Skip to main content
BFI logo











Screenonline banner
Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (1967)

Main image of Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (1967)
35mm, colour, 96 mins
Directed byClive Donner
Production CompanyGiant Film Productions
Produced byClive Donner
Screenplay byHunter Davies
Additional dialogueLarry Kramer
PhotographyAlex Thomson
MusicThe Spencer Davis Group, Stevie Winwood, Traffic

Cast: Barry Evans (Jamie McGregor); Judy Geeson (Mary Gloucester); Angela Scoular (Caroline Beauchamp); Sheila White (Paula); Adrienne Posta (Linda); Vanessa Howard (Audrey); Diane Keen (Claire)

Show full cast and credits

Jamie, a grammar school sixth former, longs to emulate his friends' success with girls, but although he has no shortage of offers, he sets his heart on the seemingly unatttainable Mary.

Show full synopsis

With its psychedelic credit sequence, pop soundtrack and coloured filter fantasies, Here We Go Round The Mulberry Bush (d. Clive Donner, 1967) is the quintessential 'Swinging Sixties' film.

It is set in that most unlikely of 'swinging' towns - Stevenage - and confirms what anyone who was young in the 1960s knew; everyday life was mundane and boring, with the 'swinging scene' always somewhere just out of reach.

Donner had made something of a speciality of 'youth' films, including a surprising box-office hit about the Duke of Edinburgh's Award Scheme, Some People (1962). A sensitive director of actors, he was able to obtain assured and appealing performances from his young cast. The film was made for a teenage audience by people who knew something of the power of cynical advertising to pressure the young into being something they were not - Donner was voted Best TV Commercials Director in 1961. The film's publicity material showed a group of young women and young men racing towards each other across the eponymous shrub, gleefully discarding their clothing as they went. Below them a trendy youth wears a badge saying 'I am a virgin'; his face is a blank. One of the slogans promised "the most 'with it' young cast in the most 'with it' picture of the year!" The film certainly tries hard to be 'with it'.

The film has affinities with The Knack ...and How To Get It (d. Richard Lester, 1965). The 'hero' is again a sex-obsessed but socially inept young man who envies, and tries to emulate, other men's success with women, until he learns to see women as people and not just potential sexual conquests. Like The Knack, the film is rich in fantasy sequences.

Jamie's attitude towards the women he meets also echoes Alfie (d. Lewis Gilbert, 1966), but here they are caricatures about whom it is hard to care. What is striking, thirty-five years on, is that the women use and exploit Jamie as much as he does them. Contemporary audiences were presumably meant to share his disgust at Mary's 'heartless promiscuity'. Today's audiences are more likely to see her as an independent young woman, very modern in her attitude to sex and relationships.

As befits a film for and about teenagers, the adult characters are portrayed as grotesques or eccentrics, allowing such actors as Denholm Elliott and Moyra Fraser to turn in deliciously over-the-top performances.

Janet Moat

*This film is available on BFI DVD and Blu-ray.

Click titles to see or read more

Video Clips
Donner, Clive (1926-2010)
Elliott, Denholm (1922-1992)