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
Several actors who appeared as guest stars in Fawlty Towers (1975) crop up throughout the movie. They all converge at the conference at the end. Cleese's character even looks and dresses like Basil Fawlty. See more »
When Brian Stimpson and Laura stop the Porsche the driver states that the car was new and had only "12 miles on the clock" After Laura steals the Porsche we see a close up of the tachometer the clock clearly reads that the car has 754 miles "on the clock". See more »
The first step to knowing who we are... is knowing where we are and... WHEN we are.
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See this Ealing comedy for the '80s if you ever get the chance
The secret of this comedy is its pacing. It shows the events of one working day in the lives of a range of people from schoolchildren to pensioners, whose course is hilariously skewed for them all by the obsession of the film's central character. It uses a traditional "obsessive tunnel vision" strategy of comedy - a character's failure to see the chaos he is causing in the lives of those who are unlucky enough to lie in the path between him and his goal.
Alison Steadman plays the sassy schoolgirl who does everything she can to help her headteacher achieve this obsession, tearing him between his drive for the peak of respectability orthodoxy and her less than respectable means to achieve this goal. The comic tension between the unlikely pair seems a hilarious pastiche of the sexual tension in most hero + heroine situations.
Americans may not immediately recognise the small-town England setting, which gives it a tone of Ealing comedy, but the film should greatly amuse viewers from any background.
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