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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
A much underrated comedy detailing the collapse of a stern, disciplinarian headmaster during a chaotic journey to deliver a speech at a convention of snobbish educationists.
Cleese begins in a very restrained way and is watchable and funny as he gradually descends into anarchic despondency. The pathos as he finally delivers his speech, in an ill-fitting (stolen) tasteless outfit, surrounded by the detritus of his dreadful day, is genuinely moving as well as funny.
Best line, from Cleese, as yet another possible means of reaching his goal emerges: 'It's not the despair: I can cope with the despair. It's the HOPE
that's what's killing me.' Almost the perfect motto for Scotland
football supporters, you might say.
Probably alone in the world, I rate this movie superior to the overly foul-mouthed and Americanised Fish Called Wanda. A host of grizzled British character actors, including the magnificent Alison Steadman, keep things going.
I wonder what happened to the sherry glasses?
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