Can Hieronymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness?
Release Date: 1969
Can Heironymus Merkin Ever Forget Mercy Humppe and Find True Happiness? is a 1969 British musical film directed by and starring Anthony Newley. Newley played the autobiographical title role of Merkin, an internationally successful singer approaching middle age who retells his life story in a series of production numbers on a seashore in front of his two toddlers and aged mother. Merkin focuses on his promiscuous relationships with women, particularly Polyester Poontang and the adolescent Mercy Humppe. Merkin is constantly surrounded by a Satan-like procurer, Goodtime Eddie Filth, and an angelic 'Presence' who interrupts Merkin's biography with cryptic Borscht Belt-level jokes to denote births and deaths in Merkin's life. Newley periodically steps out of character to complain about his 'Merkin' role with an unseen director, two screenwriters, the film's producers and a trio of blasé movie critics who are turned off by the story's eroticism and lack of plot.