5.9/10
99
6 user 7 critic

Decline and Fall... of a Birdwatcher (1968)

M | | Comedy | 26 January 1969 (USA)
A naive young man, sent down from university, blunders through a series of bizarre adventures in which his participation is always innocent, although others don't think so.

Director:

Writers:

(adaptation), (additional scenes) | 2 more credits »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
... Paul Pennyfeather
... Judge
... Solomon Philbrick
... Prendergast
... Sir Humphrey Maltravers
... Maniac
... Captain Grimes
... Margot Beste-Chetwynde (as Genevieve Page)
... Chief Warder
... The Prison Governor
... Dr. Augustus Fagan
... Arthur Potts
... Flossie Fagan
... Otto Silenus
Kenneth Griffith ... Mr. Church
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Storyline

A naive young man, sent down from university, blunders through a series of bizarre adventures in which his participation is always innocent, although others don't think so.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

"See that diamond-crusted, double-breasted bird over there?...that's mother. She wants to meet you."

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

M | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

26 January 1969 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Decline and Fall  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

(Westrex Recording System)

Color:

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Evelyn Waugh's original novel is simply called "Decline And Fall". It was reported at the time, in all seriousness, that the title had been altered for this film in case people thought it was some sort of Roman historical epic. See more »

Quotes

Maniac: I like to read the Bible. There's a lot of killing in the Bible.
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Connections

Referenced in Brewster McCloud (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Men of Harlech
(uncredited)
Traditional
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User Reviews

Well worth watching
4 October 2016 | by See all my reviews

I love Evelyn Waugh's writing and have read a lot of biographies and critical works plus seen various films and TV adaptations. I only found out about this film recently and bought the DVD on Amazon.

On the basis of the various reviews, I approached seeing it more in the sense of duty to tick it off rather than from any expectations. However, I found it both enjoyable and reasonably faithful to the book. Yes, it is a bit labored in places and unnecessarily updated to the 1960s. But I think it catches the essence of Waugh, particularly the way that certain characters keep on reappearing in new guises..

The main characters were captured just right by a great cast of British actors.I would pick out Colin Blakely as Solomon Philbrick, Leo McKern as Captain Grimes, Robert Harris as Prendergast, and Donald Wolfit as Fagan. Genevieve Page is an enchanting and manipulative Margot Beste-Chetwynde. And Robin Phillips played Paul Pennyfeather as he should be, a lightweight and naive person who allows himself to be buffeted by Fortune.

It will be interesting to see the BBC version due to be released in 2017. However, this 1968 version has been undeservedly forgotten and is well worth watching.


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