6.3/10
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The Bed Sitting Room (1969)

R | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 26 March 1970 (UK)
Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, ... See full summary »

Director:

Richard Lester

Writers:

John Antrobus (screenplay), Charles Wood (adaptation) | 2 more credits »
Reviews
2 wins & 2 nominations. See more awards »

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rita Tushingham ... Penelope
Dudley Moore ... Police Sergeant
Harry Secombe ... Shelter Man
Arthur Lowe ... Father
Roy Kinnear ... Plastic Mac Man
Spike Milligan ... Mate
Ronald Fraser ... The Army
Jimmy Edwards Jimmy Edwards ... Nigel
Michael Hordern ... Bules Martin
Peter Cook ... Police Inspector
Ralph Richardson ... Lord Fortnum
Mona Washbourne ... Mother
Richard Warwick ... Alan
Frank Thornton ... The BBC
Dandy Nichols ... Mrs. Ethel Shroake
Learn more

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Storyline

Set in post-nuclear-holocaust England, where a handful of bizarre characters struggle on with their lives in the ruins, amongst endless heaps of ash, piles of broken crockery and brick, muddy plains, and heaps of dentures and old boots. Patriotically singing "God Save Mrs. Ethel Shroake, Long Live Mrs. Ethel Shroake", they wander through this surrealistic landscape, forever being warned by the police to "keep moving", and prone to the occasional mutation into a parrot, cupboard, or even, yes, a bed sitting room with "No Wogs" scrawled in the grime on its windows. In particular, this story revolves around the odd "love story" of a girl who lives with her parents in one compartment of a London Underground train, the commuter in the next compartment, and the doctor they meet after returning above ground in search of a nurse for the heavily pregnant girl. Written by Sonya Roberts <sonya_roberts@geocities.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

"The Great Nuclear Misunderstanding Lasted 2 Minutes And 28 Seconds (including the peace treaty)" See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ethel Shroake was the Queen's Char Lady. See more »

Quotes

Bules Martin: My advice, charge twenty quid rent, be mindful of drafts...
See more »

Crazy Credits

In the opening credits, cast members are listed in order of height. See more »

Connections

Featured in Talkies: Rita Tushingham (2018) See more »

User Reviews

 
Lester, lookin' good
2 December 1999 | by nunculusSee all my reviews

Pilloried in the decade that was His Time, Richard Lester had radishes thrown at him for being "modish," gimmicky, aggressively hip. (The great Manny Farber was uncharacteristically cruel, cruel.) He may seem in some lights like the Austin Powers of auteurs, but time has been kind both to his formal gifts (as magnificent as Nicolas Roeg's--or David Fincher's) and to the complicated, unsentimental, but hard-beating heart at the center of his movies. At least one Lester work, 1968's PETULIA, ranks among the greatest movies ever made. This little-seen classic, a sort of British-seaside ENDGAME, gets my vote as the most thrillingly beautiful end-of-the-world movie ever.

Coauthored by the "Goon Show" genius Spike Milligan, this post-apocalypse omnibus of sketches suggests John Osborne's Archie Rice rewriting an absurdist play by Gombrowicz. Tweedy lord Ralph Richardson post-atomically mutates into a bed sitting room while sixtyish, uncombed Michael Hordern uses the state of general unrest to get into bed with Rita Tushingham. (Her pregnancy arouses Hordern--until she gives birth, after seventeen months, to what is either a bird or a large pile of felt.) And above it all, Peter Cook flies on a hot-air balloon as a sexy cockney sadist--the post-nuclear Prime Minister to be, the first-draft choice of the Clockwork Orange Party.

A plot summary does no justice to Lester's and the DP David Watkin's images, which challenge the Vesuvian frescos of FELLINI SATYRICON for sheer overwhelmage. And the work of Lester's longtime composer Kenneth Thorne, with its English merriment never once acknowledging its own irony, ranks with the tip-top achievements of Rota or Morricone. This is a beautiful, haunting, great, sadly completely forgotten movie. Film hipsters have had their day lapping up Lucio Fulci and Jess Franco. Bring back a guy who once had a real job! Up with Lester!


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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

The Bed Sitting Room See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono (RCA Sound Recording)

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
See full technical specs »

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