At long last, one of the best British films of the 1960s has made it onto DVD. In 1964, this wasn't a big box-office success, as many had expected, and its director, Clive Donner, never did anything remotely as good in the rest of his career, so this film has rather been forgotten. But it's one of the sleekest, slyest comedies Britain has ever given the cinema, and the savagery under its glossy surface is palpable. The upwardly-mobile hero (Alan Bates) is quite prepared to kill to get what he wants, and his utterly selfish attitudes are designed to win him every success in the changing Britain of the Swinging London era. But it's not tied to its period in the way that so many 60s films are - indeed, it might be said to predict the Britain of the Thatcher era. The dialogue by Frederic Raphael is often stingingly witty, and Denholm Elliott's performance as the old-fashioned bounder who gives Bates his lessons in poshness is quite superb - it started the actor on a revived and extremely busy film career. The cameraman was Nicolas Roeg, little-known at the time, but seizing every chance to demonstrate his skill.
I have actually seen the DVD release. Great picture quality and sound. Original trailer etc. all told a fantastic bargain and I never thought I would have it on a commercial DVD. The film is very much of its time and quite fascinating to see so many well known faces and the London background. This is a film makers fantasy view of London...or is it? Nicely packaged with slimline space saving case. Well worth a purchase. Excellent value.
Black but not at all bleak , this story of a chancer in the sixties who gets it all has brilliant performances from Alan Bates and from Denholm Elliot in the career defining role of the mephistoflian/Pygmalion character.
Reasonably funny but raises no laughs. A black (therefore unfunny) comedy which is very much of its era. Alan Bates is fine, Denholm Elliot is yet to find his mojo (whatever that means). Won awards because it denigrates 'class' issues. Supposedly interesting in terms of colour palette which is pinkish. We are expected to approve of our 'hero' and his lack of morality. Interesting but, like a poor song which fits the time, has a nostalgia value with no staying power. You watch it for a glimpse of the era rather than any intrinsic value.