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The Naked Civil Servant [VHS] [1975]

John Hurt , Liz Gebhardt , Jack Gold    Suitable for 15 years and over   VHS Tape
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Actors: John Hurt, Liz Gebhardt, Patricia Hodge, Stanley Lebor, Katherine Schofield
  • Directors: Jack Gold
  • Writers: Philip Mackie, Quentin Crisp
  • Producers: Barry Hanson, Verity Lambert
  • Classification: 15
  • Studio: Clear Vision
  • VHS Release Date: 11 Mar 2002
  • Run Time: 102 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000062Y60
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 386,173 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

Classic TV drama which traces the life of the flamboyant British eccentric Quentin Crisp as he grows up in a society not prepared to accept his openly homosexual lifestyle. A landmark of British television, this adaptation of Crisp's autobiography earned BAFTAs for both its star, John Hurt, and director, Jack Gold.

Customer Reviews

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4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
32 of 32 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing insirational life in a brave film 7 Feb 2007
When I first saw this film I was amazed and magnetised. Over the years Quentin's life has inspired so many people homosexual and heterosexual, transgendered and non-transgendered (Does anyone remember Sting's song "An Englishman in New York"?).

The film follows pretty closely Quentin's autobiography of the same name. There are a couple of bits that deviate from his book but it doesn't detract from what a wonderful film it is. Quentin himself, apart from disagreeing with a minor scene, was very complementary about the film.

See it. It's a brave, sincerely made film that made Quentin Crisp, in his own words, a stately homo.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful
As a child growing up in the Seventies I remember this when it ws first screened. I was too young at the time to watch it or appreciate it. However, Quentin Crisp has always fascinated me. He truly is a hero of our modern times. We live in considerably 'enlightened,' times as far as homosexuality is concerned and certainly compared to the times when Quentin Crisp was a young homosexual man.

John Hurt gives a superb performance as Quentin Crisp and captures the charismatic Crisp so well on screen. This is a brilliant film about the life of Quentin Crisp and definitely was ground breaking for its time. I felt myself moved by watching this especially through the sad, tragic and intense moments when he came up against such extreme prejudice from those around him and the society he lived in. God, bless Quentin Crisp!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What's on the other side? 6 May 2009
When asked in New York why this film was so successful, Mr Crisp said that at that time in England there were only two television channels. And whilst making a cup of tea a wife might ask her husband what was on. He'd say, 'A film about a homosexual' and then switch channels. Then she'd say, 'What's on the other side?' to which her husband would reply, 'The News'. To which she would sigh and respond, 'Well you'd better switch it back then'.

Although Quentin Crisp fully acknowledged the fact that it was The Naked Civil Servant that propelled him to some kind of curious stardom he also thought it was somewhat accidental. Surely in America with it's hundreds of TV channels such a film would have gone unnoticed.

But in truth, this is a great film that really sticks in the mind. Well made, it stars the wholly remarkable John Hurt and his interpretation of Mr Crisp is memorable, touching, funny and almost accurate. Quentin described him as 'My representative on Earth'.

Hurt is utterly magnetic and, like all great actors, makes you believe in his role without question. It was with great satisfaction that I learned he is currently playing Mr Crisp again, so many decades later, in a film based around Quentin's later years.

The Naked Civil Servant stands up well as classic piece of British filmmaking. I'm sure it was considered shocking in it's day and terribly revealing too. Now it's a valuable lesson in the attitudes of the time. It cannot and does not try to represent the whole book but the adaptation is really very good. At key moments we are guided by Quentin's wonderfully charming narration, (although it must be said that John Hurt's vocal talents far exceeded that of the writer).

The fact that this film has not drowned in the world of today (with it's thousands of television channels and a million other diversions) is testimony to its quality and long lasting appeal. In this respect Mr Crisp remains happily incorrect.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This film justifes the existance of tv 24 Jan 2008
That was what one critic said when this movie was first screened in Britain.
Another said that Quentin was "some kind of hero".
If you want to now who Quentin was, his philosophy and what his life stood for then this is the one to watch.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Camp as Chistmas 17 Sep 2002
John Hurt isn't the star of this show - the story is. As much as I admire the British film industry and its fabulous wealth of character actors/actresses, this is one script that makes its own stars.
Naturally, John Hurt plays a blinder and maybe I couldn't imagine anybody else finishing off the part as he does. But the Q Crisp one-liners and humorous put downs would have been funny even if Prince Edward had grabbed it with his clumsy paws.
I won't spoil the finished article by quoting the best bits - watch it and I promise you won't be disappointed, it's a real classic.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars DVD version offers improvements 22 May 2003
I had bought the budget VHS of The Naked Civil Servant several years ago and have enjoyed the film immensely - in spite of the tape's very grainy picture quality and annoying noises in the soundtrack. But the content is what matters absolutely with this film and the ClearVision DVD version has just arrived at home today from the UK. The picture quality is HUGELY improved compared to the VHS and there are no unwanted noises on the very clear soundtrack. The film was made for TV so you wouldn't expect state-of-the-art sight or sound, but this is as good a version as you will ever get. The added UK TV series documentary "Mavis Catches Up With...Quentin Crisp" is a well produced gem in which we join Mavis and Quentin in New York in 1989 chatting about how life has gone for him in the USA and how times have changed in the 15 years since the John Hurt film was made. Another good reason to buy the DVD with confidence.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hurt So Good 17 Nov 2003
By bagoas
This is the adaptation of the book with the same title, by the late eminent Quentin Crisp. I'm afraid the movie is not as thrilling as the book, mainly because it lacks Quentin's elegant and witty writing, and his dry and ironic humour.
But even so it is a good and interesting (made for tv) movie, that tells the story of the extraordinary and courageous life of Quentin Crisp, especially since he decided to not desguise his homosexuality, using it as a weapon instead of a weakness.
And John Hurt offers us some great acting, in what will surely be one of the roles of his career.
This is a not to be missed for all Quentin Crisp fans, and an invalueable document in the history of gay visibility in 20th century England.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Bloody brilliant.
This is one of the best films I've seen in ages. It amazes me that I'd never seen it before (2014). A definite 5 stars.
Published 2 months ago by Michael Hayes
5.0 out of 5 stars wonderful made- for-TV film
The Naked Civil Servant is always a pleasure to revisit, and it is still striking how open it was towards its subject, and how generous, given that it was made in 1975. Read more
Published 2 months ago by schumann_bg
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiration
I bought this for my presentation on gay affirmative therapy. I wanted some history on what it was like for gay and lesbians in this society and I got an excellent film in the... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Caramel
4.0 out of 5 stars Ground Breaking In It's Day
John Hurt took a great risk to his career playing The late flamboyant homosexual Quentin Crisp in this film especially as "gay" was not as visible as now and also because... Read more
Published 3 months ago by D. Laidlaw
4.0 out of 5 stars sad but humourous
very sad but true life story of quinten Crisp,a sexual adventure of his early life as a young man.his trials and tribulations of gay life
Published 6 months ago by markus
5.0 out of 5 stars naked emotions
I'd forgotten just how good this film was. So pleased I decided to but it for my collection. Really please.
Published 8 months ago by dolly dimple
5.0 out of 5 stars The Naked Civil Servant
I love The Naked Civil Servant . It was the most sucessful and interesting of all the Productions I was involved in.,as a Make-Up n Hair Designer!!!!! Glad it's survived!!!!! Read more
Published 8 months ago by joan hills
5.0 out of 5 stars Just fabulous!
This is a great classic. A must see with a superb cast. John Hurt plays the role of Quentin Crisp wonderfully.
Published 16 months ago by Simon wright
5.0 out of 5 stars A CLASSIC not to be missed
This is an amazing movie showing how far we have come when it comes to opening up the mentality of people towards the gays! Read more
Published 17 months ago by Mr. N. Degryse
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
This was an hilarious dvd and I am so glad you were able to provide it. I probably would not have been able to get it elsewhere. Thanks.
Published on 25 Oct 2010 by Mrs. S. M. Elliott Grout
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