The (Naked) World of Harrison Marks (1965)

After Naked as Nature Intended in 1961, George Harrison Marks’s next feature film was The Naked World of Harrison Marks (1965). This time, he would not only be the director and producer but as the title implied the star. The film is a pseudo-documentary look at his daily life, spliced with dream sequences. George plays numerous parts and even though the whole project is a bit of farce, it gives a fascinating glimpse into his world. The film was mainly shot at the studios at Lily Place, with the occasional location such as Ewhurst Manor. Even with George playing several of the parts, the film had quite a cast; one even gets to see Pamela Green’s mother helping out at the studio shop.

The Naked world of Harrison Marks
Join the “Dream-In” and take a “Trip” through The Naked World of Harrison Marks, US poster, 1965.

In the one scene with Pamela Green, George, wearing a beret and a monocle, is hamming it up as a movie director. It’s an interesting scene as it’s one of the few with live sound. Pamela Green is playing alongside Stuart Samuels (Sir Aubrey Sludge), and the film George is supposedly directing is Casanova Strikes Again.

The Naked World also features some great scenes with June Palmer (1940-2004), including one showing the filming of Kamera Cine Film No.60, Dream Goddess. Another notable scene is when George gains Jayne Tracey confidence by taking her dinner at the unique Roman Rooms in Knightsbridge. In the final fantasy scene, set in a medieval dungeon, George, surrounded by plenty of nakedness, grapples with his conscience. It’s all a bit Faustian.

The Naked World of Harrison Marks
George Harrison Marks as the Director in the film The Naked World of Harrison Marks (1965).

The film is partly narrated by Valentine Dyall (1908-1985), a British actor who was known for many years as “The Man in Black”, the narrator of the BBC Radio series Appointment with Fear.

Julie Jordan (21) from Hammersmith who starred in the documentary The Naked World of Harrison Marks (1965)
Julie Jordan (21) from Hammersmith, who starred in the documentary The Naked World of Harrison Marks (1965)

It was during the auditions for The Naked World that George met his future wife, Toni Burnett.

The film was a big commitment and something of a gamble, especially as it was refused a certificated by the BBFC. Undeterred, George submitted the film to the London County Council and various other local authorities. It was unanimously passed and, much to the fury of the BBFC, it played to packed houses around the country. The gamble had paid off. The film played at Cameo Moulin, where it had opened in February 1966, for over a year.

The original title of the film was The World of Harrison Marks. The word Naked was added for marketing reasons. When the film was released in the United States, however, it was apparently re-titled The Dream World of Harrison Marks, but I have yet to see a film poster or ad confirming this. In fact, all the American posters I have seen say The Naked World of Harrison Marks.

When George Harrison Marks went bankrupt a few years later, the master reels of the film were apparently lost, but some tins marked The Naked World of Harrison Marks are in the BFI archive.

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8 thoughts on “The (Naked) World of Harrison Marks (1965)

  1. my mother was in this film, “Cleo Simmons” 🙂 Thankfully she had two boys, Adam & Justin, born Dec ’69 and Apr ’71.

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