- Rated : Suitable for 15 years and over
- Package Dimensions : 18.6 x 10.64 x 2.85 cm; 173.88 Grams
- Director : Peter Hewitt
- Media Format : VHS
- Run time : 1 hour and 34 minutes
- Release date : 19 Mar. 2001
- Actors : Tom Courtenay, Michael Legge, Laura Fraser, Stephen Fry, Charlotte Roberts
- Studio : Universal
- Producers : Colin Pons, David Brown, Guy East, Nigel Sinclair, Ruth Jackson
- ASIN : B00005B2SE
- Writers : Ben Steiner
- Number of discs : 1
Best Sellers Rank:
316,943 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
- 37,111 in Comedy (DVD & Blu-ray)
- Customer reviews:
It's Christmas 1977 and the Smith family are in trouble. The mother, Irene (Lulu), has been chasing young men at the local nightclub. The father, Harold (Tom Courtenay), has accidentally stopped three OAP's pacemakers while using his telekinetic powers to perform party tricks at an retirement home. And the disco-loving son, Vince (Michael Legge), has gone and committed the ultimate disco-crime - he's fallen in love with a punk girl. What's going to happen next is anyone's guess.
In a parallel universe, everyone would want to know Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?, because although this unpretentious British comedy didn't get even a fraction of the attention lavished on The Full Monty, it turns out to be an overlooked gem of a film. In 1977, retired Yorkshire codger Harold (Tom Courtenay) causes a stir when he was inspired by Uri Gellar to rediscover his own telepathic/telekinetic talents. During the investigation of an old folk's home accident, Harold's son Vince (Michael Legge) falls for workmate Joanne (Laura Fraser) whose scientist father (Stephen Fry) is asked to disprove the miracles. In a clash between the confused youth torn between disco and punk, Vince finds out all sorts of family secrets, including what his mum (Lulu) is really up to each night at the local nightclub (a fantastic set-piece to rival Boogie Nights). The story's elements tie together in a consistently charming homage to the 70s: wallpaper, flares, hair, shirts and a Starsky and Hutch car dress the background; the wardrobe of "The Turd Tache" (David Thewlis) colours the foreground. Other details make it all terrific fun, such as Mark Williams hosting the inspired Thornton Tonight show, and cameos from John Craven, Angela Rippon, Jan Leeming, Keith Chegwin,and even Alan Whicker! --Paul Tonks
Top reviews from United Kingdom
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The cast includes a line-up of real talent, including Tom Courtney, Stephen Fry, Laura Fraser, the singer Lulu, and a young James Cordon, portraying characters that are very easy to care about. Set in mid 1970s Sheffield, at the height of disco (1977 - the 'year of the fever'), the film centres around the dysfunctional Smith family. Father Harold (Tom Courtenay), is a quiet, middle-aged Englishman who starts exhibiting psychic powers, and becomes an instant celebrity. He is arrested for accidently killing three pensioners, and his teenaged son Vince (Michael Legge), a disco fanatic, is in love with his co-worker, whose father also happens to the sceptical scientist testing Harold to see whether or not his powers are genuine. Vince's tarty mother Irene (Lulu), also has a habit of living the high-life and chasing after young men.
This is a very-funny, charming little flick, complemented with an excellent soundtrack that helped define the era, and some magical performances. If life was fair, 'Whatever Happened to Harold Smith' would be considered something of a British comedy classic, a reputation it truly deserves to have.