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Greetings (1968)

Paul Shaw (Jonathan Warden) lives in New York and likes to spend his time with friends researching the assassination of John F Kennedy, blowing up pictures of Dealy Plaza in an effort to prove the president was shot from the front.

He digs the Greenwich Village hippie scene, and over espresso at the Cafe Figaro, to talk about the hang-ups of American society.

He also digs chicks, art books, films and staying alive. Then the establishment wants to put him in a uniform, give him a gun, and set him down in the middle of a war in South East Asia.

War he doesn’t dig, so with the aid of his friends Jon (Robert De Niro in an early starring role) and Lloyd (Gerrit Graham), he rehearses various ways to beat the draft.

Brian De Palma’s early experimental feature (only his second solo effort and made for just $43,000) is a satirical comedy that follows their efforts using cinéma vérité, sexual obsession, and voyeurism. The dialogue is mostly improvised, the photographic technique is creative and the actors are superb.

Slapdash, vulgar and smug, Greetings was a huge youth culture hit, caused an explosion in the independent underground in the US and spawned the 1970 sequel Hi, Mom!.

Paul Shaw
Jonathan Warden
Jon Rubin
Robert De Niro
Lloyd Clay
Gerrit Graham
Pop artist
Richard Hamilton
Megan McCormick
Bettina Kugel
Jack Cowley
Jane Lee Salmons
Bronx secretary
Ashley Oliver
Rat magazine vendor
Melvin Margulies
Smut peddler
Allen Garfield

Brian De Palma