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Tumbledown (1988)

Based on the experiences of Lieutenant Robert Lawrence, M.C..

Director:

Richard Eyre

Writer:

Charles Wood
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5 wins & 6 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Colin Firth ... Robert Lawrence
Paul Rhys ... Hugh MacKessac
David Calder ... John Lawrence
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ... Jean Lawrence
Emma Bowe Emma Bowe ... Sophie Martin-Wells (as Emma Harbour)
Rupert Baker ... Nick Lawrence
Jack Fortune Jack Fortune ... Christopher Lawrence
Roddy Maude-Roxby Roddy Maude-Roxby ... George Stubbs
Ann Bell ... Helen Stubbs
Sophie Thompson ... Louise Stubbs
Dan Hildebrand ... Prothero
Tam Dean Burn Tam Dean Burn ... Sergeant Brodick
Mark Williams ... Lumpy
Ian Michie Ian Michie ... Fraser
Paul Higgins ... Saltemarsh
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Storyline

Based on the experiences of Lieutenant Robert Lawrence, M.C..

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Biography | Drama | War

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

30 May 1988 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Der Dank des Vaterlandes See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Based on the experiences of Lieutenant Robert Lawrence MC. See more »

Quotes

[an RAF doctor is giving Robert yet more tests]
Squadron Leader Wentworth: Your father gave me a lesson in military etiquette. I shall give you one. I am called "Sir".
Robert Lawrence: What are you? Squadron Leader? In the Household Division we don't call your rank "Sir".
Squadron Leader Wentworth: Well you can start now, Lawrence.
Robert Lawrence: You're in the Royal Air Force. Are you a flyer?
Squadron Leader Wentworth: No I'm not. I'm a doctor.
Robert Lawrence: [snarls] Well listen, Doctor. Just test this fist. It's just about to give you your first fucking flying lesson!
See more »

Connections

Featured in When TV Goes to War (2011) See more »

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User Reviews

 
In Praise of Superb Acting
28 August 2011 | by LadybugkingSee all my reviews

"Tumbledown" is yet another film in the list of some of Colin Firth's early works that needs to be made available for viewing in the US, in some fashion, now. I was able to get a copy and it was a revelation to me. Various reviewers here have given excellent account of the entire film and its historical context, so I would like to zero in on the acting of Firth, as Robert Lawrence.

Anyone who has an image of Firth only as Mr. Darcy, both "Pride and Prejudice" and "Bridget Jones" versions, being the essence of his acting really needs to try to see this amazing early work of this actor. There are plenty of other examples of the great potential that led to the pinnacle of his success as an actor in "A Single Man" and "The King's Speech", but in this film, he is simply a force of nature. You forget completely that he was not actually a partially paralyzed man. The viewers also need to have conveyed to them the emotions and feelings that can only be done so through the eyes and facial expressions of the actor, and not every actor is as accomplished as Mr. Firth in this regard. He showed, even in his twenties, that not just a great actor was in the making, but was already fully formed.

There are wonderful supporting performances in this as well, particularly the Lawrence parents, played by David Calder and Barbara Leigh-Hunt. Their love for their son, mixed with the emotions of needing to let him be in his life, along with the frustration at his circumstances, is beautifully and poignantly portrayed.

Note must also be made of a fine performance by Paul Rhys as the good friend of Lawrence, often helpless in the hurricane of emotions that make up his blustery, gung-ho, and eventually badly damaged friend and fellow officer.

If one is any sort of fan of Colin Firth, "Tumbledown" is a must-see. Simple as that.

I believe this film is still available in the UK on DVD, and US Region copies exist. This viewer is wishing this, along with several of Firth's other films, could be made available in the US. The deeper talents of this actor need to be on equal display with to the lighter fare that originally brought him success in the US.


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