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OLIVER REED IN MICHAEL WINNER'S BRITISH NEW WAVE 'THE SYSTEM'

Oliver Reed & Jane Merrow Year: 1964 Rating: *****

THE GIRL-GETTERS is really THE SYSTEM as the other title makes little sense — and although the British New Wave comedy/drama does begin like a horny-dudes ensemble, it soon narrows solely onto Oliver Reed as Tinker, head of the wolf pack who "gets his" by falling in love with a rich model as cool, smooth, complicated and yes, beautiful as he is...

Director Michael Winner, before the Charles Bronson action flicks, began an eclectic partnership with post-Hammer villain Reed, and this is both their best work: Winner providing a looser LONELINESS OF THE LONG DISTANCE RUNNER vibe with similar satirical montage breaks; and Reed who, as Tinker... the local womanizing photographer... is all smiles and robust energy, hardly frowning or scowling before a long career playing scowling villains...

Taking place during two weeks at a British vacation spot, there's a kind of 24-hour feeling, and THE SYSTEM must've influenced AMERICAN GRAFFITI as we're put right there with the characters (including a female version of Tinker; a sullen married lady; a "finally grown up" engaged guy; and RUNNER starlet Julia Foster as a ditsy conquest): All hanging out at this sunny retreat where tourists abound, and our boys use their titular SYSTEM to cover the entire area (for girls and money), saving up for the approaching Winter, a plot-point mentioned many (perhaps too many) times throughout. And although they never reach that particular season, you can still feel the foreboding chill move in, ironically after Reed's creative and, for the first time, genuine charm had almost completely thawed Jane Merrow's sublime dream-girl, Nicola, in what's more of a prolonged end of a party than a beginning, middle and end of a romantic summertime adventure — yet it's all that too.  

Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with David Hemmings
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with John Alderton
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with boss Harry Andrews
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Jeremy Burnham
Tennis rich bully Jeremy Burnham in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Barbara Ferris
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed and Julia Foster in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM with Julia Foster
Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Oliver Reed and Ann Lynn in THE SYSTEM
Ann Lynn in THE SYSTEM
 Jennifer Tafler with John Alderman and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Ann Lynn and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM

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