London, 1969 - two 'resting' (unemployed and unemployable) actors, Withnail and Marwood, fed up with damp, cold, piles of washing-up, mad drug dealers and psychotic Irishmen, decide to ... See full summary »
Richard E. Grant,
Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, ... See full summary »
It's 18 years since I saw Sir Henry at the cinema. My friends and I had to go two nights in a row, just to make sure we hadn't imagined it the first time.
Sir Henry is a stroll through the mind of Director, writer, performer, and Bonzo Dog Band frontman Vivan Stanshall's mind - which, by the early 80's, was probably coming seriously unravelled. Fans of hard-core British surrealism absolutely must see this movie. Everyone else should probably avoid it. Rooms filled with rotting fruit, ghostly mechanical bulldogs, face-jumping competitions, and not least of all Sir Henry's Brother Hubert (Viv), who goes fishing for hairdressers. Stanshall's humour has far more in common with Dali than with Eddie Murphy, and the overwhelming majority of (at least, American) filmgoers will simply be stupified.
A few things should be said about sir Henry. First, Trevor Howard, in the lead role, plays such a magnificent drunk that it's a little hard to believe he was putting it on (I do believe it was his last movie.) Secondly, the film alternately plods and lurches in such a fashion that , as with early Woody Allen films, you'll find yourself sitting through a fair bit of material that doesn't work, just for the blinding moments when it comes together. Thirdly, as wonderful as this movie is (and despite its faults, my memory insists it _is_ quite wonderful), it isn't as good as the album. Sir Henry the film is terrific. Sir Henry the LP is a comic masterpiece; Stanshall's finest moment.
8 out of 10.
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