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Between Iraq and a Hard Place (2003)

TV Movie  |   |  Comedy, War  |  5 January 2003 (UK)
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Ratings: 8.6/10 from 46 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Satirical comedy examing the war on Terror.

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Cast overview:
Rory Bremner ...
John Bird ...
Doña Croll ...
Iraqi Television Host
Krishnan Guru-Murthy ...
Jon Glover ...
Various Characters (voice)
Mac McDonald ...
Various Characters (voice)


The impressionist Rory Bremner and comedians Bird and Fortune take a look at the history of Iraq through a series of sketches, monologues and jokes. They begin with the formation of Iraq by the British in the early 20th Century, through the bombing of villages to control the tribes, the establishment of a king in the area through to the modern day trade meetings with Saddam Hussein. Written by Bob the Moo

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Comedy | War





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5 January 2003 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Tony Blair: Look I'll tell you this, you know, we have to look after the Kurds in Iraq, because if we don't look after them over there, then they'll come over here, and I'll tell you, we're not going to look after them over here.
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Followed by Beyond Iraq and a Hard Place (2003) See more »

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Spot on satire that sometimes leaves you unsure whether to laugh or cry
3 February 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Each week Rory Bremner, John Bird and John Fortune review the latest happenings in politics and the wider news through monologues, sketches and impressions. No target is too easy or too sharp and they regularly expose a lot of truth behind the news through their sketches.

The downside of this is that occasionally I can watch a whole episode and only laugh four or five times. This is especially true of late where Iraq has been in the air, meaning that BBF attack the Bush/Blair approach to great effect – but it's often hard to laugh at that stuff. Most of the time they are hilarious and it is a thing of wonder that anyone is doing satire anymore, never mind finding a programme that does it consistently well.

Bremner is a superb impressionist and his voices are perfect. He exaggerates his subjects habits to great effect, to the point that some in the public eye have deliberately tried to change the thing that Bremner has picked up on. Over the years he has had many great characters – Ian McCaskil being one from years ago but also his Des Lynam and, at the moment, his Robin Cook is a hilariously exaggerated joke! Adding Bird and Fortune to the mix was a stroke of genius as they really add layers to the show. They don't do impressions but they do do great monologues and interviews that are absurd and hilarious.

Satire is not a big audience draw as it requires the audience to have a good knowledge of the news and political events, which sadly few have. However this series is consistently brilliant and is one of the few satires on TV. The writing is wonderful and the impressions are spot on. The addition of the sheer absurdity of Bird and Fortune just makes the programme much better. The downside of the satire is that it isn't always funny – often it's just plain depressing. Sometimes they expose the absurdities of politics so very well that you don't know whether to laugh or cry!

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