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The Great McGonagall (1975)

William Topaz McGonagall, the world's greateset poet. Unfortunately the whole of the rest of the world disagreed. His talent made him a sort of Victorian Chris Evans but without the cash.

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
William McGonagall
...
...
Mrs. McGonagall
...
Mr. Giles / MacDuff / Hercules Paint / British Soldier / Policeman / McLain / Sheriff / Judge
...
Mr. Stewart / Second-Lieutenant Rotlo / Supposed John Brown / Gentleman / Revolutionary / Cardinal / Policeman
...
Army Sergeant / Lord Tennyson / Doctor / Native Messenger / Policeman / Fop
Julian Chagrin ...
Prince Albert / Rev. Gilfillan / Publican / Balmoral Policeman / Stagehand / Ruffian / Mr Stewart's Assistant / British Soldier / Fop
...
King Theebaw / Policeman / Clerk of the Court / Mr Stewart's Assistant / Zulu Chief / Ruffian / Fop
Charlie Young Atom ...
Postman / Policeman / Sleeper in the Snow / Theatre Announcer / Drinker (as Charlie Atom)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Luie Caballero ...
Man with parrot
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Storyline

The tale of an unemployed Scotsman, William McGonagall whose ambition was to become England's Poet Laureate. One minor drawback is that his poetry is terrible. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

1 June 1978 (Spain)  »

Also Known As:

El gran McGonagall  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The title is a reference to the character played by W.C. Fields in The Old Fashioned Way (1934). See more »

Quotes

William McGonagall: But for my age I too would have joined your army.
Queen Victoria: Oh come now, Mr McGonagall. You're only 45.
William McGonagall: Aye, that's my age but I do not...
Queen Victoria: Oh come now, join up. Join up and travel to distant and exotic places. Meet interesting and exciting people, and then kill them.
See more »

Soundtracks

Show Biz
Written by Joan Shakespeare
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User Reviews

 
The Insane Genius of Spike Milligan
14 December 2008 | by (Amsterdam) – See all my reviews

Sadly neglected and forgotten gem of a movie showcasing the incredible and anarchic humour of legend Spike Milligan. Spike plays the eponymous hero of the movie, the Great Mcgonagall, the worlds worst poet who "gave up his job as an unemployed weaver to follow the muse." The gloriously inventive non-structure of the movie eschews any sense of order and usurps all accepted movie conventions. The action taking place, for the most part, in a rambling old theatre. Indeed, the whole production has a stagey feel and the viewer almost feels as if they are part of an insane scatter gun rehearsal filled with ad libbing and uncorrected mistakes. In one scene Spike and the wonderful Victor Spinetti, who appears in numerous roles, do several takes much to the annoyance of very real director Joseph McGrath.

There's awful poetry, a cross dressing Peter Sellers as Queen Victoria (favourite quote, "shit, we are not amused!"), Prince Albert replete with Nazi uniform and Hitler Moustache, and gags galore. Spike's comedic genius was sadly neglected in cinema which is a travesty when one considers the hilarious calibre of original jokes here, delivered with a malicious and surreal glee. For further proof of Spike's incredible talent hunt down a copy of The Bed-sitting Room.


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