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Frankie Howerd: Rather You Than Me (2008)

In the 1950s Frankie Howerd, the famous radio and film comedian, meets a young waiter Dennis Heymer, who, like himself, is a closet homosexual. Their relationship blossoms into a ... See full summary »



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Complete credited cast:
Peter Sandys-Clarke ...
Sally Leonard ...
Benedict Martin ...
Jeffrey Perry ...
Rent Boy
Peter Harness ...
Paul Courtenay Hyu ...
Dr. Ling (as Paul Courtenay-Hyu)
Tom Allen ...
Lighting Technician


In the 1950s Frankie Howerd, the famous radio and film comedian, meets a young waiter Dennis Heymer, who, like himself, is a closet homosexual. Their relationship blossoms into a partnership, rather than a purely sexual one, and Dennis becomes Frankie's manager. By the early 1960s however things are looking bleak for Frankie. He has lost popularity with mainstream audiences and suffered a nervous breakdown. He is full of self hatred about his appearance - he wears a wig - and his homosexuality, puts huge stress on his relationship with Dennis. Matters are not helped by the death of Frankie's mother Edith. However, Frankie is able to reinvent himself as a satirical comedian, with a gig at Peter Cook's Establishment Club and his fortunes soar, with successful television comedies and a well-publicized appearance at the Oxford Union. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Release Date:

9 April 2008 (UK)  »

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1.78 : 1
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Did You Know?


Made as one of a four-part season "The Curse of Comedy" on BBC Four, though not billed on-screen with this series title. The other three films in the series were The Curse of Steptoe (2008), Hancock & Joan (2008) and Hughie Green, Most Sincerely (2008). See more »

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The Weakest of the Curse of Comedy Quartet
14 April 2008 | by (Worthing, West Sussex, England) – See all my reviews

After the three excellent preceding entries in this quartet, (Steptoe,Hancock,Hughie Green)this was a considerable disappointment.

I've no complaint with the performances, both David Walliams and Rafe Spall as Howerd & Heymer respectively were on top form. Where Rather You Than Me falls down, as opposed to the three previous entries is it's lacklustre script, which can't make up its mind whether to concentrate on Howerd or Heymer and falls limply between the two.

This cramped production lasting barely sixty minutes, seems more interested in Heymer's uninteresting sex life than exploring Howerd himself. So we are then subjected to scenes of dimly lit homosexual nightclubs and sweaty couplings, whilst Howerd sits morosely at home.

Poor old Frank is made to look so miserable and dull, you wonder how he ever made people laugh at all. Further insight into his character by the writers would have revealed that despite his depressive nature, he could also be humorous and great company as his many friends including Cilla Black and June Whitfield would bare witness to. (Happiness doesn't sell progamme's it seems)

I'm sad to say that Rather You Than Me is a kick in the teeth to a great comic.

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