MOVIEmeter
SEE RANK
Down 1,478 this week

Clockwise (1986)

 -  Comedy  -  10 October 1986 (USA)
6.6
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 6.6/10 from 8,301 users  
Reviews: 53 user | 19 critic

An uncompromising British school headmaster finds himself beset by one thing going wrong after another.

Writer:

(original screenplay)
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 32 titles
created 18 Feb 2011
 
a list of 42 titles
created 23 Jan 2012
 
a list of 29 titles
created 12 Apr 2012
 
a list of 30 titles
created 28 Aug 2012
 
a list of 47 titles
created 20 Sep 2012
 

Related Items

Search for "Clockwise" on Amazon.com

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: Clockwise (1986)

Clockwise (1986) on IMDb 6.6/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of Clockwise.
1 win. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.3/10 X  

Zookeepers struggle to deal with the policies of changing directors.

Directors: Fred Schepisi, Robert Young
Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline
Comedy | Drama | War
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.6/10 X  

The members of SADUSEA (Song And Dance Unit South East Asia) fall in and out of love while trying to dodge Malayan Communist bullets in the late 1940s. Not only that, they have to contend ... See full summary »

Director: Michael Blakemore
Stars: Patrick Pearson, Michael Elphick, Joe Melia
Clockwise II (2010)
Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.9/10 X  
Director: Khalifa Almuraikhi
Comedy | Crime
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In London, four very different people team up to commit armed robbery, then try to doublecross each other for the loot.

Directors: Charles Crichton, John Cleese
Stars: John Cleese, Jamie Lee Curtis, Kevin Kline
Comedy | Adventure | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

Erik the Viking and his men travel across the sea to find Valhalla to ask the gods to end the Age of Ragnarok.

Director: Terry Jones
Stars: Tim Robbins, John Cleese, Mickey Rooney
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The grandson of the world's first and foremost consulting detective and his bumbling, bionic sidekick attempt to catch the only living descendant of Professor Moriarty.

Director: Joseph McGrath
Stars: John Cleese, Arthur Lowe, Ron Moody
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

A member of the English upper class dies, leaving his estate and his business to an American, whom he thinks is his son who was lost as a baby and then found again. An Englishman who thinks... See full summary »

Director: Robert Young
Stars: Eric Idle, Rick Moranis, Barbara Hershey
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

Fresh-faced young Michael Rimmer worms his way into an opinion poll company and is soon running the place. He uses this as a springboard to get into politics, and in the mini-skirted ... See full summary »

Director: Kevin Billington
Stars: Peter Cook, Denholm Elliott, Ronald Fraser
Fawlty Towers (1975–1979)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.9/10 X  

Hotel owner Basil Fawlty's incompetence, short fuse, and arrogance form a combination that ensures accidents and trouble are never far away.

Stars: John Cleese, Prunella Scales, Andrew Sachs
Comedy | Short | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A bassist shows up early for the betrothal ball of a beautiful princess, and whiles away the time having a dip in the river. The princess is doing the same, unbeknownst to the bass player, ... See full summary »

Director: Robert Young
Stars: John Cleese, Connie Booth, Graham Crowden
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.3/10 X  
Director: Ralph Thomas
Stars: Hywel Bennett, Nanette Newman, Milo O'Shea
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  
Stars: John Cleese, Holly Palance
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Penny Leatherbarrow ...
Woman Teacher
Howard Lloyd-Lewis ...
Ted
Jonathan Bowater ...
Clint
Stephen Moore ...
Mr. Jolly
...
Gwenda Stimpson
Mark Bunting ...
Studious Boy
Robert Wilkinson ...
Streaker
John Bardon ...
Ticket Collector
Mark Burdis ...
Glen Scully
...
Mandy Kostakis (as Nadia Carina)
Dickie Arnold ...
Man at Station
Angus MacKay ...
First Class Passenger (as Angus Mackay)
Peter Needham ...
Porter
Peter Lorenzelli ...
Taxi Driver
Edit

Storyline

Brian Stimpson is the headmaster of a comprehensive (high) school in England. He sets himself, his staff and pupils very high standards. On the way to a conference at which he is to talk, all manner of disasters strike. Written by Rob Hartill

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

If you've ever been late... you'll know what this film is all about!

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 October 1986 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Clockwise - Recht so, Mr. Stimpson  »

Box Office

Gross:

$1,476,356 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Actress Sharon Maiden received an 'Introducing' credit. The movie though was not the debut feature film of Maiden who had appeared in the earlier 1983 cinema movie Party Party (1983). See more »

Goofs

(at around 1h 23 mins) By the end of the movie when Stimpson is delivering his speech and the left arm coat sleeve falls down we can see clearly that is John Cleese himself that pulls something with his right hand making the sleeve fall. See more »

Quotes

Brian Stimpson: The first step to knowing who we are... is knowing where we are and... WHEN we are.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Clockwatching with Mr. Cleese (2001) See more »

Soundtracks

He Who Would Valiant Be
(uncredited)
Written by John Bunyan, modified by Percy Dearmer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I Can Take the Despair. It's the Hope I Can't Stand.
7 March 2006 | by (Tunbridge Wells, England) – See all my reviews

In "Clockwise" John Cleese plays a character who has much in common with Basil Fawlty from the television series "Fawlty Towers". Like the manic Torquay hotelier, Brian Stimpson is a control-freak who finds his own life going out of control. The headmaster of a small-town comprehensive school, he is a stickler for discipline, with a particular obsession with punctuality. He is the sort of man who knows the school timetable off by heart; upon seeing a pupil idling about the school he can instantly tell that pupil exactly what lesson he or she should be attending at that precise moment. (The school is, in an in-joke, named after the famous English clockmaker Thomas Tompion).

Stimpson is disliked by his pupils and staff, who see him as authoritarian and patronising, but he is evidently held in high regard by the wider teaching profession, because he has been elected Chairman of the prestigious Headmasters' Conference. The film tells the story of what occurs on the day on which Stimpson is due to address the annual meeting of the Conference in Norwich. Things start to go wrong when, due to his misunderstanding what he is told by a ticket-collector at the station, he finds himself on the wrong train and ends up missing the train he should have caught. Told that there will not be another train to Norwich for several hours, he decides to make the journey by road and returns home, only to find that his wife has taken the car. He meets Laura, one of his sixth-form pupils, and in desperation persuades her to drive him on the 163-mile journey to Norwich. A further chain of misunderstandings leads to them being pursued across the English countryside by the police, by Laura's parents (who suspect that their daughter is having an affair with her headmaster) and by his wife (who suspects the same thing). On the way they kidnap a former girlfriend of Stimpson's whom they meet by accident, drive the car into a field and get stuck, find themselves in a monastery and, in their desperation to get to Norwich on time, end up holding up a passing motorist in order to steal his clothes, his money and his car.

The film's central joke is that a man who is so obsessed with punctuality should find himself running very late in his attempts to get to the most important meeting of his life. Although Stimpson is the sort of man that most people would automatically dislike if we were to meet him in real life, Cleese manages to arouse a certain sympathy for his character, whose sense of panic arises from a sense that he is the victim of circumstances, that the entire universe is united in a vast conspiracy to prevent him from fulfilling what should have been a relatively simple task. His desperation is increased by the remote possibility that he might just be able to get to Norwich on time. ("It's not the despair, Laura. I can take the despair. It's the hope I can't stand). There can be few of us who have not had, at some time or other, a similar feeling.

Although the film is sometimes described as a farce, that word should not be taken as implying that it is a purely mechanical comedy; character also plays an important part. Fortunately, Cleese is not only a very good technical comedian- his timing in this film is superb- but also a very good character actor. (A gift shared by another ex-Python, Michael Palin). Cleese also receives good support from the rest of the cast, particularly from Alison Steadman as his long-suffering wife Gwenda and Sharon Maiden as the wild and headstrong Laura, for whom driving her headmaster cross-country is a much more interesting way of spending her day than a few hours of boring lessons.

The film is not quite in the same class as Palin's two great post-Python comedies, "The Missionary" and "A Private Function". For most of the time it is very funny indeed; for most of the first hour and a bit I was laughing out loud. (Remarkably, my wife was too- normally she loathes the Pythons and all their works). Unfortunately, the scriptwriter Michael Frayn was unable to maintain this sense of comic invention to the end. The story needed some dazzling twist to finish on, but instead it fizzles out rather tamely and the last quarter of an hour or so, after Stimpson finally arrives at the Conference, is rather disappointing after what has gone before. Nevertheless, this is still one of the better British comedies of the eighties; I certainly prefer it to the overrated "A Fish Called Wanda". 7/10


9 of 9 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Grammar... Adams5905
Other Great Films Told Over A Day bfsog
Location blueskiesmp
anyone else thinks it really drags in places? waynehfitzgerald
Poorly executed and excruciatingly slow. azarn-valo
Hymn sung by John Cleese freddie227
Discuss Clockwise (1986) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?