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INTERVIEW WITH ACTRESS JANE MERROW REVISITING 'THE SYSTEM'

Interview with British actress JANE MERROW on Michael Winner's THE SYSTEM

“Well I was/am in show business so it wasn’t too much of a stretch!” British actress Jane Merrow said about playing Nicola, the ingenue from Michael Winner’s THE SYSTEM, a model as professional and gorgeous as Jane is an actress, changing the life of womanizing playboy Oliver Reed as Tinker, who, along with his buddies, uses the titular SYSTEM to strategically pick up girls (mostly rich, unlike them) at the summer resort where they work... 

And we asked Jane about this incredible film, also known as THE GIRL-GETTERS, made during and about the inception of Britain’s Swinging Sixties at the crest of the cinematic British New Wave…

Jane Merrow and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM

The plot has Oliver Reed as a player being played... What did you think of your character and her motives?  I think Nicola shakes Tinker up… he’s out of her league and she’s just having a nice little holiday romance, but there was no element of “ I’ll show him”, because he obviously does use the girl: I think she found him attractive and a nice distraction on a temporary basis. She really was a liberated girl of the sixties, used to having men attracted to her… 

Strangely enough I think we were more genuinely liberated in the sixties… it was an exciting time and women were enjoying the new-found freedom to just be themselves: They weren’t trying to prove anything …. just having fun.

Jane Merrow and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM

How was it working with actor Oliver Reed and director Michael Winner, who would collaborate on more films afterward? I enjoyed it…Oliver and I had good chemistry and it worked for the film…. 

Michael was a better producer than director, I think. It was his first film as a director and he had great support from cinematographer Nicolas Roeg, who helped him achieve what he wanted in a scene.  

Jane Merrow and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM

The movie's set at a beachfront vacation spot; how was it to work at such a place? It was a beautiful location which lent itself wonderfully to Nic’s photography and the mood of the film… 

Devon has an exotic quality and the deserted beach was perfect…. It made sense that Nicola would strip off and jump into the sea there.  

Jane Merrow dances to The Searchers in THE SYSTEM

Music is important to this movie, with a live band as part of the story, The Searchers; what did you think of them? The Searchers composed and played great music for the film…. So Sixties!

At one point Michael thought he was going to get The Beatles… he told me… I had never heard of them and then suddenly they just exploded onto the Sixties scene and were out of reach… But I like the Searchers: The Beatles might have unbalanced the film, with their sudden fame.

Jane Merrow's picture perfect in THE SYSTEM

How did the movie do, when released, in 1964? The film was well received and certainly helped my career… although I think people have liked and appreciated the film more as time has passed, and it is seen now for the gem it is: And of course it was a  wonderful part… the script was excellent.  

What are you up to nowadays?  I have a website janemerrow.com and recently I have been getting some more work.. I did two films back to back last year, “Letters for Lost Lovers” and “ Get Lost”, which I was told was made for Apple. And because it’s harder to get the offers as you get older, I believe in creating your own work… 

And I have a film in development about AI in the care market, which I hope we will get produced later this year and have a film… an anthology of classic gothic horror stories, which has been on Amazon for the last three years, titled NEW CHILLING TALES: THE ANTHOLOGY, and I have a follow  up to that ready: The challenge is always getting the financing!  But I love doing it…creating your own!

Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow and Oliver Reed in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow Interview by Cult Film Freak from May, 2022 photo of Jane from 2018
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM with Oliver Reed 
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM with Oliver Reed
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM with Oliver Reed
Jane Merrow in THE SYSTEM with Oliver Reed

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