The Bed Sitting Room (PAL) (ALL REGIONS)
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Australia released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), WIDESCREEN (1.85:1), SPECIAL FEATURES: Cast/Crew Interview(s), Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, Short Film, Trailer(s), SYNOPSIS: Post-apocalypse England. The 20 survivors of the nuclear war carrying on as best they can. They have a new queen (Mrs Ethel Shroake of 393A High Street, Leytonstone) and have managed to re-establish some semblance of British society. Admittedly young Penelope is 17 months pregnant and Lord Fortnum has decided to become an old English estate (he eventually settles for turning himself into a bed sitting room) but the British way of life continues. Fundamental standards such as "stiff upper lip", "know your place" and, above all, "preserve the status quo" are being rigorously upheld as life in the wreckage goes on. This 1969 absurdist triumph began life as a one act play by Spike Milligan and John Antrobus that was quickly expanded to a full stage production. Eventually it fell to Richard Lester, the director who practically defined British cinema in the 60s (Hard Days Night, Help) to put this bizarre, minimalist anarchy onto the big screen. SCREENED/AWARDED AT: Berlin International Film Festival, ...The Bed Sitting Room (1969)
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Top Customer Reviews
The film is an Absurdist classic of gargantuan proportions, almost as if Salvador Dali and Philip K. Dick cooked the whole thing up whilst drinking tea in Kings Cross one day. In cinematic history only the works of Luis Bunuel really come close, and Hell, he wasn't funny really, was he? In a post-nuclear British landscape dominated by broken crockery and other bric-a-brac, we soon learn that apparently only 20 people survived the apocalypse, and hence, the next in line to the throne is Mrs Ethel Schroake of 393a High Street, Leytonstone. Otherwise other odd characters such as Lord Fortnum of Alamein (Ralph Richardson) who is metamorphosising into a Bed-Sitting Room, and a mad Postman (Spike Milligan) who spouts mad non-sequiturs at random people populate the landscape. I could go on forever about the characters and their quirks (amd transformations), but that would spoil the film somewhat. Let's just say that you'll be suprised how far a film script can go in terms of insanity.
As per usual, the BFI doesn't skimp on the Extra Features where available, and you can expect a lavish illustrated booklet with an essay on the film by journalist Michael Brooke; and archival interviews with Lester, Milligan and Peter Cook. God bless the BFI - And with releases of other lost classics planned in the near-future, they deserve our respect. Buy and watch in awe!
The plot seems just as insane as it ever was,(is it ever really possible to make a sane film about nuclear destruction?) and we are left to revel in the great cast performances, and the abundance of gags, both in the script and production design. There are wonderful little moments throughout, such as the shifty way Spike Milligan looks around just before he pockets a scrap he picks from a hole he is digging in the middle of the desolate remains of the M4 Slough turnoff. Fans of Milligan's "dalek" sketch will probably giggle when they note the eviscerated poodle skeleton in Roy Kinnear's car, too!
Surreal comedy was king at the time, The Goons' radio show was an institution and Monty Python was just starting on the telly, but this film was perhaps a bit *too* surreal for many.
There are some great visual moments which capture the holocaust ridden London nicely; rubble, glimpses of familiar abandoned landmarks, and a tube station in a state reminiscent of the blitz. Needless to say there are plenty of bizarre moments of visual comedy too which are played straight to emphasise the surrealism at the core of the film. There's a sense of a plot, but it gets thinner as the film progresses and turns steadily more strange. Instead of a fluid story this feels like a collection of visual gags which have been thrown together and although you can appreciate many of them, you spend too much time figuring out how they fit in with the film which stops you from simply enjoying them.
Most viewers of the film will have a favourite face they want to see, and for me I watched mainly to see Peter Cooke and Dudley Moore. The film is very faceted and so most characters appear frequently but sometimes only briefly. The more iconic comedians such as Cooke, Moore, and of course Spike Milligan always make an impression though.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
You have to get their humour but if you are over 40 youll love it.
Hard work this one , and not entirely successful . Some interesting scenes visually , but even the presence of Milligan , Pete and Dud and Marty Feldman does'nt save it .
If you took a tonne of rancid, diseased waste and compressed it onto a disc, this would be the result. Read morePublished 5 months ago by A. J. Hawkins
An off the wall classic, only to taste, you will like it or not understand what its all about. this dvd arrived on time and in good shape, very happy to own this bizzard look at... Read morePublished 7 months ago by glen wallace
very satisfied with item: good value for the money and prompt deliveryPublished 16 months ago by sean james duggan