Oh! Calcutta! (1972)


The infamous off-Broadway musical revue tackles the subject of sexuality, with skits by John Lennon, Samuel Beckett, Jules Feiffer and Sam Shepard, where one or more performers in either a state of undress, simulating sex, or both.

Director: Jacques Levy.
Stars: Raina Barrett, Mark Dempsey, Samantha Harper, Patricia Hawkins, Bill Macy, Mitchell McGuire, Gary Rethmeier, Margo Sappington, Nancy Tribush, George Welbes.


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  1. Veit Harlan
    June 7, 2021

    I almost always appreciate a little erotica,(especially with something as wonderful as http://rarefilmm.com/2020/01/de-onfatsoenlijke-vrouw-1991/ ) but I have my own take on why this play is infamous. Without knowing why pros consider this a controversial play, I don’t find the nudity or acting the problem, it’s the low quality of the written skits. The audience seems to enjoy it, though, and I did too, to a degree, but I’m glad I never had the chance to buy a ticket for it.

  2. Nick Det.
    June 8, 2021

    Thanks, Jon. Still try to get through 1972 films. I was looking for this one so Yeah!

  3. Gabriel
    June 10, 2021

    Why is this movie not available to watch?

    • Jon W.
      June 10, 2021

      It’s working for me, Gabriel, why you say it’s not available?

      • Rob Jordan
        March 30, 2023

        Thanks for this upload, Jon. I have fond memories of seeing the Broadway play on a theatre marquee when I lived in NYC,from the mid 1970s to the mid 80s, though I didn’t see the stage show, or the film. I recall that the musical, or play, ran a long time, and I think it was still running in 1978 or 79.

        Oh! Calcutta! was part of series of musicals, about free love and spirituality, starting in 1968 with HAIR, the Tribal Rock musical, (the actress Diane Keaton was in the chorus) by James Redo IIRC. Followed by musicals about Jesus from Andrew Lloyd Weber’s pen, Jesus Christ Superstar in 1971, which was made into a film with an inspiring soundtrack. Like West Side Story from Stephen Sondheim and Leonard Bernstein, debuting in 1957 and made into a film in 1962, with a recent film revival in 2021, by Steven Spielberg, shortly before Sondheim’s death, all part of the countercultural wave of such Broadway shows. Including Godspell, which had no author but was based on The Book of St John, in the bible.

        I also remember when ALW produced Evita in 1979 starring Patty LePone, who revived the role last year with Covid-19 restrictions for the audience. Madonna recreated the role in the 2000s and won a Golden Globe for playing Eva Peron..

        BTW, when I visited Russia in 1990, some people I met in Moscow, who put me up, had a reel to reel recording of JC Superstar that was smuggled into the country and copied by them. The original cast recording. Amazing when you think of it. Until the mid-90s there was no state religion or private religious practices allowed under the Soviet system and atheism was the official religion.. Though because of Gorbechev’s Perestroika, religion was making a comeback in the late 1980s. Churches were being re-opened and created. That later wave was under Boris Yeltsin.. By the time of Putin, religion was back in full swing, and when Putin canonised the Romanovs as saints, who were murdered in 1917 by the Bolsheviks, the circle was closed.

    • Rob Jordan
      March 30, 2023

      Well, Gabriel, you are on a discussion site about Oh! Calcutta!. So, and I know this post is nearly 2 years old, watch it?

    August 13, 2021

    I actually went to see this erotic sitcom without really wanting to. A friend got stood up by her date and so I was a good friend and went with her. The best thing about it was seeing ballet superstar Rudolph Nureyev sitting a few seats down. I can’t believe the late actor/director/ playwright Sam Shepard had a hand in writing this. Wow.

  5. Gerald L. Austin
    May 14, 2022

    I’m like one of the actresses said (but I will paraphrase), “I didn’t mind all the penises and vulvas, but I didn’t care for the language”. I laughed a lot, especially during the skit where Helen was telling about her previous encounters. And of course I enjoyed the nudity the best.

  6. Gerald L. Austin
    March 9, 2024

    I have watched this again and I was laughing LOTS. I think that this film version of it is way better than what a person would see if he was in the audience. Things would be too far away if one was out in the seats. I would think that a live version would be banned nowadays. I disliked some of the language, but overall the film was absolutely wonderful. I’m so glad to have found it.

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