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Stanley a Man of Variety (2016)

A man who has been stuck in prison for far too long starts to see hallucinations.


Stephen Cookson


Stephen Cookson (screenplay), Stephen Cookson | 2 more credits »
13 wins. See more awards »




Credited cast:
Timothy Spall ... Stanley / James Finlayson / Max Wall / Doctor Boob / Tony Hancock / Noel Coward / Igor / Max Miller / Dad / Mum / Mrs. Moler / George Formby / Frank Randle / Alistair Sim / Margaret Rutherford
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A man who has been stuck in prison for far too long starts to see hallucinations.

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User Reviews

6 May 2020 | by begobSee all my reviews

A prisoner seeks release on the anniversary of his daughter's untimely death, but first has to find out what his crime was with the unwelcome assistance of the variety acts who fill his mind.

First! An amazing spin on the whirligig of madness. Beautifully conceived and produced, and performed by a wonderful actor. Reminded me of Beckett, Gilliam, Kafka, Dickens, but it comes out uniquely grotesque. For something so difficult, the editing and pace keep it clipping along, and the sound design adds layers to the atmosphere, so I just lost myself in this and enjoyed it all the way. Plenty of references that were new to me, but that just means it's worth watching again, and while I did get it, I don't pretend to have understood it. Just a little criticism in that there had to be two bits of written exposition on screen.

Some of the impersonations are more enjoyable than others, but they're all batty and sometimes chilling, with weird close ups and exaggerated facial movement. There's very black humour in a bathtub murder, and no sign of a body in a second murder - just spatters of blood. In the end, the madness is an unsolved riddle.

Great movie, but with poor reviews. Obviously, I'm right.

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Release Date:

7 October 2016 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Special One See more »

Filming Locations:

London, England, UK


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Technical Specs




Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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