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The Naked Civil Servant (1975)

TV Movie  |   |  Biography, Comedy, Drama  |  17 December 1975 (UK)
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The life and times of Quentin Crisp, an outrageous and flamboyant homosexual, coming of age and growing into old age in conservative England.



(autobiography), (screenplay)
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Cast overview, first billed only:
Liz Gebhardt ...
Art Student
Ballet Teacher
Stanley Lebor ...
Mr. Pole
Katherine Schofield ...
Mrs. Pole (as Katharine Schofield)
Colin Higgins ...
Stephen Johnstone ...
Antonia Pemberton ...
Mrs. Longhurst
Lloyd Lamble ...
Mr. Crisp
Joan Ryan ...
Mrs. Crisp
Frank Forsyth ...
Family Doctor
Ron Pember ...
Black Cat Proprietor


The life and times of Quentin Crisp, an outrageous and flamboyant homosexual, coming of age and growing into old age in conservative England. Written by Chris Abbenhuis <>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


See all certifications »

Parents Guide:





Release Date:

17 December 1975 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

El funcionario  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Last film of Frank Forsyth. See more »


(at around 1h 13 mins) As the 1975 segment begins, the pedestrians Crisp passes on the sidewalk include a woman in a white top and plaid skirt, and then a man in a lavender shirt and yellow pants. When the shot changes to one from Crisp's point of view, the same two pedestrians pass by again. See more »


[first lines]
Mr. Crisp: Do you intend to spend your entire life admiring yourself?
Quentin Crisp: If I possibly can.
See more »


Referenced in Woody Allen: A Documentary (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

WAY ahead of its time
13 January 2006 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This was broadcast on American TV (with absolutely no fanfare) on one summer night in the late 1970s. I was just idly switching channels and started watching by accident. It's a movie about Quentin Crisp--a gay man who came out in the 1920s. He introduces the film and then it starts--done in documentary style it traces his life. The first image is of him as a young boy dressed in woman's clothes admiring himself in the mirror. I've never had a desire to wear women's clothes, but being a closeted high school kid when I saw this it had QUITE an effect on me.

The film follows his life, how he found others like him and his fame and fortune. It doesn't sugarcoat things--he comes across as vain and pompous sometimes and he is very brutally threatened in one scene. Still it shows how he survived and lived life on his terms. It was liberating--for me at least. Remember--this was the era when "Boys in the Band" was considered an accurate representation of gay life!

This was WAY ahead of its time--for TV. I'm shocked that it was even SHOWN on American TV (albeit VERY quietly--and late at night). John Hurt is superb in the title role--he sounds, looks and acts like Crisp did! An excellent TV movie--still relevant today and beautifully done. A 10 all the way.

17 of 18 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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