Marianne Faithfull sings "The Ballad of Lucy Jordan" over the opening credit sequence.
Marilyn Jordan (Susan Anspach) is a bored, depressed American housewife, married to a rich Swedish businessman with two seemingly perfect children. She tries to "spice up" her existence by surprising the family when she eats their entire dinner, setting the bedclothes on fire and poisoning the pet dog's milk and then advising it not to drink (the dog does not drink). Eventually Martin, Marilyn's husband, decides to show her to a psychiatrist, but that only serves to further her frustration.
One day, when she decides to accompany her husband on a business trip, Marilyn gets detained by security at the airport on a technicality. After missing her plane, she is befriended by a group of Serbs and is taken to a club they run, bearing the odd name of "Zanzi-Bar." There, Marilyn indulges in their fantastic, surreal world of shovel fighting, lamb roasting, striptease and free love. It all culminates with Marilyn having a passionate fling with a young man named Montenegro (Svetozar Cvetkovic) who works in a zoo.
After spending the night with Montenegro, Marilyn realizes that even though she adores this world, she is a stranger in it. Completely snapping upon this realization, she kills the young man and returns home. Once there, she serves her family a gourmet dinner, followed by a light dessert of fruit, which a caption announces is poisoned. The final intertitle states: "The story was based on real events".
Susan Anspach - Marilyn
Erland Josephson - Martin Jordan
Marianna Jacobi - Cookie Jordan
Jamie Marsh - Jimmy Jordan
John Zacharias - Grandpa Bill
Per Oscarsson - Dr. Aram Pazardjian
Marina Lindahl - Secretary
Bora Todorović - Alex Rossignol
Lisbeth Zachrisson - Rita Rossignol
Svetozar Cvetković - Montenegro
Patricia Gélin - Tirke
Dragan Ilić - Hassan
Nikola Janić - Mustapha
Mile Petrović - Zanzi Bar Customer
John Parkinson - Piano Player
Awards and nominations
Montenegro was nominated for the Golden Palm Award at the 1981 Cannes Film Festival.