6.2/10
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36 user 34 critic

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
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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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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

26 March 1970 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

A szoba-konyha 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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Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Quotes

Nurse Arthur: Best thing to do is to talk dirty among yourselves. Well, if you can't come to that, flip through the dirty books.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Featured in Things They Said Today (2002) See more »

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User Reviews

Plot, visuals, script all equally disrupted by nuclear war- but an oddly touching black comedy!
23 September 2001 | by nickjgSee all my reviews

Buried in the sheer oddity and downright perversity of the humour there is a deep pathos. People of all classes from Lord to lunatic try through activities and language to cling to a civilization represented by heaps of objects. The horrors of holocaust are tempered by humour arising mainly from the ridiculous pretensions of the cast. Every mainstay of British middle and upper class culture has been made absurd - some of the characters are busy mutating into absurd objects - a bed sitting room, a wardrobe, a parrot. The humour is zany, the one-liners often mixing double entendre, understatement and naievity with real pathos. Arthur Lowe as the pompous father, Mona Washbourne as the all-sympathetic mother can bring a lump to the throat.

The nearest rival to Milligan's and Antrobus' satire is to be found in Swift. Lampooning society after it has endured the very worst of tragedies and demonstrating through a torrent of absurdities, that human decency survives is something difficult to sustain in text, but this Fellini-like panorama could never be contained by the pages of a book. It almost defines one of the things which film can do best.

It is ragged and patchy - but a film which includes Harry Seacombe as a 'regional seat of government' defies conventional criticism!


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