Black comedy set in Soho, London, right after WW2. Half of the fun is seeing a slew of very familiar faces kick up their heels as gay men, lesbians, party-girls, drunks, and drag queens.

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Cast

Episode cast overview, first billed only:
...
Christine Foskett
Susan Porrett ...
Doris, Christine's sister
Paul Birchard ...
Butch
Sylvia Barter ...
Julia Shillitoe
...
Hugh Marriner
...
...
Elizabeth Collier
Eileen Page ...
Mrs. Marriner, Hugh's mother
Gregory Floy ...
Michael Crowley
...
Maurice Hussey
...
Sam Mitchum
...
Lettice Willis
William Osborne ...
Cyril Clatworthy
Susan Brown ...
Bill
Betty Marsden ...
R. B. Monody
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Black comedy set in Soho, London, right after WW2. Half of the fun is seeing a slew of very familiar faces kick up their heels as gay men, lesbians, party-girls, drunks, and drag queens.

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Drama

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5 October 1991 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Trivia

Christine states of her club "We Never Closed". This was the motto of The Windmill Club which stayed open throughout the London Blitz. Judi Dench would play the title role in Mrs Henderson Presents, telling the story of The Windmill Club. See more »

Connections

Featured in Judi Dench talks to Richard Eyre (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Heavenly 'Hell'
12 March 2011 | by (Long Island, New York) – See all my reviews

This British television movie from 1991 is a real treasure.

"Absolute Hell" offers a glimpse of a world that few people today could have imagined. A Bohemian members-only club, run by the amazing Judi Dench. The telefilm, based on the novel "The Pink Room," takes place in 1945, shortly after Germany surrendered. The setting is SoHo, one of the rare locales where gay men and women could actually feel welcomed, at that time.

What makes this movie so fascinating to watch is the great cast, especially Hugh Nighy, as an alcoholic has-been writer, being deserted by his lover of 9 years, and Betty Marsden, riveting as lesbian literary critic R.B. Monody. Her role is of a type that has rarely been portrayed on film and she is brilliant.

Because this is an ensemble piece we may not get as deep into the characters as we might have, but I think that might be part of the charm here. It is more of a window into a time that few people have seen depicted, than a specific character study.

Well worth the time to watch, if you have the opportunity.


8 of 8 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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