Candy (1968)

Candy Poster

A high school girl encounters a variety of kookie characters and humorous sexual situations while searching for the meaning of life.

"Candy" is a satirical comedy-drama movie from 1968 that was motivated by Terry Southern and Mason Hoffenberg's 1958 book of the exact same name. The movie was directed by Christian Marquand and had a star-studded cast featuring Marlon Brando, Richard Burton, James Coburn, Walter Matthau, Ringo Starr, Ewa Aulin, Charles Aznavour, and John Astin. The story focuses on the principal character, Candy Christian (Ewa Aulin), a naive yet captivating and stunning girl, who encounters eccentric characters and falls into unusual scenarios.

Plot Synopsis
"Candy" opens with Candy Christian living a relatively normal life up until she starts a series of misadventures that take her from one strange character to another. The journey begins when her teacher McPhisto (Richard Burton), a wannabe poet with covert lascivious intentions, attempts to make the most of her in his cars and truck. She manages to escape unscathed but a series of other not practical people not long after meet her.

In her journey, she comes across a Mexican gardener Emmanuel (Ringo Starr), whom she wrongly presumes to be her long-lost bro. She is also abducted by a delusional cosmetic surgeon, Dr. Krankeit (James Coburn), whom she hinders by consenting to go through unneeded surgical treatment. Another encounter brings her in contact with an eccentric hunchback, hunchbacked juggler named Grindl (Charles Aznavour), who gets her associated with a Munich circus act. Getting away from Grindl, she then fulfills and inadvertently seduces a deranged army General Smight (Walter Matthau), prior to coming across two equally oddball cops, one who can't stop weeping (John Huston) and the other who can't stop laughing (Lillian Gish).

Character Interactions
Even more, Candy's path crosses that of Guru (Marlon Brando), a fake, pseudo-intellectual expert who intends to use her for beating evil characters, to the point where Guru, who preaches about universal love, also attempts to seduce her. She gets abducted and offered to a sex-starved millionaire in New York, but eventually, handles to leave from him as well.

Climax and Ending
Despite all the strange and absurd encounters, the ignorant and innocent Candy stays unfazed and untouched by all the manipulative intentions. She grows from an ignorant high-school woman to a mature woman. Candy's encounters and experiences seem to push her towards a path of self-awakening and helping individuals she fulfills throughout her journey. The surreal movie concludes with Candy delivering in the back of a truck, with the event captured and aired live worldwide. As the sun increases, she quickly holds and looks at the newborn before giving it to a random passerby.

"Candy" is a satirical take on society and individuals's preferences and risks towards innocence. The movie was mostly panned by critics for its utter randomness and disjointed story, with the plot identified as nonsensical and the humor as juvenile. Despite the overruning euphemisms and comedic satire, the movie is notorious for its confusion and absence of clear direction. However, it has actually acquired a small cult following throughout the years for its subversive take on social mores and prominent cast members.

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