The slow-moving story of a divorced doctor’s relationship with a younger woman in San Francisco.
Archie Bollen (George C. Scott) is a gifted and successful San Francisco-based surgeon who, for reasons he can’t explain even to himself, has walked out on his virtuous and loving wife, Polo (Shirley Knight), and two young sons.
One night at a charity event, he is virtually ambushed by Petulia Danner (Julie Christie), who is youthful, beautiful, kooky in a free-spirited way and most unhappily married to David (Richard Chamberlain), the handsome young scion of a wealthy old California family.
Things turn out badly for the pair, despite the genuine feeling they achieve together, and the short affair ends up only making thing worse for Petulia, though Archie is left freed to explore his life options due to her influence.
Look out for Janis Joplin (in the band at the opening party) and Jerry Garcia (outside the crime scene).
The Grateful Dead play briefly in the club scene towards the end of the movie.
Adapted from the John Haase novel, Me and the Arch Kook Petulia.
George C. Scott
The Grateful Dead
Big Brother and the Holding Company
American Conservatory Theatre Co