Privilege (1967)

103m, 9270 feet
35mm film, Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

A British science fiction film directed by Peter Watkins.

Plot Summary

In a near future Britain, pop star Steve Shorter is so phenomenally successful that he is manipulated by advertisers, governments and managers into becoming the ultimate gimmick, used to sell just about commodity imaginable. The church wants Shorter to convince the youth of the nation to turn to God, but he's met a rebellious young artist who is starting to convince Shorter that he has a will of his own…


* = uncredited

Directed by: Peter Watkins
© MCMLXVII [1967] by World Film Services Limited of 72, Brook Street, London, W1
Universal presents a John Keyman/Peter Watkins production. A World Film Services Ltd/Memorial Enterprises Ltd production
Produced by: John Heyman
Associate Producer: Timothy Burrill
Written by: Norman Bogner
From an Original Story by: John Speight
With Additional Scenes and Dialogue by: Peter Watkins
Assistant Director: Scott Wodehouse
3rd Assistant Director: Tony Kovacs *
Continuity: Valerie Booth
Director of Photography: Peter Suschitzky
Camera Operator: Jimmy Turrell
Follow Focus: Colin Corby
Photographs by: Patrick Ward & Duffy
Editor: John Trumper
Score Composed by: Mike Leander
Songs by: Mike Leander & Mark London
Sound: Iain Bruce
Boom Operator: Kevin Gurry
Dubbing Mixer: Ken Scrivener
Dubbing Editor: Roy Taylor
Costume Designed by: Vanessa Clarke
Wardrobe Supervisor: Barbara Gillett
Make-up: Jill Carpenter
Hairdresser: Daphne Vollmer
Art Director: Bill Brodie
Made on location in Birmingham and London, England
Location Manager: David Griffith
Action Sequences: Derek Ware
Casting Director: Miriam Brickman

Paul Jones (Steven Shorter)
Jean Shrimpton (Vanessa [Ritchie])
Mark London (Alvin [Kirsch])
William Job ([Andrew] Butler)
Max Bacon (Julie [Jordan])
Jeremy Child ([Martin] Crossley)
James Cossins ([Professor] Tatham)
Frederick Danner ([Marcus] Hooper)
Victor Henry (Freddie K)
Arthur Pentelow ([Leo] Stanley)
Steve Kirby (Squit)
Malcolm Rogers (Rev. Tate)
Doreen Mantle (Miss Crawford)
Michael Graham (TV director [Timothy Arbutt])
Michael Barrington (the Bishop of Essex)
Edwin Finn (the Bishop of Cornwall)
John Gill (the Bishop of Surrey)
Norman Pitt (the Bishop of Hersham)
Alba (the Bishop of Rutland)
The George Bean Group (The Runner Beans)
Michael Medwin [TV sponsor – uncredited]

Alternative Titles

Privilegio – Spain
Tänään huipulla… – Finland



  • Castle of Frankenstein no.13 p.62
  • Castle of Frankenstein no.22 p.43
  • Daily Cinema, The no.9358 (21 April 1967) p.6 – review (by Margaret Hinxman)
  • Film Daily, The vol.131 no.21 (2 August 1967) p.7 – review (by Mandel Herbstman)
  • Film Francais, Le no.1203 (14 July 1967) p.10 – article
  • Films and Filming vol.13 mo.9 (June 1967) p.27 – review (by Robin Bean)
  • Kine Weekly no.3107 (29 April 1967) p.10 – review (by Graham Clarke)
  • Listener, The vol.115 no.2945 (30 January 1986) p.29 – review
  • Literature/Film Quarterly vol.11 no.4 (October 1983) pp.237-248 – article (The Fear of Commitment by Peter Watkins)
  • London Life 3 September 1966 p.20 – review
  • Monthly Film Bulletin vol.34 no.401 (June 1967) p.90 – credits, synopsis, review (by P.J.S.)
  • Sight & Sound vol.3 no.5 (May 1993) p.18 – illustrated article (Paul Jones on Privilege by Paul Jones)
  • Variety 10 May 1967 – credits, review (by Rich)


  • Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Science Fiction by Phil Hardy (ed) p.266; 267
  • Feature Films, 1960-1969: A Filmography of English-language and Major Foreign-language United States Releases by Harris M. Lentz III p.362
  • Kine & TV Year Book 1968 p.126
  • Reference Guide to Fantastic Films by Walt Lee p.382 – credits

Other sources

  • British National Film Catalogue, The vol.5 (June 1968) – credits
  • National Film Theatre Programme August 2003 p.27 – note