- Actors: Malcolm McDowell, Leonard Rossiter, Brian Pettifer, John Moffatt, Fulton Mackay
- Directors: Lindsay Anderson
- Format: PAL
- Language: English
- Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
- Number of discs: 1
- Classification: 15
- Studio: Cinema Club
- DVD Release Date: 19 July 2004
- Run Time: 111 minutes
- Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
- ASIN: B0001P045A
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 73,294 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)
Britannia Hospital [DVD] 
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
Customers who bought this item also bought
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Director Lindsay Anderson and screenwriter David Sherwin continue their story of Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell), who played the rebellious schoolboy in the 1969 film If. and the go-getter coffee salesman in the 1973 film O Lucky Man! In Britannia Hospital, Mick Travis is now an undercover investigative TV reporter in another allegorical story of the decline of the West. Set in a large, 500-year-old public hospital, Britannia Hospital is a dark, scattershot, Swiftian satire of the class conflicts in pre-Thatcher England. The hospital, staffed by megalomaniacal doctors, is in a state of near anarchy as its administration prepares for a visit from The Queen. Striking workers only allow "croakers"--patients near death--into the hospital, the kitchen staff refuses to prepare food until union leaders are bought off with promises of OBEs, and the head surgeon (Graham Crowden) conducts, with public funds, deranged experiments, while poor patients are deprived of basic services. On the day of the Royal visit, busloads of protesters arrive, and after battling with riot police, attempt to prevent the royal ceremony.
Working in a less apocalyptic and surreal style than that of O Lucky Man!, but still more fantastic than the American comedy The Hospital, Anderson and Sherwin try to anchor this extremely black comedy to a somewhat realistic setting while still aiming at nothing less than a comic indictment of all the ills of Western culture.
This is the third and final film in Lindsay Anderson’s powerful satirical trilogy dissecting modern Britain. The trilogy follows Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) from his boarding school days in If… through his transition from salesman to film star in O Lucky Man! to his present vocation as investigative reporter, on assignment at Britannia Hospital. The cynical reporter Travis lands himself at Britannia where Vincent Potter (Leonard Rossiter), administrator of the Britannia, is desperately trying to restore order in time for a visit by the Queen Mother, despite staff disputes and cost cuts. But even nastier, surreal disturbances are waiting to be unearthed by Travis in the bowels of the hospital...
Top Customer Reviews
The third film of the trilogy (after "If..." If.... and "O Lucky Man" (O Lucky Man! ) is equally apocalyptic, equally surreal, and equally individual. The two strands of the plot involve on the one hand a strike-bound hospital desperately trying to prepare for a royal visit, and on the other a crazed surgeon trying, Dr Frankenstein-like, to create a man from scratch. On the television screens there are bombings, battery chickens and wars which stoned technicians giggle at; outside the gates there are Human Rights demonstrators protesting at the presence of a genocidal African dictator in the Private Wing. The influences of Bunuel, Vigo and Brecht are still strong.
Nothing escapes unscathed.Read more ›
A mixture of satire, dark humour and serious social commentary, the film is beautifully pulled off by a first class cast of who's-who of British actors and the excellent production values which is seldom seen even in the biggest features made today.
If nothing else you should give this a rent.
Even though the dvd is clearer; you AREN'T getting the whole 1.85:1 aspect ratio.
Take it from me; you miss loads of the scene detail at top and bottom of the screen, if you buy the dvd version, in the hope of improving on this VHS.
Luckily I kept my Vid, before comparing them; and I'm very glad I did!
The VHS wins hands down, and the slightly inferior picture quality adds atmosphere to what is supposed to be, a very dingy, seedy hospital!
Filmed in 1982 (and set a few years previous), this depicts a time when the unions held the power in the country. Hell, even the Kitchen staff went on strike! The Porters were on strike and wanted cooked breakfast in addition to extra money, (a tall order when the kitchen staff were on strike!)
Travis, (Mr Mcdowell) is trying to to get an exclusive undercover television report about the illegal goings on. His two buddies in the recording van get stoned, which is vaguely amusing but that's all they do.
Some of the more comical moments were the hospital dj - a young a slightly slimmer Richard Griffiths who was interviewing a whole manner of hospital staff, (even a vicar) and when the patients of the private wing were served oranges and the African President orange slices!
Mostly it is film of black humour. The scene when a human brain is blended and drank, (I'm not kidding!) was particularly nascueating but the Frankstein moments funnier.
It attempts to convey modernality (the building that Millar inhabits would have been flash in 1982) but ends up feeling dated especially with its unfortunate two instances of racist language.
There was no explanation behind the street demonstrations, but they were among the most, 'Interesting,' parts of the film. Although only a generation ago, this was an era of a more noticeable class structure. Everyone in the kitchen spoke with a cockney accent and all the hospital managers were well spoken.Read more ›
however some good acting here and there.
Nice to see that this US import has gained a bit of value since I picked it up a few years ago but seriously, we need Blu-ray versions of the trilogy and we need them now.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
A wonderful early 80s film which sums up the Thatcher era better than any other movie of the time with the possible exception of My Beautiful Launderette.Published 11 months ago by Chloe Plus
An all star british cast. Rascist language is used in the film. Not a film that i could like. Black comedy, but not very good.Published 14 months ago by V. Pykett
Not as good as if and o lucky man, though more disturbing. Of its timePublished 20 months ago by alice
Back in the day, I had a correspondence going with Lindsay Anderson based on his estime for Jean Vigo (who he?). Anyway, as an aspirant movie director (don't laugh), Mr. Read morePublished 21 months ago by Dan Smith