IMDb > Clockwise (1986)
Clockwise
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Clockwise (1986) More at IMDbPro »

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Overview

User Rating:
6.6/10   8,050 votes »
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Down 2% in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writer:
Michael Frayn (original screenplay)
Contact:
View company contact information for Clockwise on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
10 October 1986 (USA) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
If you've ever been late... you'll know what this film is all about!
Plot:
An uncompromising British school headmaster finds himself beset by one thing going wrong after another. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
Awards:
1 win See more »
NewsDesk:
(10 articles)
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Pat Keen obituary
 (From The Guardian - TV News. 21 March 2013, 6:41 AM, PDT)

User Reviews:
I Can Take the Despair. It's the Hope I Can't Stand. See more (51 total) »

Cast

  (in credits order) (verified as complete)

John Cleese ... Brian Stimpson
Penny Leatherbarrow ... Woman Teacher
Howard Lloyd-Lewis ... Ted
Jonathan Bowater ... Clint
Stephen Moore ... Mr. Jolly

Alison Steadman ... Gwenda Stimpson
Mark Bunting ... Studious Boy
Robert Wilkinson ... Streaker
John Bardon ... Ticket Collector
Mark Burdis ... Glen Scully

Nadia Sawalha ... 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
Chip Sweeney ... Paul Stimpson
Sharon Maiden ... Laura Wisely
Joan Hickson ... Mrs. Trellis
Constance Chapman ... Mrs. Wheel
Ann Way ... Mrs. Way
Ann-Marie Gwatkin ... Petrol Station Cashier
Mohammed Ashiq ... Manager
Pat Keen ... Mrs. Wisely
Geoffrey Hutchings ... Mr. Wisely
Geoffrey Greenhill ... Policeman with Mrs Wheel
Richard Ridings ... Policeman at Crash
Geoffrey Davion ... Policeman at Crash
Charles Bartholomew ... Man in Telephone Box
Sheila Keith ... Pat's Mother

Penelope Wilton ... Pat
Christian Regan ... Pat's Son
Alan Parnaby ... Policeman at Telephone Box

Tony Haygarth ... Ivan with the Tractor
Michael Aldridge ... Prior
Ronald Sowton ... Monk
Alan Granton ... Monk
Susan Field ... Woman in Lane
Leslie Schofield ... Policeman Arresting Pat (as Leslie Scofield)
Mike Glynn ... Policeman with Black Eye

Benjamin Whitrow ... Headmaster

Geoffrey Palmer ... Headmaster
Nicholas Le Prevost ... Headmaster (as Nicholas le Prevost)
Peter Cellier ... Headmaster
David Conville ... Headmaster

Patrick Godfrey ... Headmaster
Rupert Massey ... Headmaster
John Rowe ... Headmaster
Philip Voss ... Headmaster
Jeffry Wickham ... Headmaster
Nick Stringer ... Det. Sgt. Rice
Graeme Green ... Detective Constable
Sidney Livingstone ... Porsche Driver
Michael Percival ... Man in Wood
Peter Jonfield ... Det. Insp. Laundryman
Brian Portsmouth ... Detective Constable

Directed by
Christopher Morahan 
 
Writing credits
(in alphabetical order)
Michael Frayn  original screenplay

Produced by
Michael Codron .... producer
Nat Cohen .... executive producer
Gregory Dark .... associate producer
Verity Lambert .... executive producer
 
Original Music by
George Fenton 
 
Cinematography by
John Coquillon (director of photography)
 
Film Editing by
Peter Boyle 
 
Casting by
Priscilla John 
 
Production Design by
Roger Murray-Leach 
 
Art Direction by
Diana Charnley 
 
Costume Design by
Judy Moorcroft 
 
Makeup Department
Kezia De Winne .... chief makeup artist (as Kezia de Winne)
Michael Morris .... chief makeup artist
Stephen Rose .... chief hair stylist
 
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Tim Coddington .... third assistant director
Tony Hopkins .... first assistant director
Crispin Reece .... second assistant director
 
Art Department
Bruce Bigg .... property master
Brian P. Harris .... supervising props (as Brian Harris)
Les London .... supervising props
Bill McMinimee .... construction manager
Lucy Morahan .... art department runner
Michael G. Ploog .... storyboard artist (as Mike Ploog)
Brian Read .... production buyer
Tom Jung .... poster designer (uncredited)
 
Sound Department
Pat Gilbert .... assistant footsteps editor
Ray Merrin .... sound re-recording mixer
Chris Munro .... sound recordist
Rocky Phelan .... footsteps editor
Bill Rowe .... sound re-recording mixer
David Sharpe .... assistant dubbing editor
Don Sharpe .... dubbing editor
John Stevenson .... boom operator
 
Camera and Electrical Department
Tony Breeze .... focus puller
Douglas Dawson .... still photographer
Wick Finch .... gaffer
Gary Hutchings .... grip
Dickie Lee .... grip
George Parrish .... best boy
Gary Spratling .... clapper loader
Alan Taylor .... electrician
Malcolm Vinson .... camera operator
John Ward .... Steadicam operator
 
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Karen Hore .... wardrobe assistant
Keith Morton .... wardrobe master
 
Editorial Department
Keith Mason .... second assistant editor
Kant Pan .... first assistant editor
 
Music Department
Keith Grant .... music recording engineer
 
Other crew
Julie Baines .... production coordinator
John Bernard .... location manager
Vicky Burton .... production runner
Jeremy Child .... cutting room runner
Diana Dill .... script supervisor
Graham Easton .... production executive
Cherry Fiddaman .... cashier (as Cherry Taylor)
Pauline Granby .... assistant accountant
Bob Mercer .... production associate
Catherine O'Brien .... publicist
Terry Pearce .... location manager
Krystyna Plater .... secretary to producers
Iona Price .... secretary to producers
Arthur Tarry .... production accountant
 

Production CompaniesDistributorsOther Companies

Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
96 min
Country:
Language:
Color:
Color (Technicolor)
Aspect Ratio:
1.66 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
The make and model of the car taken on the cross-country trip to get to the Headmasters' Conference was a blue 1970 Morris 1100 MkII [ADO16]. It is basically the same car that was used in John Cleese TV series "Fawlty Towers" (1975), only with a different paint job. Both cars are BMC 1100s, but the version in "Fawlty Towers" (1975) was a 'Countryman' - a small estate car (US: station wagon). The car in Clockwise (1986) is a saloon (US: sedan).See more »
Goofs:
Continuity: 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 »
Quotes:
Brian Stimpson:[ringing bell at the monastery] Oh come on please! Turn the bloody record player down for God's sake!
Brian Stimpson:[the window opens] Now, hello, would you have a tractor would you?
Monk:One moment.
[opens door]
Brian Stimpson:Now, er...
[looks around the place]
Brian Stimpson:Ooh dear, a monastery. I might have guessed!
See more »
Movie Connections:
Soundtrack:
This Is My Lovely DaySee more »

FAQ

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
8 out of 8 people found the following review useful.
I Can Take the Despair. It's the Hope I Can't Stand., 7 March 2006
Author: James Hitchcock from Tunbridge Wells, England

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

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Poorly executed and excruciatingly slow. azarn-valo
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