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Morgan, A Suitable Case For Treatment

Morgan, A Suitable Case For Treatment

By Patrick Samuel • August 21st, 2012
Static Mass Rating: 4/5
MORGAN, A SUITABLE CASE FOR TREATMENT (MOVIE)
British Lion Films

Original release: January 27th, 1966
Running time: 93 minutes

Director: Karel Reisz
Writer: David Mercer

Cast: Vanessa Redgrave, David Warner

Morgan, A Suitable Case For Treatment

They say it’s a mad world we live in and sometimes I can’t help but think they’re absolutely right, yet with approximately 7,000,000,000 people in it, I have to say I’ve never met one quite like Morgan Delt.

Played by David Warner, he’s a Marxist living in London, not strange at all, but his fascination with gorillas detaches him from reality at such a level that his wife Leonie Delt (Vanessa Redgrave) is desperate to divorce him and remarry his former best friend Charles (Robert Stephens).

But what will society in 1960’s London make of the gorilla loving Marxist? Will they find a way to cope with his oddball behaviour and accept that we’re all a little bit crazy or will they deem him a suitable case for treatment and lock him away for being different?

Based on the BBC television play from 1962, Morgan, A Suitable Case For Treatment contains one of British cinema’s most memorable images from the 1960s; a man, dressed in a smouldering gorilla suit, speeding away from the camera on a motorbike. It’s a poignant and hilarious look at how one man struggles to cope with a world he doesn’t understand as much as it doesn’t understand him.

In one scene Morgan takes his dear old mum to visit the grave of Karl Marx at Highgate Cemetery in north London. Mrs Delt is wonderfully played by Irene Handl who makes it easy to see where her son gets his quirkiness from. “Morgan! That’s disrespectful!” she exclaims when he begins beating his chest and grunting in front of Marx. He then gives her a piggyback ride home.

Morgan A Suitable Case For Treatment

Most of Morgan’s anxieties stem from the idea that he might lose Leonie to a smug greasy haired art dealer. He tries everything possible to sabotage their union; from putting a skeleton in Leonie’s bed, to blowing up her mother and kidnapping until he finally goes ape.

Despite his unusual way of seeing the world, it’s clear that he loves Leonie and his ultimate idea to win her back arrives while he’s watching King Kong at the cinema.

The filmed earned Vanessa Redgrave an Academy Award nomination and a BAFTA Award nomination for Best Actress but David Warner is also fascinating to watch. His portrayal of Morgan comes across as very sincere and natural and in many ways I felt sympathetic to his plight. The only thing which I found jarring was the editing. There are quite some bad cuts and continuity errors but they don’t detract too much from the overall enjoyment of this classic.

Patrick Samuel

Patrick Samuel

The founder of Static Mass Emporium and one of its Editors in Chief is an emerging artist with a philosophy degree, working primarily with pastels and graphite pencils, but he also enjoys experimenting with water colours, acrylics, glass and oil paints.

Being on the autistic spectrum with Asperger’s Syndrome, he is stimulated by bold, contrasting colours, intricate details, multiple textures, and varying shades of light and dark. Patrick's work extends to sound and video, and when not drawing or painting, he can be found working on projects he shares online with his followers.

Patrick returned to drawing and painting after a prolonged break in December 2016 as part of his daily art therapy, and is now making the transition to being a full-time artist. As a spokesperson for autism awareness, he also gives talks and presentations on the benefits of creative therapy.

Static Mass is where he lives his passion for film and writing about it. A fan of film classics, documentaries and science fiction, Patrick prefers films with an impeccable way of storytelling that reflect on the human condition.

Patrick Samuel ¦ Asperger Artist

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