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Clockwise [DVD]

76 customer reviews

Price: £3.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £20. Details
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Product details

  • Actors: John Cleese, Alison Steadman, Penelope Wilton, Stephen Moore, Sharon Maiden
  • Directors: Christopher Morahan
  • Producers: Michael Codron
  • Format: PAL
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Studiocanal
  • DVD Release Date: 21 Aug. 2006
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (76 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000HEVTAE
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,987 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Reviews

Product Description

John Cleese plays a school headmaster obsessed with punctuality whose best laid plans to attend a headmasters' conference go wrong when he boards the wrong train. He turns back to find alternative means of transport, hijacking one of his pupils who is taking the afternoon off school in her father's car. As the journey descends into further chaos, the head begins to lose his schoolmasterly poise.

From Amazon.co.uk

Clockwise is a light-hearted farce that works because John Cleese is so effective as the tightly wound, punctilious headmaster whose well-organised life unravels in a series of disasters on his journey to a conference. Cleese is a master of fussy, fastidious characters in exasperating situations, bottling up his frustration under good manners and sardonic comments until he finally blows, but he’s also startlingly vulnerable as he systematically loses all sense of himself. Dressed in monk’s robes and stranded on a lonely country road, he looks down at his naked wrist and sighs, "I’ve even lost the time". Michael Fryan (the playwright of Noises Off) doesn’t really have much of a story behind the situations, but he provides plenty of complications, and Cleese holds the film together with his brittle manner, single-minded drive, and hilarious headmaster’s condescending haughtiness. While it will seem slight to many, Cleese fans will love it.--Sean Axmaker, Amazon.com --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 21 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 26 July 2002
Format: VHS Tape
The more I watch this film, usually once every couple of months, the more I am convinced that no other actor could have been the lead in this piece of beautifully crafted farce. John Cleese was outstanding from his first line to his last, dominating the whole film, even those scenes where he was not actually in vision, but everything that was happening was ABOUT him and his predicament. You just kept wondering what he would do to recover the situation, and what would happen next to delay that recovery. Every contributing support artist did exactly that.. and supported the Cleese character of Stimpson the Headmaster on his quest. Classic films combine certain elements, like DECREASING TIMESCALE, SEXUAL CONNECTION, and CHASE SCENES, and believe it or not , this film has the lot. Well put together and certainly one for the collection.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By J. Whitworth on 8 Jun. 2008
Format: DVD
Pitch perfect mid 1980's comedy, with Cleese keeping his manic side in check - just - as he tries to get to a conference.

One of the oddest things about watching the films now is how old it seems. We still tend to think of the 1980s as recent history, but when you watch this you realise how much has changed. The cars, the trains, the lack of traffic, no mobile phones. Who would have thought it - 1986 is suddenly starting to look like the good old days.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Charlie Edwards on 7 Jan. 2008
Format: DVD
This is the funniest film I have ever seen. As I have said, I could watch it everyday !
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. A. Kershaw on 19 Mar. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
If you didn't catch this on Video, watch it now - it is absolutely hilarious - excellent performances from just about everyone. Brilliant. John Cleese is masterful as ever !!
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 9 Dec. 2005
Format: DVD
This may be a low-budget film, but it is in my view John Cleese's funniest and most underrated movie. It was not written for an American audience as his later movies were, so the humour is much the same as that of Faulty Towers.
I would go as far as saying that it is almost as funny as that classic series, and has you laughing out loud from start to finish! The dialog is fast and there are so many stories being told at the same time, and so many gags, so in succeeds in re-creating the same manic humour as Fawlty Towers.
You won't be dissappointed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By MARK C. BALE on 21 Jan. 2011
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Just watched this DVD tonight, and a fantastic funny film.

I saw this film many years ago either on Sky TV or the old VHS release, but I am sure there is a line of dialogue missing from the DVD which I seem to remember: Alison Steadman telling chatterbox Joan Hickson to either shut up or belt up during the film, which is not present on the DVD. Is my memory playing tricks, or was there such a scene/line of dialogue in a previous version of the film? Anyone have a previous version of this (TV broadcast, VHS, US release ?) or someone who also recalls this scene.
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Format: DVD
Somewhere between the success of Fawlty Towers and A Fish Called Wanda, came Clockwise - a film about a Basil Fawlty-esque headmaster who is obsessed with time-keeping, yet finds himself increasing late for an important meeting in Norwich.

Seeing as it was released between the two masterpieces, it's fitting that it sits between the two in terms of enjoyment. It sort of leans in and out of the other two, borrowing a little of each's style, but never quite matching either. Cleese is now called Brian Stimpson, but is basically Basil doing a different job, so you have him performing as Basil, yet on the big screen. Plus it's possibly the most bleak of all Cleese's projects.

It's easy to see why Clockwise was never as much of a global hit as the other two. Fawlty Towers delighted in showing up English eccentricity, whereas A Fish Called Wanda was designed to appeal to an Anglo-American audience. Clockwise has a distinctly British feel to it, therefore, only people of a certain age will truly get it (my young daughter watched it and simply said `Why don't they just use their mobile phones?' - ahh, to grow up in the 21st Century!).

If you're a fan of Fawlty Towers and possibly the much under-rated Fierce Creatures, then you should definitely give this a go. You probably won't like it as much as all Cleese's other projects, but it should raise a few chuckles here and there (plus watch out for the many Fawlty Towers cameos!).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mr. DAVID Geer on 7 May 2014
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
We originally stumbled across the video of this film and played it to death. The videos and player are long gone but I missed seeing it so I ordered the DVD. Need less to say it's still as funny as ever, and had me laughing loudly more than once. Even on the second showing I am still roaring with delight. I'd rate this above the zoo one which is superior to a Fish Called Wander. The supporting roles are familiar British actors and play their parts magnificently. A real 10:10
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