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Sir Norbert Smith, a Life (1989)
"Norbert Smith, a Life" (original title)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy  |  3 November 1989 (UK)
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Reviews: 5 user

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Title: Sir Norbert Smith, a Life (TV Movie 1989)

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Cast overview, first billed only:
Sir Norbert Smith
Melvyn Bragg ...
Charles Simon ...
Old duffer
Stewart Harwood ...
Mr. Wilkinson
Peter Goodwright ...
Will Silly
George Raistrick ...
Melvyn Merry
Renée Asherson ...
Lady Norbert
Simon Godley ...
Charles Pemberton ...
Moray Watson ...
Sir Donald Stuff
Ruby Lawrence
John Elmes ...
Felicity Montagu ...
Cecilia Johanson
David Henry ...
Harry Crabbe
Gareth Vaughan ...
Western mayor


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Release Date:

3 November 1989 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Sir Norbert Smith, a Life  »

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Spoofs Arthur (1981) See more »

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User Reviews

What a life!
26 May 2003 | by (Saffron Walden, UK) – See all my reviews

Harry Enfield came to fame with his long running characters Stavros and Loadsofmoney on British TV's copy of Saturday Night Live. Subsequently, his own sketch show (with a host of new characters) ran successfully for many seasons. But in between he made this brilliant spoof documentary, about the life of the "legendary British actor", Sir Norbert Smith.

In just an hour, Enfield mercilessly parodies every genre of the much -maligned British film industry (my personal favourite being his take on the dour realist films of the early 60s, with the northern father asking his family: "When's that baby going to grow up and get himself a proper job?"). But it's all great stuff. In between the cod clips, he meanwhile paints a touching (and even more hilarious) portrait of senility. Perfectly judging the line between the sublime and ridiculous, "Norbert Smith" is a wonderful creation. This material could have run and run: instead, it ended where it started (though some of Enfield's later creations were clearly developed from ideas first tried here). A masterclass of comic creativity.

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