Sweet Movie


by Tuna

Sweet Movie (1974) is a Canadian art film, made by Yugoslav director Dusan Makavejev after his escape from Yugoslavia, and filmed in Montreal, the city of Quebec, Belgium, Paris, Amsterdam, and Poland (news footage).  Over the years this film has been notoriously difficult to find. In fact, it is still banned in the UK to this day because of scenes involving the seduction of minors.

This is not a film you enjoy as much as one you appreciate, the sort of film that the turtle neck crowd holds up as everything good about cinema, but which "everyman" often regrets spending his money on. It is complex, highly episodic and tough going for anyone not intimately familiar with Eastern European history. I won't pretend that I understood every reference, but the digs at US capitalism were pretty obvious.

It is essentially two intercut stories, but I can explain better by separating them.

In the secondary thread, a woman (Anna Prucnal) helms a boat through the canals of Amsterdam with a bust of Marx on the bow. A sailor on a bicycle from the battleship Potemkin pursues her, as he wants to be her next lover. She is "revolution" and warns him that her lovers always die. While that is playing out, controversy occurs when she seduces several young children. Makevejev intercuts German footage of the uncovering of Polish victims of the Russian massacre at Katyn Forest. He contrasts Prucnal's victims with the dead Polish army.

In the primary plot line, a world beauty contest is held to find the most beautiful virgin in the world, who will become the bride of a rich Texas oilman (Dean Wormer!) who is obsessed with cleanliness. Miss Canada (Carole Laure) is the winner. The couple gets married and helicopters to his home. He undresses, scrubs her with alcohol, and then shows her his golden penis, whereupon she starts screaming uncontrollably. Eventually, his overbearing mother sends her packing (literally packed into a suitcase) where she has adventures with a macho Mexican singer at the Eiffel Tower, but becomes increasingly withdrawn and mute, and ends up in the Otto Muehl Troupe commune. It is this section which earned the film's notoriety, as the troupe believes in a kind of therapy where we all get in touch with our base selves, and have monthly events where they target a member, and engage in overeating, public defecation and urination, debasement, etc. The film ends with an amazing nude bath in chocolate by Carole Laure.


* Criterion Collection.

* New, restored high-definition digital 1.66:1 transfer, supervised and approved by director Dušan Makavejev

* A booklet featuring new essays by critic David Sterritt and Harvard professor and philosopher Stanley Cavell

* Includes interviews with the director and a film scholar.


2.5 Roger Ebert (of 4 stars)
38 Rotten Tomatoes  (% positive)


5.2 IMDB Top 1000 voters (of 10)


Unknown, but minimal.


  • Carole Laure appeared naked from all angles, and spread her legs for the camera.
  • Anna Prucnal also showed everything, as did various unknowns.

Our Grade:

If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to read the explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by our definition, a C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a:


... scored as a sociopolitical art film, but has a VERY narrow audience. For cult audiences and curiosity-seekers only.