Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, ... See full summary »
Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, muddy plains, and heaps of dentures and old boots. Patriotically singing "God Save Mrs. Etheyl Shroake, Long Live Mrs. Etheyl Shroake", they wander through this surrealistic landscape, forever being warned by the police to "keep moving", and prone to the occasional mutation into a parrot, cupboard, or even, yes, a bed sitting room with "No Wogs" scrawled in the grime on it's windows. In particular, this story revolves around the odd "love story" of a girl who lives with her parents in one compartment of a London Underground train, the commuter in the next compartment, and the doctor they meet after returning above ground in search of a nurse for the heavily pregnant girl. Written by
Sonya Roberts <email@example.com>
Plot, visuals, script all equally disrupted by nuclear war- but an oddly touching black comedy!
Buried in the sheer oddity and downright perversity of the humour there is a deep pathos. People of all classes from Lord to lunatic try through activities and language to cling to a civilization represented by heaps of objects. The horrors of holocaust are tempered by humour arising mainly from the ridiculous pretensions of the cast. Every mainstay of British middle and upper class culture has been made absurd - some of the characters are busy mutating into absurd objects - a bed sitting room, a wardrobe, a parrot. The humour is zany, the one-liners often mixing double entendre, understatement and naievity with real pathos. Arthur Lowe as the pompous father, Mona Washbourne as the all-sympathetic mother can bring a lump to the throat.
The nearest rival to Milligan's and Antrobus' satire is to be found in Swift. Lampooning society after it has endured the very worst of tragedies and demonstrating through a torrent of absurdities, that human decency survives is something difficult to sustain in text, but this Fellini-like panorama could never be contained by the pages of a book. It almost defines one of the things which film can do best.
It is ragged and patchy - but a film which includes Harry Seacombe as a 'regional seat of government' defies conventional criticism!
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