A hilarious and accurate portrayal of the TV business
"I've never seen that young Lady in my life before and I've lived here fifty years"
Writer Jack Rosenthal and Director Mike Newell brought this wonderful film to our screens back in 1976 as part of ITV's series of single dramas.We follow the day in the life of a quiet,middle aged Television extra, Joe McGill, from the time he gets up on the day of the shoot(He's reading his one line of dialogue prior to his alarm clock ringing) to the time he gets home from a disastrous days filming to inform his Wife he's had a wonderful time!We also meet the cold,tired and miserable TV crew as they leave Granada Studios in Manchester for the suburban location that will act as a Village street in 1940. The fictitious drama they're shooting involves a British Soldier and his relationship with the suspicious School Mistress.Is she a German spy?We're never told,but the threads are there which is all we need to know.Apart from the cold and wet, it's obvious the Crew are reaching their wits end.They're bored with the production and seem totally uninterested with what appears to be a dreary wartime drama.The last thing they need is Mr. McGill.He has one line to say to the British Soldier, but every time they try to do a take something goes wrong. Tempers eventually explode in a remarkable and shocking way. Ultimately, this comedy slowly edges towards a darker finale exploring peoples fragile relationships in the work place, leaving them wondering what the whole point of their reason-detre actually is.Great performances all round,a wonderfully observed insight from Rosenthal and tight direction from Mike Newell(who later went on to direct Four Weddings and a Funeral).
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