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The Odd Job (1978)

 -  Comedy  -  September 1978 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 153 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 2 critic

Arthur Harris is a happily married man who returns from his job to discover that his wife, Fiona, is leaving him. Devastated he gets really drunk and tries to commit suicide. After a few ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Tony Sloane
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Inspector Black
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Sergeant Mull
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Raymonde
Stewart Harwood ...
Bernard
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Angie
Joe Melia ...
Head Waiter
George Innes ...
Caretaker
James Bree ...
Mr. Kemp
Zulema Dene ...
Mrs. Kemp
...
Batch
Carl Andrews ...
Taxi Driver
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Storyline

Arthur Harris is a happily married man who returns from his job to discover that his wife, Fiona, is leaving him. Devastated he gets really drunk and tries to commit suicide. After a few setbacks and while he is trying to electrocute himself with a lamp, the door bell rings. An odd man in a leather coat asks if there are any odd jobs that he can perform. Arthur hires the man to kill him. The next day his wife returns, but the man he hired is still trying to kill him... Written by Mika Perl <mikap@ctrl-c.liu.se>

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Comedy

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September 1978 (UK)  »

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Trivia

Co-writer Bernard McKenna said that Graham Chapman was difficult to work with when he wrote the screenplay with him. He said that he thought David Jason's performance was good, but Graham Chapman's performance was awful. See more »

Quotes

[The Caretaker spots Arthur's first suicide attempt]
Caretaker: What are you doing?
Arthur Harris: I'm minding my own sodding business, which is more than can be said for you, you snivelling little turd!
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Connections

Remade as The End (1978) See more »

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User Reviews

the best solo Python venture
23 February 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Very, very funny. Graham Chapman and David Jason are an inspired team, considering the problems hauling this movie into production. Chapman plays Arthur Harris, who gets depressed when his wife (Diana Quick) leaves him for slimy Simon Williams, and engages the bizarre odd job man to dispatch him into the next world. Then his wife returns, and Arthur changes his mind ... cue a sequence of situations featuring Arthur's attempts to evade being killed by Jason, being pursued by cynical policemen Edward Hardwicke and Bill Paterson, gangster Michael Elphick (brilliant), and flirty neighbour Carolyn Seymour. The scene in the restaurant is class, with Chapman in a feeble disguise to allay suspicion, and also the trip to the zoo is hilarious. Then, just as the odd job man finally gets the message (having killed several people by mistake), there is the oddest ending...

As a solo venture, this outstrips all the others various Pythons took on. Chapman was always the funniest and most inspired of the team anyway, and this is a natural extension of that. Excellent.


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