12 user 8 critic

Hammersmith Is Out (1972)

R | | Comedy, Drama | 12 May 1972 (USA)
The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor (Sir Peter Ustinov) of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Richard Burton) ... See full summary »


Peter Ustinov
1 win & 2 nominations. See more awards »


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Elizabeth Taylor ... Jimmie Jean Jackson
Richard Burton ... Hammersmith
Peter Ustinov ... Doctor
Beau Bridges ... Billy Breedlove
Leon Ames ... General Sam Pembroke
Leon Askin ... Dr. Krodt
George Raft ... Guido Scartucci
John Schuck ... Henry Joe
Marjorie Eaton ... Princess
Lisa Jak Lisa Jak ... Kiddo
Linda Gaye Scott ... Miss Quim
Mel Berger Mel Berger ... Fat Man
Anthony Holland ... Oldham
Brook Williams ... Pete Rutter
Carl Donn Carl Donn ... Cleopatra


The Faust legend retold (loosely) and applied to a mentally disturbed patient in a hospital run by a doctor (Sir Peter Ustinov) of dubious sanity himself. The patient (Richard Burton) offers the innocent orderly (Beau Bridges) vast riches if he'll help him escape. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


"The beast is loose from his cage! The rivers will run with blood!" See more »


Comedy | Drama


R | See all certifications »






Release Date:

12 May 1972 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Engrenagem See more »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)


See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Producer J. Cornelius Crean once said that "I have always agreed with Willy Shakespeare that 'the play's the thing'." See more »


Doctor: [taking Hammersmith back to the asylum] It's the end of a chapter, Hammersmith; time to turn the page.
See more »


Referenced in Andy Hamilton's Search for Satan (2011) See more »


For Openers
Music by Dominic Frontiere
Lyrics by Sally Stevens
See more »

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User Reviews

What would Lloyd say
11 October 2014 | by yorimevets-130-485246See all my reviews

I just watched 8/8 episodes on YT. I can't say for sure if the latest digital release. Looks about the same -- even though I had to learn more about Faust later, I can't say for sure about what Lloyd thinks about his sons' weird choice of scripts. But he was in Airplane! I liked both films for different reasons. Burton is at his creepy best and Liz faked Texan as good as anybody. And I'm also a sucker for any Texas movie. Watch Roadie.

I Think Rex Reed wrote this review: Like biblical lepers, the people responsible for an atrocity called "Hammersmith Is Out" should be forced by law to carry a warning bell and cry, "Unclean, unclean!" I used to think Richard Burton and Elizabeth Taylor had no taste. Now I'm convinced they'll do anything for money. I shudder to think what they were paid for this insult to the intelligence of sane moviegoers everywhere, or that they were indeed paid at all to turn out such trash, but "Hammersmith Is Out" is one more nail in their coffin. In this feeble and demented attempt to retell the Faust legend, the devil (Burton) is locked in an insane asylum disguised as a maniac called Hammersmith. With the aid of a retarded orderly (Beau Bridge«) and an illiterate waitress (Taylor), he escapes, breeds crime and pestilence, corrupts the world, launches wars, and litters the scenery with discarded corpses along the way. It must have seemed like a fine idea in the humorous head of Peter Ustinov, who directed it, but did anybody ever bother to read the script? On film, it looks like the hysterical ravings of undisciplined, self-indulgent narcissists who babble incoherently in a d i r e c t descent toward self destruction. They should have taken one hard look at the end result and set t^e negative on "Self-Destruct." Beau Bridges rises up in bed, picks his nose and mumbles about venereal disease. Elizabeth Taylor, as a platinum blonde hash slinger called Jimmie Jean Jackson, rises up behind her greasy counter covered with ketchup (or is it real bloodstains? This is the kind of home movie where it wouldn't seem to matter since they leave all the mistakes in as "camp") and drawls "What'll ya have?" in an Ozark accent that sounds like Judy Canova on a binge. People are always rising up into the frame and leaning on things with no movie to support them. A short cut later, they are both rutting like hogs on top of a garbage sack while a Coca- Cola sign flashes on and off with mutton-headed symbolism. After selling their souls to the devil, he tells them "One of the first things I remember is a lady with a snake," as he munches a shiny apple. The jokes are about that obvious, the desperate attempts at wit are vulgar and cheap. The dialogue is downright filthy, and the performances are obnoxious. Richard Burton walks through the movie in a curious trance, as though in some advanced state of self-hypnosis. Elizabeth Taylor clumps through each scene in a screeching display of self parody, allowing everyone around her to massacre her talent and accent her numerous physical and intellectual handicaps. I didn't think she could sink any lower after X, Y and Zee, but an all- time bottom is reached (even for her) as she ; writhes on a valentine-shaped^ bed with a pig person like two hippos in heat, spouting obscene toilet talk in some kind of orgasmic stupor. Waddling her enormous derriere across the screen in a manner so offensive it would bring litigation from any dignified, self- respecting performer, and saying lines like "I'm the biggest mother of them all," she inspires pity instead of laughs.

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