Hallucination Generation (1966)

90 mins | Melodrama | December 1966

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HISTORY

The 7 Jul 1965 DV reported that the film, provisionally titled The Drifters, would be shot on location in the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona. Ely Landau was credited as one of the producers, although his name does not appear on screen. (verified) The 5 May 1965 Var announced that principal photography would begin later that month.
       An article in the 29 Jun 1966 Var stated that the film, retitled Hallucination, was based on the recent killing of a Spanish businessman by a young American under the influence of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Herbert R. Steinmann of SRS Productions claimed that most of the lead actors were “exposed to the effects” of the drug, although none were under the influence while filming was underway. To demonstrate the effects on screen, the main story was shot in black and white, with hallucination sequences in color. Writer-director Edward Andrew Mann reportedly studied medical reports on LSD, interviewed users, and tape-recorded reactions of people under its influence, as references for the cast. The character “Eric,” played by veteran actor George Montgomery, was supposedly based on Dr. Timothy Leary, a psychology professor at Harvard University who gained notoriety as an advocate for LSD experimentation.
       Production was completed over the course of a year, with location shooting in Barcelona and on the Spanish coastal island of Ibiza. Steinmann estimated the budget at $1 million, identifying “the color camera effects” as a major expense. The article also noted that Steinmann’s prior career was in wholesale drugs.
       The 1 Jun 1966 Var ... More Less

The 7 Jul 1965 DV reported that the film, provisionally titled The Drifters, would be shot on location in the Spanish cities of Madrid and Barcelona. Ely Landau was credited as one of the producers, although his name does not appear on screen. (verified) The 5 May 1965 Var announced that principal photography would begin later that month.
       An article in the 29 Jun 1966 Var stated that the film, retitled Hallucination, was based on the recent killing of a Spanish businessman by a young American under the influence of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD). Herbert R. Steinmann of SRS Productions claimed that most of the lead actors were “exposed to the effects” of the drug, although none were under the influence while filming was underway. To demonstrate the effects on screen, the main story was shot in black and white, with hallucination sequences in color. Writer-director Edward Andrew Mann reportedly studied medical reports on LSD, interviewed users, and tape-recorded reactions of people under its influence, as references for the cast. The character “Eric,” played by veteran actor George Montgomery, was supposedly based on Dr. Timothy Leary, a psychology professor at Harvard University who gained notoriety as an advocate for LSD experimentation.
       Production was completed over the course of a year, with location shooting in Barcelona and on the Spanish coastal island of Ibiza. Steinmann estimated the budget at $1 million, identifying “the color camera effects” as a major expense. The article also noted that Steinmann’s prior career was in wholesale drugs.
       The 1 Jun 1966 Var reported that editing was being completed over the next two weeks in New York City, to be followed by a series of screenings for prospective distributors. On 6 Jul 1966, Var announced that openings in eighty “key situations” would continue from Jul through Aug 1966. Five weeks later, a news item in the 10 Aug 1966 Var stated that release would be postponed due to “delays in final editing.” Producer Albert Zugsmith disputed an article in the 13 Apr 1966 Var, which described Hallucination as the first film to address the recreational use of LSD. Zugsmith’s argued that his comedy, Movie Star, American Style or; LSD, I Hate You (1966, see entry), had been in release for at least three weeks.
       The picture, officially titled Hallucination Generation, was acquired for distribution by Trans American Films, as stated in the 23 Nov 1966 DV. According to a review in the 20 Dec 1966 DV, the film was screened in New York City six days earlier. The critic described the plot as “thin” and found the hallucination sequences laughable. Regardless, the 31 Jan 1967 DV reported opening-week earnings of $90,000 from seventeen Los Angeles, CA, theaters. The 22 Feb 1967 Var noted that the picture was double-billed in Chicago, IL, with the re-released hit, The Wild Angels (1966, see entry). More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
LOCATION
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Daily Variety
7 Jul 1965
p. 2.
Daily Variety
23 Nov 1966
p. 2.
Daily Variety
20 Dec 1966
p. 5.
Daily Variety
31 Jan 1967
p. 3.
Variety
5 May 1965
p. 14.
Variety
13 Apr 1966
p. 7.
Variety
11 May 1966
p. 22.
Variety
1 Jun 1966
p. 13.
Variety
29 Jun 1966
p. 5.
Variety
6 Jul 1966
p. 14.
Variety
10 Aug 1966
p. 24.
Variety
22 Feb 1967
p. 8.
CAST
PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXT
An Edward Andrew Mann-Robert D. Weinbach Production
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Asst dir
PRODUCERS
Prod
Assoc prod
Assoc prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
FILM EDITOR
Film ed
COSTUMES
MUSIC
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Makeup
PRODUCTION MISC
Prod mgr
DETAILS
Alternate Titles:
The Drifters
Hallucination
Release Date:
December 1966
Premiere Information:
Los Angeles opening: late January 1967
Production Date:
began May 1965
Copyright Claimant:
Trans-American Films
Copyright Date:
14 December 1966
Copyright Number:
LP33776
Physical Properties:
Sound
Black & white with color sequences
Duration(in mins):
90
Country:
United States
Language:
English
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

Supported by an allowance from his wealthy mother, a young American named Bill arrives on Ibiza, an island off the coast of Spain, to visit his friend Denny. Denny lives with a group of young expatriates, who devote themselves to thrill-seeking and sexual promiscuity through the use of drugs, including LSD. Their acknowledged leader is an older married man, Eric, a former college art instructor, who is conducting experiments with hallucinatory drugs. Although Bill is urged to join in the experiments, he refuses, preferring instead to spend his time with Lise, a German girl whom he eventually marries. But their happiness ends abruptly when Bill's mother cuts off his allowance and Lise resents having to support her husband. Not knowing what else to do, Bill returns to the island and moves in with Eric and his family. Before long he is smoking marijuana and accumulating large gambling losses. When Eric comes up with the idea of holding up a wealthy Barcelona antique dealer, Bill rejects the plan until Eric slips him a dose of LSD. Then, while undergoing a series of fantasies, he responds to Eric's suggestions and agrees to join Denny in committing the robbery. The scheme backfires, however, when the antique dealer puts up a struggle and Denny kills him with a candlestick. Racing back to Eric's colony, Denny seeks escape from reality by taking drugs. There were witnesses to the crime, however, and before long the police trace Denny to Eric's and make an arrest. Bill, meanwhile, has made his way to a monastery high above Barcelona. Confessing to the monks, he seeks their assistance and guidance. The police are contacted and they capture the real ... +


Supported by an allowance from his wealthy mother, a young American named Bill arrives on Ibiza, an island off the coast of Spain, to visit his friend Denny. Denny lives with a group of young expatriates, who devote themselves to thrill-seeking and sexual promiscuity through the use of drugs, including LSD. Their acknowledged leader is an older married man, Eric, a former college art instructor, who is conducting experiments with hallucinatory drugs. Although Bill is urged to join in the experiments, he refuses, preferring instead to spend his time with Lise, a German girl whom he eventually marries. But their happiness ends abruptly when Bill's mother cuts off his allowance and Lise resents having to support her husband. Not knowing what else to do, Bill returns to the island and moves in with Eric and his family. Before long he is smoking marijuana and accumulating large gambling losses. When Eric comes up with the idea of holding up a wealthy Barcelona antique dealer, Bill rejects the plan until Eric slips him a dose of LSD. Then, while undergoing a series of fantasies, he responds to Eric's suggestions and agrees to join Denny in committing the robbery. The scheme backfires, however, when the antique dealer puts up a struggle and Denny kills him with a candlestick. Racing back to Eric's colony, Denny seeks escape from reality by taking drugs. There were witnesses to the crime, however, and before long the police trace Denny to Eric's and make an arrest. Bill, meanwhile, has made his way to a monastery high above Barcelona. Confessing to the monks, he seeks their assistance and guidance. The police are contacted and they capture the real criminal. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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The American Film Institute is grateful to Sir Paul Getty KBE and the Sir Paul Getty KBE Estate for their dedication to the art of the moving image and their support for the AFI Catalog of Feature Films and without whose support AFI would not have been able to achieve this historical landmark in this epic scholarly endeavor.