“Don't worry old son, we'll supply the tears.” - Michael Rimmer (Peter Cook)
Way before 'House of Cards US's Francis Underwood, and 'House of Cards UK's Francis Urquhart we had House of Farce's Michael Rimmer. Messers Cook, Cleese and Chapman and err Billingtons savagely intelligent political satire, follows marketing clerk Michael Rimmer's rise through the ranks from nowhere to become a leading politician. By exploiting the nations fascination with polls, and using the marketing research to spin public opinion for his own political and personal gain.
After England's atrocious world cup campaign, I knew I needed a backup plan to redeem my national pride, so thats either old British music or comedy then... 'The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer' my knockout trump card, and boy did it work a treat. Because England leads the way at being cynical, nobody can beat us at that. And nobody did it funnier than the late great satirist and former Private Eye editor Peter Cook, dare I say the funniest man to ever have walked our green and pleasant land. Sure Cook wasn't the greatest actor so it bares an obvious likeness to his role in Bedazzled, but thankfully hes joined by comedy greats John Cleese, Graham Chapman and one of my favorites the inimitable Arthur Lowe. Plus fine actors in their own right like Denholm Elliott, Ronald Fraser and Vanessa Howard, who we get to see quite a lot of yum, yum.
The film itself has clearly dated, I fully accept that. But those who deride it for its blatant sexism, classism even racialism should never underestimate Cooks sarcastic wit. Because its nothing short of comic genius, the story gives him ample scope to poke fun at race, religion, the war machine and most of all the dumbing down of public intelligence. *Note take the high rating with a pinch of salt, its far from perfect but fit my mood perfectly.
[Personal Reasons For Remembering]
For helping me forget the football. For making me remember how much I, and British society miss Peter Cook. The Vaseline'd lensed sexualized commercial to re-brand Scorpio Humbugs (boiled sweets/candy). Oh! and that WTF caged up 95 year old lady tale, just to get to the payoff - you don't want black men poking our elderly, and being forced to shit on pictures of Enoch Powell.
Originally taken from Letterboxd