Willie & Phil (1980)

Willie & Phil (1980)

Taglines: Heads it’s… Willie tails it’s Phil.

Remake of Jules et Jim following the experiences over a decade of two friends who fall in love with the same woman, enjoyably satirising the 70’s through the search by the three protagonists for their identities and making sharp attacks on cultural signposts of the decade along the way. The film also studies relationships, what its director calls “wanting something permanent yet wanting to be free”

Willie & Phil is a 1980 film written and directed by Paul Mazursky and starring Michael Ontkean, Margot Kidder, and Ray Sharkey.

The film was reviewed by Pauline Kael in The New Yorker. “It could be that the theme of Jules et Jim, which preoccupies Mazursky – woman as the source of life and art, and woman as destroyer – is just what he can’t handle. The ad for Willie & Phil does bring out the film’s latent subject: we see the open mouth of a giant goddess who is holding two men in the palm of her hand.

They reach up to her with their offerings – one with a bottle of wine, the other with a bunch of flowers. She may be breathing life into these dwarf suitors or preparing to devour them along with their gifts. Either way, she’s a source of awe and terror. All through the picture, Mazursky has been trying to demystify what he experiences as mystifying. This movie is a little monument to screwed-up notions of what women are.”

Willie & Phil Movie Poster (1980)

Willie & Phil (1980)

Directed by: Paul Mazursky
Starring: Michael Ontkean, Margot Kidder, Ray Sharkey, Jan Miner, Tom Brennan, Julie Bovasso, Kathleen Maguire, Kaki Hunter, Kristine DeBell
Screenplay by: Paul Mazursky
Production Design by: Pato Guzman
Cinematography by: Sven Nykvist
Film Editing by: Donn Cambern
Costume Design by: Albert Wolsky
Set Decoration by: Ernie Bishop, Edward Stewart
Music by: Claude Bolling, Georges Delerue
Distributed by: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: August 15, 1980