6.9/10
1,371
17 user 18 critic

Comfort and Joy (1984)

PG | | Comedy | 10 October 1984 (USA)
Radio host Alan Bird witnesses how an ice cream van is attacked and destroyed by an angry competitor. This leads him into the struggle between two Italian families, the Bernardis and the ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews

On Disc

at Amazon

Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

Gregory is a normal teen who is infatuated with a classmate. He must work to win her affection.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: John Gordon Sinclair, Dee Hepburn, Jake D'Arcy
Housekeeping (1987)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

In the Pacific Northwest in 1955, two young sisters, abandoned by their mother, wind up living with their Aunt Sylvie, whose views of the world and its conventions don't quite live up to ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Christine Lahti, Sara Walker, Andrea Burchill
Local Hero (1983)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American oil company sends a man to Scotland to buy up an entire village where they want to build a refinery. But things don't go as expected.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Burt Lancaster, Peter Riegert, Fulton Mackay
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ronnie, Wal, Andy and Vic are four bored, unemployed teens in dreary, rainy Glasgow. Ronnie comes up with a great idea. He has noticed that stainless steel sinks are worth a lot of money ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Tom Mannion, Eddie Burt, Richard Demarco
Breaking In (1989)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.1/10 X  

Professional thief Ernie takes Mike on as an apprentice, but while Mike clearly has "larceny in his heart", it will take him a long time to get as good as Ernie.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Burt Reynolds, Casey Siemaszko, Sheila Kelley
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

Bill Forsyth returns to the romantic comedy of Gregory's Girl. Twenty years after his teenage crush on a football-mad schoolgirl, Gregory is back at his old school, teaching English. When ... See full summary »

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Carly McKinnon, John Gordon Sinclair, John Murtagh
Being Human (1994)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.4/10 X  

One man must learn the meaning of courage across four lifetimes centuries apart.

Director: Bill Forsyth
Stars: Robin Williams, John Turturro, Kelly Hunter
Documentary | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

A documentary on how the spirit of unity, which buoyed Britain during the war years, carried through to create a vision of a fairer, united society.

Director: Ken Loach
Stars: Winston Churchill, Clement Attlee, Tony Benn
Comedy | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Mick Travis is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It's the day when Her Royal Highness is ... See full summary »

Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Malcolm McDowell, Brian Pettifer
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

After his girlfriend's pregnancy forces him to marry her, a young man must adjust to his new life and contend with his domineering mother-in-law.

Director: John Schlesinger
Stars: Alan Bates, June Ritchie, Thora Hird
Cutter's Way (1981)
Crime | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Richard spots a man dumping a body, and decides to expose the man he thinks is the culprit with his friend Alex Cutter.

Director: Ivan Passer
Stars: Jeff Bridges, John Heard, Lisa Eichhorn
Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

An American destroyer captain is determined to confront a Soviet submarine caught violating territorial waters. Perhaps too determined.

Director: James B. Harris
Stars: Richard Widmark, Sidney Poitier, James MacArthur
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Alan
Eleanor David ...
Maddy
...
Charlotte (as C.P.Grogan)
...
Trevor
...
Colin
Rikki Fulton ...
Hilary
Roberto Bernardi ...
Mr. McCool
...
Bruno
Peter Rossi ...
Paolo
Billy McElhaney ...
Renato
Gilly Gilchrist ...
Rufus
...
Gloria
Ona McCracken ...
Nancy
Elizabeth Sinclair ...
Fiona
Katy Black ...
Sarah
Edit

Storyline

Radio host Alan Bird witnesses how an ice cream van is attacked and destroyed by an angry competitor. This leads him into the struggle between two Italian families, the Bernardis and the Rossis, over whose ice cream vans can sell where in Glasgow. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Have you ever had one of those weeks... See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

|

Release Date:

10 October 1984 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Conforto E Prazer  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Dicky Bird's car is a 1983 BMW 323i Baur TC convertible, the registration number A329 SGB is a correct Glasgow number, but has subsequently disappeared. See more »

Goofs

You see Dickie arriving at the radio station at around 6am. The film is set at Christmas time in Glasgow, so at that time of year the sunrise is about 9am. Yet we can see the city skyline through the window and not just a dark view. See more »

Quotes

Alan: Well it's 4 o'clock on this lovely, peaceful Christmas afternoon and this is Dickie Bird here being a very happy Christmas worm. You know, I got really sentimental after the morning show today, and I thought about poor, old Steve Kelly having to come in here and spend the afternoon away from his lovely wife and happy kids, so bachelor-boy Dickie volunteered and here I am. You know, I must be crackers, mad or crazy, but to tell you the truth, we're having a pretty good time in Metro Sound today....
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, Alan 'Dickie' Bird (Bill Paterson) is heard taping and screwing up a radio commercial. See more »

Soundtracks

Billie Jean
(uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
Whimsical Growth of Awareness Comedy
18 December 2014 | by (London) – See all my reviews

It's instructive to look at Bill Forsyth's mid-Eighties comedy in light of the Alan Partridge cycle of television shows, in which Steve Coogan portrayed a monstrously egotistical radio presenter completely unaware of the fact that everyone hates him, and would rather see him off the airwaves as soon as possible. Likewise Bill Paterson's "Dickie" (actually Alan) Bird comes across as someone so wrapped up in his radio persona that he cannot see what's happening around him. In the ersatz world of jingles, pop music, and inane chatter, he is a big star; to everyone else he is nothing but a pain. It's thus hardly surprising that his long-time girlfriend Maddy (Eleanor David) chooses to move out.

Set around Christmastime in the center of Glasgow, COMFORT AND JOY looks as if it might be a highly ironic title for a film whose central character cannot find inner peace, and who becomes unwittingly involved in a turf war between rival ice cream sellers. What makes Bill Forsyth's film so endearing is the way he shows so many people making mountains out of emotional and personal windmills. Glasgow is sufficiently big to accommodate both the McCool cartel led by the Mafia-style boss (Roberto Bernardi), as well as the more fly-by- night outfit led by Trevor (Alex Norton). It is simply pride - as well as other issues - that prevents them from arriving at a deal.

As the action unfolds, however, so Alan/Dickie undergoes something of a change of character. He finds out that he can make things happen - not by trying to sustain his arrogant radio persona, but rather treating people on their own terms. He manages to find a particularly satisfying resolution to bring the two sides in the ice cream war together, leaving him ready and willing to face the world with renewed vigor. He might be on his own on Christmas Day, but he understands the importance now of maintaining relationships, both personal and public.

Shot in muddy color in perhaps the most anti-Thatcherite of cities, COMFORT AND JOY offers a glimpse of life beyond the mid-1980s illusion of prosperity and individual self-improvement. People struggle to survive in this city in whatever way they can, even if it means selling ice cream for a living. Their world deserves to be recognized, even though very different from English life at the same time.

The film is replete with memorable cameos, from Scottish actor Rikki Fulton's Hilary - Alan's smooth-talking boss who thinks his star employee has gone barking mad - to C. P. (aka Clare) Grogan's stellar turn as Charlotte. COMFORT AND JOY might be a film with a morally soft center, but it manages to make some acute social observations along the way.


1 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?