IMDb > The Philanthropist (1975) (TV)

The Philanthropist (1975) (TV) More at IMDbPro »


User Rating:
7.3/10   36 votes »
Your Rating:
Saving vote...
Deleting vote...
/10   (delete | history)
Sorry, there was a problem
Popularity: ?
Down 29% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
View company contact information for The Philanthropist on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
29 October 1975 (UK) See more »
The original play by Christopher Hampton, was adapted into this made-for-TV movie and it offers witty... See more » | Add synopsis »
Plot Keywords:
User Reviews:
A man of no convictions See more (1 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Ronald Pickup ... Philip

Helen Mirren ... Celia

James Bolam ... Don

Charles Gray ... Braham
Jacqueline Pearce ... Araminta
Colin Higgins ... John
Amanda Knott ... Liz
rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Monica Kendall ... Student (uncredited)

Directed by
Stuart Burge 
Writing credits
Christopher Hampton (by)

Produced by
Cedric Messina .... producer
Production Design by
Don Homfray 
Costume Design by
Roger Reece 
Makeup Department
Judy Neame .... makeup artist
Art Department
Michael Graham-Smith .... graphic designer
Sound Department
Colin Dixon .... sound
Camera and Electrical Department
Peter Catlett .... lighting technician
Michael Sanders .... still photographer (as Mike Sanders)
Editorial Department
John Barclay .... vision mixer
Other crew
Alan Shallcross .... script editor
Malachy Shaw Jones .... production assistant
Crew believed to be complete

Production CompaniesDistributors

Additional Details

90 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

The original Broadway production of "The Philanthropist" by Christopher Hampton opened at the Ethel Barrymore Theater on March 15, 1971, ran for 64 performances and was nominated for the 1971 Tony Award for the Best Play.See more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
A man of no convictions, 12 March 2008
Author: blacknorth from Ireland

The Philanthropist is Christopher Hampton's witty and incisive reversal of Moliere's Misanthropist. According to Hampton 'it occurred to me that in the climate of abrasive candour which characterised the late 1960's, Alceste would have been quite at home: whereas his opposite, a man concerned above all to cause no offence and be an unfailing source of sweetness and light, would very likely succeed only in raising heckles where-ever he went'.

Thus we have the impeccably mannered Ronald Pickup falling over himself to be pleasing and honest, and instead finding that honesty is taken as a subtle form of insult and that to be pleasing is to be unfashionable and rude.

This BBC adaptation, made in 1975, is superb and superbly cast. Pickup is a wonderfully self-absorbed philanthropist, reminding one of Humbert Humbert without the crime. James Bolam is perfectly cast as Don, ostensibly Pickup's friend, but finding how easy it is to dupe the innocent quite without design. Of all the actors only Helen Mirren fails to come to grips with her role, possibly because she is miscast, rather than misreading the part of Celia.

This great play is included as part of the Helen Mirren At The BBC DVD box-set. I do not really understand the fashion for releasing these plays as sets under the umbrella of an actor - much more useful would be a box-set of Christopher Hampton At The BBC. It's his play, Mirren just happens to be in it.

THE most essential play of the 60's and 70's. And shame on the BBC for leaving it unseen in the archives for 33 years.

Was the above review useful to you?
See more (1 total) »

Message Boards

Discuss this movie with other users on IMDb message board for The Philanthropist (1975)


If you enjoyed this title, our database also recommends:
- - - - -
Getting Straight The Barbarian Invasions Pumpkin Privilege The Mystic Masseur
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
IMDb User Rating:
Show more recommendations

Related Links

Full cast and crew Company credits External reviews
IMDb Comedy section IMDb UK section

You may report errors and omissions on this page to the IMDb database managers. They will be examined and if approved will be included in a future update. Clicking the 'Edit page' button will take you through a step-by-step process.