HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Mighty Wind, A
Man at the Top
Guru the Mad Monk
Jezebel
Monos
Life at the Top
Whoopee Boys, The
Set, The
Cyrano de Bergerac
Death Walks in Laredo
Gemini Man
End of the Century
If Beale Street Could Talk
Raining in the Mountain
Day Shall Come, The
Scandal
Buzzard
Race for Your Life, Charlie Brown
Shaun the Sheep Movie: Farmageddon, A
Sons of Denmark
Light of My Life
Umbrellas of Cherbourg, The
Jerky Boys, The
Chambre en Ville, Une
Joker
Relaxer
Mustang, The
Baie des Anges, La
Ready or Not
Seven Days in May
Bliss
Hollywood Shuffle
Uncut Gems
Wilt
Daniel Isn't Real
Presidio, The
Curvature
Puzzle
Farewell, The
Challenge of the Tiger
   
 
Newest Articles
Ozploitation Icon: Interview with Roger Ward
Godzilla Goes to Hollywood
Demy-Wave: The Essential Jacques Demy on Blu-ray
The Makings of a Winner: Play It Cool! on Blu-ray
Sony Channel's Before They Were Famous: A Galaxy of Stars
Start Worrying and Hate the Bomb: Fail-Safe on Blu-ray
Completely Different: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 2 on Blu-ray
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
   
 
  Britannia Hospital Testing The PatientsBuy this film here.
Year: 1982
Director: Lindsay Anderson
Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Graham Crowden, Malcolm McDowell, Joan Plowright, Jill Bennett, Marsha A. Hunt, Robin Askwith, Fulton MacKay, Peter Jeffrey, Brian Pettifer, Vivian Pickles, Mark Hamill, Richard Griffiths, Valentine Dyall, Tony Haygarth, Brian Glover
Genre: Horror, Comedy, Science Fiction, Weirdo
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Britannia Hospital is suffering a crisis amongst its staff and patients as all ambulances must be checked in with the trade unionists before entering, and when they are admitted, they might very well be left to die in a corridor by workers taking their tea break. Even the workers in the kitchens are refusing to work because they are not allowed to cook for the private patients and see this as an insult, and one of the private patients is a corrupt leader of a Third World nation which means there are a growing number of protesters outside. Meanwhile, Professor Millar (Graham Crowden) enters the new hospital research wing to continue his experiments, a building which is to be officially opened by royalty that day - but not if the unions have anything to say about it...

Written by David Sherwin, this bleak satire was the last in the loose trilogy of director Lindsay Anderson's Mick Travis stories, all featuring Malcolm McDowell in that role, only this time around the film is so cluttered he isn't offered as much to do. It takes a sour view of Britain as a run-down hospital, and packs in as many state-of-the-nation potshots as possible, with the country suffering under the blight of terrorism, cutbacks, strikes, riots, class war and racism, and that's just for starters. One running joke sees the telephone lines constantly putting the caller through to the wrong person as an example of the frustrating way things have declined, but here you're not sure if there ever was a golden age for the United Kingdom.

Travis is now a investigative journalist (having made his fortune in America), and has brought back with him the very latest recording equipment to stage an expose on Millar's practices. In a large van parked outside the gates are his team, including Mark Hamill, one of a host of recognisable faces brought on board for the film. As they receive his transmissions, Travis breaks into the Millar building and snoops around eventually becoming more involved with the experiments than he would have liked. And what is Millar attempting to do? He's a modern day Frankenstein with refrigerated cabinets full of body parts and a dedicated team of doctors and nurses who turn a blind eye to his professional abuses.

Coming straight out of the turbulent seventies it's not surprising to have the jokes concentrate on the conflict between workers and bosses, but Anderson and company don't take any sides as both are portrayed as selfish as the other, more concerned with getting one up one their rivals than getting the job done. As Potter, Leonard Rossiter (an excellent piece of casting) has to use all the diplomacy at his disposal to get operations running smoothly for the royal visit, and is not above being devious or even murderous in getting his way. The upper class visitors include a tiny lord and a man in drag as his wife, yet more instances to have you wondering whereabouts the humour is being aimed.

If you can call it humour, as it's not particularly funny even if it has your attention in wanting to see how far it will go next. One moment of apparent sincerity sees one of the protesters, a young woman, hold up a flower as a peace offering to a line of riot police only to be savagely beaten down, thus triggering the rumpus that brings the story to its climax. But mostly it thumbs its nose at everyone within reach, leaving no one character to sympathise with and with a bad tempered tone to further alienate the viewer. It criticises mercilessly without putting forward any solutions of its own, but it is weird enough to deserve its cult following, with a finale consisting of Millar's pompous speech to inadvertently show how hopeless the hopes of the human race really are. Always arresting, but rarely satisfying, Britannia Hospital is filled with memorable scenes (liquidised brain, anyone?) yet all over the place as social commentary. Music by Alan Price.

Other cast members include guest stars Alan Bates and Arthur Lowe, Liz Smith, Dandy Nichols, Robbie Coltrane, Barbara Flynn, Betty Marsden and Ram John Holder.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 6246 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Butch Elliot
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
   

 

Last Updated: