Catch My Soul
|Catch My Soul|
|Directed by||Patrick McGoohan|
|Produced by||Jack Good
Richard M. Rosenbloom
|Written by||William Shakespeare (play)
Jack Good (musical)
Tony Joe White
|Music by||Tony Joe White, Emil Dean Zoghby|
|Edited by||Richard A. Harris|
|Distributed by||Cinerama Releasing Corporation (USA)
20th Century Fox (UK)
|Release date(s)||22 March 1974 (New York City)|
|Running time||97 min|
Catch My Soul is a 1974 film produced by Jack Good and Richard M. Rosenbloom, and directed by Patrick McGoohan. It was an adaptation of Good's stage musical of the same title, which itself was loosely adapted from William Shakespeare's Othello. It was not a critical success.
Shakespeare's tragedy of revenge and racism had been retitled for the London stage and relocated from Venice to Piccadilly; for the film, the location of the drama was moved to the New Mexico desert; filming took place in Española and Santa Fe. The title comes from Act III, Scene III of Shakespeare's play, in which Othello declares his love for Desdemona, "Perdition catch my soul, but I do love thee; and when I love thee not, chaos is come again."
Although much of the plot remains intact, Othello, the "noble Moor" becomes the pacifist leader of a hippie commune, Iago appears to be the Devil incarnate who "fits all the negative stereotypes of dropouts with his scruffy beard and unwashed look" and Desdemona becomes a "white round-faced girl with granny glasses".
Patrick McGoohan had earlier starred in the successful 1962 modernisation of the Othello story, All Night Long, which had been moved to 1960s London and fuelled by jazz music. AllMovie's reviewer points out that "perhaps he thought lightning would strike twice in moving it to a gospel show in the Southwest. He was terribly wrong." Catch My Soul would be the only film to be directed by McGoohan, although he later directed some episodes of Columbo. In an interview with Premiere magazine in 1995, McGoohan gave some insight into why the film had failed:
|“||I lived in New Mexico at that time and the producer did too. He'd heard I was available and that's how, after the hiatus that followed The Prisoner, I came back to the profession. Unhappily, in the process of making the film, he got religion. ... Catholicism. He became a convert; he took the film and re-cut it. The editor warned me, I asked that my name be taken off it, and, unhappily, that was not done. The result is a disaster. What's more, he added 18 minutes of religious stuff. Ridiculous. But the music was good. Ritchie wrote one or two marvellous songs. Again, it's one of those typical show business stories. Very sad.||”|
Of the cast, Richie Havens was well-known from his appearance at Woodstock Festival, but this was his first acting role; Lance LeGault had some experience, but not playing major roles; likewise Season Hubley and Susan Tyrrell. Tony Joe White was already fairly well known as a musician. Allmovie's Craig Butler was moved to comment "Laughable also describes every dramatic performance, as do horrible and unbelievable."
- Richie Havens - Othello
- Lance LeGault - Iago
- Season Hubley - Desdemona
- Tony Joe White - Cassio ("a wino from Baton Rouge, Louisiana")
- Susan Tyrrell - Emilia
- Delaney Bramlett
- Bonnie Bramlett
- Raleigh Gardenhire
- Billy Joe Royal
- Wayne Waterhouse
Critical reviews of Catch My Soul were generally negative, Time Out's reviewer describing it as
"Hampered all the way by McGoohan's languorous direction, which lets each appalling moment of this uncomfortable hybrid of grade-school Shakespeare and grade-school religion sink wincingly in."
Leslie Halliwell was equally scathing, his description being
AllMovie's Craig Butler was able to say that "some of the musical performances, especially from Richie Havens and Tony Joe White are quite good, and much of the music is worth hearing ... removed from the movie." Nevertheless, his overall assessment is "a train wreck of a movie that inspires awe and that makes one appreciate a time when awful movies could be so bad in such an interesting way."
- Track listing
- "Othello, Pt. 1" - Tony Joe White
- "Wash Us Clean" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White
- "Catch My Soul, Pt. 1" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White
- "Working on a Building" - Tony Joe White
- "Othello, Pt. 2" - Tony Joe White
- "Catch My Soul, Pt. 2" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White, Lance LeGault,
- "Open Our Eyes" - Leon Lumkins
- "Backwoods Preacher Man" - Tony Joe White
- "Looking Back" - Delaney Bramlett, Tony Joe White
- "Eat the Bread-Drink the Wine" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White
- "That's What God Said" - Delaney Bramlett
- "Chug-A-Lug (The Drinking Song)" - Delaney Bramlett
- "I Found Jesus" - Delaney Bramlett
- "Run, Shaker Life" - (unknown)
- "Catch My Soul, Pt. 3" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White
- "Book of Prophecy" - Jack Good, Richie Havens
- "Othello, Pt. 3" - Tony Joe White
- "Lust of the Blood" - Jack Good, Ray Pohlman
- "Tickle His Fancy" - Allene Lubin
- "Why" - Jack Good, Emile Dean Zoghby
- "Othello, Pt. 4" - Tony Joe White
- "Catch My Soul, Pt. 4" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White
- "Put Out the Light" - Jack Good, Ray Pohlman
- "Othello, Pt. 5" - Tony Joe White
- Catch My Soul at the Internet Movie Database
- "Othello at Wikiquote". Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- "Catch My Soul". Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- Sprague Rothwell, Kenneth (2004). A History of Shakespeare on Screen. Cambridge University Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-521-54311-8.
- "Catch My Soul - Review". AllMovie. Retrieved 2001-01-06.
- Katelan, Jean-Yves (October 1995). "Le Prisonnier au cinema". Premiere (223): 26. Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- "McGoohan as director". Retrieved 2009-01-17.
- Canby, Vincent (March 23, 1974). "Movie Review - Catch My Soul". New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2009. (requires login)
- Brode, Douglas (2000). Shakespeare in the Movies. Oxford University Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-19-513958-7. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- "Catch My Soul". Time Out. Retrieved 2009-01-16.
- Halliwell, Leslie (1995). Halliwell's Film & Video Guide. London: HarperCollins. p. 133. ISBN 0-00-638779-9.
- "Catch My Soul". Retrieved 2009-01-18.