Friday, June 1, 2012

The Bed Sitting Room

Are you familiar with the movie that almost single handedly destroyed Richard Lester's film career The Bed-Sitting Room? Having spent the early 60's successfully making Beatles movies Richard turned his hand at satire. It wasn't a success. It took him 5 years to get approval to film for money again.

Released on this date in 1969, The Bed Sitting Room tells of the aftermath of WWIII, the shortest war in living memory. The war took 2 minutes 28 seconds from the beginning of hostilities till the signing of the peace accord, sadly the population of Britain was reduced from 58 million people to 20 as a result of a nuclear explosion.

The Bed Sitting Room tells how those 20 strive to preserve the British way of life. It's funny, it's sad and it's just plain odd. Not a great movie (most likely it was a bit too ahead of its time) it has aged well. Perfect for fans of British humour. Included in the cast are Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Marty Feldman in his first screen role, and Ralph Richardson. The credits list the actors by height.

Released 4 months prior to the first Monty Python broadcast, careful viewers may observe the influence of The Bed Sitting Room on Monty Python skits and John Lennon's lyrics as dialog. Perhaps it is available on Netflix. If not, you'll have to wait for TCM.


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