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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. Ethel Shroake, Long Live Mrs. Ethel 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 its 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 <firstname.lastname@example.org>
With it's completely surreal narrative and winning photography, The bed Sitting room hits me now for a number of reasons, the first of which, is that despite looking strangely contemporary, all it's main leads (Except the young uns) are dead. Marty Feldman, Micheal Horden, Arthur Lowe, Peter Cook, Dudley Moore, Harry Secombe, Spike Milligan and Sir Ralph, are all pushing up the daisies. There's something tragic about the cast in a comedy all being dead. For all intense and purposes, the film may as well be dead too as it was blind luck that I caught it. It is criminal that this bona fide classic never really made it past the main gates, while lesser films took the glory.
Made by Richard lester (A hard Days Night, Superman 2 & 3) in 1969, just before Monty Python hit pay dirt, it tells the story of Brits after the bomb, working class through to upper, it encapsulates the British eccentricities perfectly. It's pomposity and its sheer blooded bloody optimism. These characters, you might see on the tube on the way to work and despite furniture mutation and hunger, they're just the same. It's a testament to all concerned, that a potentially silly premise, is performed with total conviction and a little tragedy. It's especially weird to see Sir Ralph Richardson and Sir Micheal Horden as leads. In such a bizarre film, it swings the whole experience into brain frying proportions. It'd be like having Sir Ben Kingsley play Ace Ventura, Pet detective.
Another reason, this film is a triumph, is the superb set design and photography. While in Monty Python, it's surrealistic landscapes, while funny and inventive, never really touches the views on offer here, What was essentially a quarry, is now landmarks of Britain, with bits of it sticking out all over the place. stacks of shoes, dismembered traffic jams and indeed Bed sitting rooms clog up the toxic horizon, all glum and desolate, you half believe the story, as the landscape seems sort of real. I'll bet my mums dog that Python was influenced by the designs on display here. As the film was based on a play (By Spike Milligan and John Antrobus) I wonder how it looked in a theatre.
There you have it, a classic film in every way if you like that sort of thing. If you catch it, you'll wonder if you saw it, then you'll be angry that you've never heard of it, after that you'll never forget it, it's just a shame you'll probably never get to see it...
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