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Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell (1999)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy, Drama  |  23 December 1999 (UK)
7.9
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Ratings: 7.9/10 from 169 users  
Reviews: 8 user | 1 critic

Peter O'Toole stars as the complex, funny, charming, and hard-drinking Jeffrey Bernard in this live performance at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

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Title: Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell (TV Movie 1999)

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
Jeffrey Bernard
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Timothy Ackroyd
Sarah Berger
Annabel Leventon
Royce Mills
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Peter O'Toole stars as the complex, funny, charming, and hard-drinking Jeffrey Bernard in this live performance at the Old Vic Theatre in London.

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Comedy | Drama

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23 December 1999 (UK)  »

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Quotes

Lady with questionnaire: And are you becoming irritable, testy and difficult after drinking?
Jeffrey Bernard: You must be joking. I am impossible!
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User Reviews

 
A suicide note in one act
7 July 2013 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

The trouble with alcohol is that it preserves The Arrogance of Youth in a pickle of boorishness, warps reality and postpones the onset of maturity. An alcoholic's selfishness is unthinking and comes so naturally and seamlessly that one tends to allow the drunk a latitude that one extends to children and comedians. Thus the Heroic drunk is applauded for their stamina, lauded because they are, occasionally, entertaining to other drunks and indulged because they reflect the prevailing state of mind. To the sober they are boorish, arrogant and pathologically selfish, almost to a fault. And this is the problem with this play. Peter O'Toole does a great job but I'm left feeling a bit uneasy about his performance knowing that the play could actually be called 'Peter O'Toole is unwell.' We go along with the character and laugh the laughs of the drunk which aren't, in fact, funny to the sober. They rely on that drunken arrogance that sneers at commonplace conversation about umbrellas and that childish humour that thinks cat-racing is funny. Waterhouse does give some cues for pathos but the women who are sickened by Bernard's behaviour and the poignancy of his having to move flats again, are drowned in the alcohol and fag smoke and swept away by the psychopathology of the drunk. This is actually a Tragedy rather than a Comedy - but you try telling them that down at the Coach and Horses.


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