifteen minutes, and unless you don’t have a pulse, you’re impossibly hooked and can’t wait to see what happens next. Especially since the sly MacPhisto has managed to make the first pass at Candy by passing her a note requesting her presence in his Mercedes where things get weirder than weird—and that’s all I’m going to say about that.

As the film rolls on, the rest the cast is introduced, like James Coburn who digs into his role as Dr. A.B. Krankheit (a spider monkey specialist and brain surgeon) while John Astin regales us with a constant stream of one-liners from his dual characters of T.M. Christian /Jack Christian, Candy’s father and uncle. The non-stop barrage of bizarre incidents involving Candy and the film’s cast of characters culminates in her meeting spiritual leader Grindl played by Marlon Brando whose “temple” resides in the trailer of a moving truck. Although Brando/Grindl and Candy seem to have a pretty good time, according to the actor (as seen in the 2015 documentary Listen to Me Marlon), Candy was the worst movie he ever made in his life. In an ironic twist, Brando was Candy‘s money-man and he personally helped secure financing for the film as a favor to director Christian Marquand—a close personal friend of his who Brando named his son in honor of. (Marquand was also briefly married to wild child actress Tina Aumont). If you still need to be somehow convinced of Candy‘s many merits, it also contains a nutty scene between 60’s “It Girl” Anita Pallenberg (as Nurse Bullock) and Ewa Aulin that involves a bit of hair pulling. Meow.

I’ve posted some great stills, posters and lobby cards from Candy for you to check out as well as the bonkers trailer for the film which was beautifully restored and released on Blu-ray in 2016 by New York-based film distribution company Kino Lorber.

A publicity photo of Marlon Brando and Ewa Aulin for ‘Candy.’

More eye candy from ‘Candy’ after the jump…

Posted by Cherrybomb
12:22 pm
Candy: A Cult Film So Bad That It’s Just Bad



Candy should, I repeat should be off the scale incredible. But it’s not.

Candy was a film that was always talked about, but no one ever saw it. The poster of Candy topless in the airplane cockpit would always be for sale in the back pages of magazines like “Famous Monsters of Filmland” next to ones of King Kong and Frankenstein and it became a familiar image of the era. But the movie you never saw. Not on any late night movie show, never on a Sunday morning “Million Dollar Movie” or anything like that, Candy was seemingly banned from TV for being too racy and for whatever reason was never released on VHS either. Nor was it ever on HBO or Showtime. It was the great lost movie in my eyes.

I became mildly obsessed with this film I could never see and went about collecting movie posters, lobby cards, publicity photos and I own several different versions of the novel by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg with different groovy covers. The mythical Candy became a cult movie Holy Grail for me. I really built it up in my mind. For years I tried to get hold of a copy in the tape trading underground, but the best I was ever able to find was still unwatchable. Then finally it came out on DVD. It was like Christmas had arrived.

But it sucked! Really sucked. It was such a let down!

I mean just LOOK at the cast: Ringo Starr (Emmanuel, the Mexican gardener), Charles Aznavour (the horny hunchback), Marlon Brando (Grindl, the horny (fake) Indian guru), Richard Burton (MacPhisto, the drunk, horny Welsh poet), James Coburn (egotistical surgeon), John Huston (dirty old man doctor) and Walter Matthau (horny military general). Sugar Ray Robinson and Anita Pallenberg make cameo appearances. How could you go wrong with a cast like that?

Let’s not forget the amazing opening space travel sequence by Douglas Trumbull who went on to make 2001 with Stanley Kubrick. And the soundtrack by The Byrds, Steppenwolf and soundtrack great Dave Grusin (it’s INCREDIBLE and easy to find on audio blogs). The script was adapted by Buck Henry. HOW could this fail?

It even featured the decade defining pulchritude of Miss Teen Sweden, Ewa Aulin, in the title role of “Candy Christian,” the ultimate All-American girl.

But despite all this Candy is a terrible film and even worse, it’s boring.

One of the things that must have mucked up things badly for the production is—and I am just theorizing here—the contracts for the lead actors. These were THE leading actors of the day, all of them top drawer A-list 60s talent. After watching Candy the thought occurred to me that Marlon Brando’s agent probably asked how much screen time Richard Burton was getting and demanded the same for his client. Then James Coburn’s manager asked the same question and demanded equal time for his client and so on and so until each actor was guaranteed “Most Favored Nations” equal screen time. How else to explain the film’s structure? It’s maddening to watch and Candy feels like it’s never going to end.

STILL, I’m not saying it’s so bad you shouldn’t watch it. Actually I think that if this sounds even remotely intriguing to you then it’s definitely worth seeing. It’s not good, no, we’ve already established that fact, but it is a super insane, trippy, campy relic of the 1960s with some of the most iconic actors of the decade behaving like total hambones, each trying to outdo the other in chewing up the scenery.


Posted by Richard Metzger
04:15 pm
Beautiful women of the 60s


Posted by Tara McGinley
10:45 pm