In the mid-1960s, Joan, not long married to comic actor John Le Mesurier, meets and is mutually attracted to comedian Tony Hancock, married to the long-suffering Freddie. Hancock's most ... See full summary »
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In the mid-1960s, Joan, not long married to comic actor John Le Mesurier, meets and is mutually attracted to comedian Tony Hancock, married to the long-suffering Freddie. Hancock's most successful period is in the past and he has become depressive and alcoholic, recently emerging from a stay in a rehab centre. Joan tells him that if he can remain sober for a year she will leave John for him. Hancock goes to Australia to film a comedy series there but it does not work out and he commits suicide. Joan stays with John until his death in the 1980s. Written by
don @ minifie-1
[Tony and Joan have had a blazing row because Tony is blind drunk; she grabs his bottles of brandy and throws them at the wall; swearing profusely, Tony staggers across the room and tries to hit her with a coffee table; both of them end up on the floor]
I do enjoy our little after-dinner chats, don't you?
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This was the second of the BBC's 'Curse of Comedy' dramas and perhaps the seediest. Based on the memoirs of Joan Le Mesurier about her self-destructive and selfish affair with Tony Hancock in the final years of his life, this does not do any of the characters any favours and, despite fine performances from Maxine Peake, Ken Stott, and Alex Jennings (as John Le Mesurier), places the story firmly in the tatty seaside setting (where in fact the two mismatched lovers go to live at one point).
I'm never quite sure what's achieved by taking the real-life problems of TV icons and putting them so baldly on the screen. 'Hancock and Joan', although engrossing and oddly moving at times, felt like an intrusion into private lives which should have stayed private.
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