Catch My Soul

Catch My Soul is a 1974 film produced by Jack Good and Richard M. Rosenbloom, and directed by Patrick McGoohan. It was an adaptation of Good's stage musical of the same title, which itself was loosely adapted from William Shakespeare's Othello. It was not a critical success.

Catch My Soul
Promotional poster
Directed byPatrick McGoohan[1]
Produced byJack Good
Richard M. Rosenbloom
Written byWilliam Shakespeare (play)
Jack Good (musical)
StarringRichie Havens
Lance LeGault
Season Hubley
Tony Joe White
Susan Tyrrell
Music byTony Joe White, Emil Dean Zoghby
CinematographyConrad Hall
Edited byRichard A. Harris
Distributed byCinerama Releasing Corporation (USA)
20th Century Fox (UK)
Release date
  • March 22, 1974 (1974-03-22) (New York City)
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited States


Shakespeare's tragedy of revenge and racism had been retitled for the London stage and relocated from Venice to Piccadilly; for the film, the location of the drama was moved to the New Mexico desert; filming took place in Española and Santa Fe. The title comes from Act III, Scene III of Shakespeare's play, in which Othello declares his love for Desdemona, "Perdition catch my soul / But I do love thee! And when I love thee not, / Chaos is come again."[2]

Although much of the plot remains intact, Othello, the "noble Moor" becomes the pacifist leader of a hippie commune,[3] Iago appears to be the Devil incarnate who "fits all the negative stereotypes of dropouts with his scruffy beard and unwashed look"[4] and Desdemona becomes a "white round-faced girl with granny glasses".[4]

Patrick McGoohan had earlier starred in the successful 1962 modernisation of the Othello story, All Night Long, which had been moved to 1960s London and fuelled by jazz music. AllMovie's reviewer points out that "perhaps he thought lightning would strike twice in moving it to a gospel show in the Southwest. He was terribly wrong."[5] Catch My Soul would be the only film to be directed by McGoohan,[6] although he later directed some episodes of Columbo.[7] In an interview with Premiere magazine in 1995, McGoohan gave some insight into why the film had failed:

Of the cast, Richie Havens was well-known from his appearance at Woodstock Festival, but this was his first acting role; Lance LeGault had some experience, but not playing major roles; likewise Season Hubley and Susan Tyrrell. Tony Joe White was already fairly well known as a musician. Allmovie's Craig Butler was moved to comment "Laughable also describes every dramatic performance, as do horrible and unbelievable."[5]



The film appeared at the same time as Jesus Christ Superstar. It failed as an arthouse film, was retitled "Santa Fe Satan", and reissued as a drive-in exploitation film.[9]

Critical reviews of Catch My Soul were generally negative, Time Out's reviewer describing it as

"Hampered all the way by McGoohan's languorous direction, which lets each appalling moment of this uncomfortable hybrid of grade-school Shakespeare and grade-school religion sink wincingly in."[10]

Leslie Halliwell was equally scathing, his description being

"A rock and country musical version of Othello, in which the tragic original is trivialized to the point of boredom"[11]

AllMovie's Craig Butler was able to say that "some of the musical performances, especially from Richie Havens and Tony Joe White are quite good, and much of the music is worth hearing ... removed from the movie." Nevertheless, his overall assessment is "a train wreck of a movie that inspires awe and that makes one appreciate a time when awful movies could be so bad in such an interesting way."[5]


A soundtrack album was issued by Metromedia to tie-in with the film.[12] The New York Times reviewer, in line with others, commented "Forget the movie and get the soundtrack album."[8]

Track listing
  1. "Othello, Pt. 1" - Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White
  2. "Wash Us Clean" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White
  3. "Catch My Soul, Pt. 1" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White. Sung by Lance LeGault
  4. "Working on a Building" - Tony Joe White. Sung by Richie Havens
  5. "Othello, Pt. 2" - Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White
  6. "Catch My Soul, Pt. 2" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White. Sung by Lance LeGault
  7. "Open Our Eyes" - Leon Lumkins. Sung by Richie Havens
  8. "Backwoods Preacher Man" - Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White
  9. "Looking Back" - Delaney Bramlett, Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White
  10. "Eat the Bread-Drink the Wine" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White. Sung by Lance LeGault
  11. "That's What God Said" - Delaney Bramlett. Sung by Lance LeGault. Sung by Delaney Bramlett
  12. "Chug-A-Lug (The Drinking Song)" - Delaney Bramlett. Sung by Bonnie Bramlett
  13. "I Found Jesus" - Delaney Bramlett. Sung by Delaney Bramlett
  14. "Run, Shaker Life" - (unknown). Sung by Richie Havens
  15. "Catch My Soul, Pt. 3" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White. Sung by Lance LeGault
  16. "Book of Prophecy" - Jack Good, Richie Havens. Sung by Richie Havens
  17. "Othello, Pt. 3" - Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White
  18. "Lust of the Blood" - Jack Good, Ray Pohlman. Sung by Lance LeGault
  19. "Tickle His Fancy" - Allene Lubin. Sung by Susan Tyrrell
  20. "Why" - Jack Good, Emile Dean Zoghby. Sung by Richie Havens
  21. "Othello, Pt. 4" - Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White
  22. "Catch My Soul, Pt. 4" - Jack Good, Tony Joe White. Sung by Lance LeGault
  23. "Put Out the Light" - Jack Good, Ray Pohlman. Sung by Richie Havens
  24. "Othello, Pt. 5" - Tony Joe White. Sung by Tony Joe White

See also


All references to Othello, unless otherwise specified, are taken from the Folger Shakespeare Library's Folger Digital Editions texts edited by Barbara Mowat, Paul Werstine, Michael Poston, and Rebecca Niles. Under their referencing system, 3.3.100–101 means act 3, scene 3, lines 100–101.

  1. Catch My Soul on IMDb
  2. Othello, 3.3.100–101.
  3. "Catch My Soul". Archived from the original on June 13, 2010. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  4. Sprague Rothwell, Kenneth (2004). A History of Shakespeare on Screen. Cambridge University Press. p. 215. ISBN 978-0-521-54311-8.
  5. "Catch My Soul - Review". AllMovie. Archived from the original on April 19, 2016. Retrieved June 25, 2017.
  6. Katelan, Jean-Yves (October 1995). "Le Prisonnier au cinema". Premiere (223): 26. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  7. "McGoohan as director". Archived from the original on November 8, 2018. Retrieved January 17, 2009.
  8. Canby, Vincent (March 23, 1974). "Movie Review - Catch My Soul". The New York Times. Retrieved January 19, 2009. (requires login)
  9. Brode, Douglas (2000). Shakespeare in the Movies. Oxford University Press. p. 174. ISBN 978-0-19-513958-7. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  10. "Catch My Soul". Time Out. Retrieved January 16, 2009.
  11. Halliwell, Leslie (1995). Halliwell's Film & Video Guide. London: HarperCollins. p. 133. ISBN 0-00-638779-9.
  12. "Catch My Soul". Retrieved January 18, 2009.
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