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I absolutely love this film. I have watched it so often I could dictate the screenplay from memory, but still new subtleties become apparent, even twenty years after I first saw it. Imagine a festering synthesis of Evelyn Waugh and Bunuel via Monty python, then make it ten times better than you might imagine. The fevered and eccentric imagination of 60's Dada-jazz-pop-freak Vivian Stanshall has brought to life a film that is by turns insanely funny, intellectual, schoolboy coarse and charmingly nostalgic for a never-been, golden age of Englishness. If you think you have wrung out every subtlety and pun from the dialogue then you have probably not been listening carefully enough. Layers of meaning run through everything (visuals, dialogue and songs). Apparently Vivian, never satisfied with his own work, hated it but, for me, this film is very nearly perfect. I saw this before hearing any of the Sir Henry radio or LP recordings and to be honest, there are some things that can't be fathomed from the film alone but they only serve to make it more surreal. 'Bizarre' magazine voted it the weirdest movie of all time. That is open to debate but it is decidedly, wilfully odd. If you are one of those (irritating) people who like to quote whole chunks of pungent comic dialogue then leave the safe waters of Monty Python and Derek and Clive and set out on an epic journey to Rawlinson End. It's not hip, it's in B&W and it has ukelele music, it makes no concession to commerciality and 95% of the population will not understand the appeal, but if you are one of the lucky twentieth then your life (and your repertoire of quirky film quotes) will be enriched. A lost British classic.
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