Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush DVD+Blu-ray
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Directed by Clive Donner
Produced in 1968
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
Julian Upton admires the infectious energy of Clive Donner's 'swinging sixties' sex comedy, which charts a provincial man's sexual awakening. Barry Evans stars, the screenplay is from Hunter Davies and the score is from Traffic!
Effectively launching the ‘British Sex Comedy’ that was to dominate the seventies, Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush has an infectious energy that, in its day, was refreshing and daring. Although the genre came to comprise a great deal of dross — Confessions of a Window Cleaner, Adventures of a Taxi Driver — Mulberry Bush, like Gregory’s Girl (a film that could be said to have thankfully killed off the trend) is one of the high points of British comedy cinema.
Mulberry Bush still stands up to comparison with Forsyth’s film. Both centre on immensely likeable but wildly sexually frustrated teenage boys, and both stage their good-natured tales of faltering sexual and romantic awakening against drab backdrops of urban sterility (Cumbernauld, North Lanarkshire for Gregory’s Girl; Stevenage for Mulberry Bush). But where Gregory’s Girl is wearily, amusingly downbeat, Mulberry Bush froths with vitality and optimism, encapsulating that brief, hedonistic spirit that defined ‘swinging London’ without actually stepping foot in the capital.
It is also casually steeped in impressive sixties credentials: a score by Traffic, a semi-autobiographical screenplay by Beatles biographer Hunter Davies and modish direction from What’s New Pussycat’s Clive Donner. And in Barry Evans’s Jamie, a pre-university teenager desperate to lose his virginity at all costs, it offers the template for all those hapless heroes-on-heat that followed. Evans delivers one of the most endearing big screen debuts of the era (a fact perhaps diluted by his later TV work): enslaved by his hormones in a constant state of agitated carnal expectation, flitting from one failed sexual escapade to the next, he is the walking embodiment of what the promise of the Permissive Society meant to a generation of horny but inexperienced provincial young men.
Quite risque for its time — with splashes of nudity and a frank, light-hearted approach to talking about sex that was new to British cinema — Mulberry Bush belongs loosely to the wave of films that includes Blow-up and If… in its breaking down of censorship barriers. And it’s a reminder that the British Sex Comedy once had a lot more going for it than Robin Askwith’s jackhammering buttocks.
Julian Upton on 26th July 2010
Author of 150 reviews
Clive Donner's modish and glossy swinging sixties comedy follows the sexual exploits of irrepressible teenager Jamie (Barry Evans) who is full of adolescent energy, obsessed by sex and determined to lose his virginity.
Based on the book by respected British author and journalist Hunter Davies, and with music by The Spencer Davies Group and Traffic, Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush caused a considerable stir when first released due to its taboo-busting portrayal of permissive 60s society and is now rightly regarded as a definitive British coming-of-age film.
Length: 96 mins
Aspect ratio: 1.78:1
Cat No: BFIB1034
Format: DVD+Blu-ray Colour
- 2 discs
- Dual Format Edition
- Complete uncensored presentation of main feature (DVD and Blu-ray)
- Alternative censored version (Blu-ray only)
- Alternative censored sequences (DVD only)
- Because That Road is Trodden (Tim King, 1969, 23 mins): dream-like confessional concerning the fantasies of a public schoolboy
- Stevenage (Gordon Ruttan, 1971, 21 mins): documentary celebration of Britain’s first New Town
- Illustrated booklet with contributions from Hunter Davies, Steve Chibnall, Vic Pratt and William Fowler.
by David Holmes on 1st September 2010
Ouch! I remember seeing this in the cinema when first released. I hated it because the virgin successfully lost the label whereas as I was still struggling to do so!! ... Read on
Ouch! I remember seeing this in the cinema when first released. I hated it because the virgin successfully lost the label whereas as I was still struggling to do so!! It's a film that brings back awful memories of teenage angst and best forgotten (for me, anyway!). Apologies, this is not so much a review as a personal diatribe! Hide