26 user 21 critic

A Private Function (1984)

R | | Comedy | 1 March 1985 (USA)
2:33 | Trailer
In post-World War II Britain, food rationing continues, leading a married couple to become involved in the flourishing bacon black market.


Malcolm Mowbray


Alan Bennett, Alan Bennett (story) | 1 more credit »
Won 3 BAFTA Film Awards. Another 3 wins & 3 nominations. See more awards »





Cast overview, first billed only:
Michael Palin ... Gilbert Chilvers
Maggie Smith ... Joyce Chilvers
Denholm Elliott ... Dr. Swaby
Richard Griffiths ... Allardyce
Tony Haygarth ... Sutcliff
John Normington ... Lockwood
Bill Paterson ... Wormold
Liz Smith ... Mother
Alison Steadman ... Mrs Allardyce
Jim Carter ... Inspector Noble
Pete Postlethwaite ... Nuttal
Eileen O'Brien Eileen O'Brien ... Mrs Sutcliff
Rachel Davies ... Mrs. Forbes
Reece Dinsdale ... P.C. Penny
Philip Wileman Philip Wileman ... Preston Sutcliff


1947 in a small town in England. The war has been over for two years, but there's still rationing of meat. When Princess Elizabeth is going to marry, a group of businessmen wants to impress (or probably bribe) the local government by giving a big party. They want to slaughter an illegally raised pig for this event. Unfortunately, someone steals the pig.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Vicious, Delicious and Tasteless.




R | See all certifications »

Did You Know?


Debut theatrical feature film directed by Malcolm Mowbray. See more »


Dr. Charles Swaby: In Westminster Abbey tomorrow morning, a young couple are getting married of a purity and a nobility scum like you just can't comprehend.
See more »


Rose of England
Music by Ivor Novello
Played on piano by Maggie Smith
See more »

User Reviews

A very good, typical British comedy
19 July 2005 | by philip_vandervekenSee all my reviews

This movie already had everything to please me before I even started watching it. Knowing that this was a British comedy, was already enough for me to decide that I wanted to see it, but that it was situated in the first post-WWII years, only made it even more interesting for me. I'm very interested in that time period, but in my opinion there aren't enough good movies about it. However, it's not because I think that I'll like a movie, that I'll automatically give it a good rating. I still need to watch it first.

"A Private Function" is situated in a small town in England in 1947. Even though the war is over for about two years, there still is a rationing of meat and more in particular of pork. The butchers and farmers are severely controlled in order to prevent the start of a black market, but the rules aren't always obeyed. When Princess Elizabeth is going to marry, a local group of businessmen and notables are organizing a party to impress the local government. They have a pig illegally raised and want to slaughter it for the event. But just before the party, the pig is stolen by Gilbert Chilvers on the instigation of his wife and his mother-in-law, who can't live with the idea that they no longer belong to the notables of the community and therefore can't get more meat...

If you like the typical British humor, than this is definitely a movie you shouldn't miss. Especially when they keep the pig in their own house, you can be sure of some hilarious scenes. One reviewer said that you shouldn't watch it when you don't like toilet humor. I'm afraid I can't follow him in that opinion. I don't like that kind of humor at all, but it never was shown in this movie either. It's just insinuated and that's why I could live with it without any problem. Another good reason why you should give this movie a try is the acting. Michael Palin is excellent as the somewhat quiet, but lovable husband who does everything his wife - Maggie Smith plays that role really very well - wants him to do. But the other actors, even though most of them aren't very famous, are very good and interesting to watch.

All in all this is a comedy that deserves a lot more attention than what it has received so far. I really enjoyed watching it and regularly had a good laugh. What more can you possibly want from a comedy? A good story and some fine acting? They are all in it as well and that's why I give this movie a 7.5/10.

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Official Sites:

Handmade Films Website





Release Date:

1 March 1985 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Función privada See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$25,333, 3 March 1985

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

HandMade Films See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo



Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »

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