TV Cream

Films: B is for...

Bed-Sitting Room, The

A few films in this list have apocalyptic overtones, but Spike Milligan’s adapted play about the fragments of post-WWIII Britain restoring order as best they can takes a, well, different tangent to most. Filmed entirely in that golden-era sci-fi staple, an abandoned quarry, a Premiership of British comedians and character actors fill various symbolic roles while avoiding the threat of atomic mutation. Hence you get Arthur “How dare you! How very very dare you!” Lowe and family living on the tube and scavenging chocolate from the vending machines, Sir Rich Ralphardson slowly turning into the titular lodging, Roy Kinnear as a deranged rubber fetishist, and best of all, Frank Thornton as The BBC in dinner jacket remnants, providing a door-to-door broadcasting service complete with all-new national anthem. All permanently encouraged to “keep moving” by a police force of Cook and Moore in a precarious balloon-suspended car. Unlike many films of this sort, it manages to keep the head of inventive steam going for the duration, mainly because it (and the writers) are never on-kilter in the first place. There’s even a rather touching ending. God save Mrs Ethel Shroake, indeed!

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  1. Lee James Turnock

    February 3, 2011 at 4:39 pm

    “You are suffering from acute starvation. Here is a prescription for double egg and chips.”
    “Can I get it made up in Boots?”
    “You’d do better to use a plate, sir.”

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