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A Merry War (1997)

Keep the Aspidistra Flying (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 August 1998 (USA)
Gordon Comstock is a copywriter at an ad agency, and his girlfriend Rosemary is a designer. Gordon believes he is a genius, a marvelous poet and quits the ad agency, trying to live on his ... See full summary »

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(novel), (screenplay)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Rosemary
...
Ravelston
...
Erskine
...
Julia Comstock
...
Hermione
...
Mrs. Wisbeach (as Barbara Leigh Hunt)
...
Mrs. Meakin
...
McKechnie
Bill Wallis ...
Lill Roughley ...
Mrs. Trilling
Dorothea Alexander ...
Old Woman
Peter Stockbridge ...
Old Man
Grant Parsons ...
Beautiful Young Man
...
Paul Doring
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Storyline

Gordon Comstock is a copywriter at an ad agency, and his girlfriend Rosemary is a designer. Gordon believes he is a genius, a marvelous poet and quits the ad agency, trying to live on his poems, but poverty soon comes to him. Written by Anonymous

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Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sex-related material | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

28 August 1998 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

A Merry War  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$373,830, 30 August 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$301,360, 25 October 1998
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

There is a suitcase beside Gordon as he sits on the park bench. When he leaves the park with Rosemary, Gordon does not carry the suitcase with him although it is no longer beside the bench. See more »

Quotes

Gordon Comstock: When you're lying in the gutter, you've got nowhere to fall.
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Soundtracks

Tiger in the Night
Music and Lyrics by Mike Batt
Performed by Colin Blunstone
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User Reviews

 
Revolting travesty of Orwell
10 October 2000 | by See all my reviews

The British 'heritage film' industry is out of control. There's nothing wrong with filming classic novels, but why must they all be filmed by talentless nobodies? This film rips the guts out of Orwell's tough novel, turning it into a harmless, fluffy romantic comedy. 'Aspidistra' may not be Orwell's best work, but no-one who reads it can forget its superb depiction of poverty. Orwell emphasises not only the cold and the hunger, but the humiliation of being poor. In the novel, London is a bleak, grey, cold, heartless city, and Comstock prays for it to be blasted away by a squadron of bombers. But this film irons out anything that might be in any way disturbing, and creates instead a jolly nostalgic trip to charming 1930s London, in which everything is lit with shafts of golden sunlight, and even the slums of Lambeth are picturesque and filled with freshly scrubbed urchins and happy prostitutes. Comstock's poems about the sharp wind sweeping across the rubbish-strewn streets seem completely out of place in this chocolate-box world. Worst of all is the script's relentless bonhomie, ancient jokes, and clunking dialogue. It's so frustrating because Richard E. Grant is the perfect person to play Gordon Comstock, and the film is packed with great actors. But it's all for nothing. This film made me so angry! Britain's literary history is something to be proud of for its richness, complexity and power. And what do we do with it? We employ bland nobodies to turn it into soft-centred, anodyne pap for people who want to feel that they are 'getting some culture' while they drink their Horlicks and quietly doze off.


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