6.7/10
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18 user 20 critic

Comfort and Joy (1984)

PG | | Comedy | 10 October 1984 (USA)
Radio host Alan Bird witnesses how an ice cream van is attacked and destroyed by an angry competitor. This leads him into the struggle between two Italian families, the Bernardis and the ... See full summary »

Director:

Bill Forsyth

Writer:

Bill Forsyth
Reviews
Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. Another 1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Bill Paterson ... Alan
Eleanor David ... Maddy
Clare Grogan ... Charlotte (as C.P.Grogan)
Alex Norton ... Trevor
Patrick Malahide ... Colin
Rikki Fulton Rikki Fulton ... Hilary
Roberto Bernardi Roberto Bernardi ... Mr. McCool
George Rossi ... Bruno
Peter Rossi Peter Rossi ... Paolo
Billy McElhaney Billy McElhaney ... Renato
Gilly Gilchrist ... Rufus
Caroline Guthrie ... Gloria
Ona McCracken Ona McCracken ... Nancy
Elizabeth Sinclair Elizabeth Sinclair ... Fiona
Katy Black Katy Black ... Sarah
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Storyline

Radio host Alan Bird witnesses how an ice cream van is attacked and destroyed by an angry competitor. This leads him into the struggle between two Italian families, the Bernardis and the Rossis, over whose ice cream vans can sell where in Glasgow. Written by Mattias Thuresson

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

From the director of "Local Hero" and "Gregory's Girl" See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English | Italian

Release Date:

10 October 1984 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Conforto E Prazer See more »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$1,057,368

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$1,057,368
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Metrosound 261, the radio station that Dicky Bird is a DJ on was a spoof take of a real Glasgow radio station called Radio Clyde 261, so called because they transmitted on 261 MW until 1989 when they switched to FM transmission. See more »

Goofs

You see Dickie arriving at the radio station at around 6am. The film is set at Christmas time in Glasgow, so at that time of year the sunrise is about 9am. Yet we can see the city skyline through the window and not just a dark view. See more »

Quotes

Alan: Well it's 4 o'clock on this lovely, peaceful Christmas afternoon and this is Dickie Bird here being a very happy Christmas worm. You know, I got really sentimental after the morning show today, and I thought about poor, old Steve Kelly having to come in here and spend the afternoon away from his lovely wife and happy kids, so bachelor-boy Dickie volunteered and here I am. You know, I must be crackers, mad or crazy, but to tell you the truth, we're having a pretty good time in Metro Sound today....
See more »

Crazy Credits

During the end credits, Alan 'Dickie' Bird (Bill Paterson) is heard taping and screwing up a radio commercial. See more »

Soundtracks

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
(uncredited)
Written by Charles Wesley and Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy
See more »

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User Reviews

 
I was raspberry when I should have been vanilla.
12 April 2010 | by BERSERKERpoetrySee all my reviews

"Comfort and Joy" is a deceptive film. It begins as a story about those dim, lonely days following a break-up, and turns into a fantastical tale of the dark underworld behind ice cream vendor territorial disputes (!). Yeah, that's what I thought too. How could this work, and who writes this stuff? Bill Forsyth was an exceedingly strange filmmaker. He made movies often thinly disguised as comedy, but with a heart of deep alienation and loneliness. This film, in fact, could almost be a distorted mirror of more nihilistic loner films like "Taxi Driver".

There are passages in "Comfort and Joy" which are utterly dreamlike. The cinematography takes over in nighttime scenes, all deep focus and glowing orbs of unfocused light. Chris Menges photographs his images with a wonderfully real sense. It's this feeling which makes the film true bordering on painful. Bill Paterson (as Alan Bird) enters into this world like someone who'd been sleepwalking. He's subtle, silent, often bemused. He's like a lesson on how to create a character, in the purest sense.

I must say that "Comfort and Joy" is a very specific sort of film. And a very good one, I think. But there's a large portion which depends directly on mood. It's very possible to not enjoy it. But it is real, and that in itself is a wondrous achievement.


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