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 ...
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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
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[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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Maxine Peake showed her abilities with a terrifying performance as Myra Hindley. Considering she was opposite Jim Broadbent as Lord Longford and Andy Serkis as Ian Brady, that took some doing.
Here, she steals the show with a spellbinding turn as John Le Mesurier's wife Joan. Unfortunately, this drama is out of kilter with the rest of The Curse of Comedy series. All the others cover a timespan during which the subjects were at their peak of success. This covers a two year period several years after Tony Hancock was one of the biggest stars on UK TV with Hancock's Half Hour and Hancock, and also after his unsuccessful film career. The events in this dramatisation bring matters to the conclusion of Hancock's lonely suicide in Austratlia. The death scenes were unsatisfactory, as Hancock sees a ghostly image of Anthony Aloysius St John Hancock, the character from East Cheam which brought him fame and fortune.
A pity we didn't see Ken Stott saying "A PINT? THAT'S VERY NEARLY AN ARMFUL!"
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