A Private Function

1984

Comedy

1
IMDb Rating 6.5 10 2542

Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
May 27, 2021 at 01:59 PM

Cast

Maggie Smith as Joyce Chilvers
Richard Griffiths as Allardyce
720p.BLU
883.77 MB
1280*720
English 2.0
NR
23.976 fps
1 hr 36 min
P/S 3 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by willandthomas-picturehou 9 / 10

Both Smiths Are Glorious.

Well you know the story don't you. The pedicurist (Michael Palin) and his social climbing wife (Maggie Smith) live with her mother (Liz Smith) and a pig they've stolen. The pig's smell, naturally, permeates the entire house. When people come in, that's the first thing they notice, the smell and Maggie Smith justifies it by saying "My mother, she's seventy four" I laughed so hard that I had tears running down my face. It's not the line per se the cause of it but its delivery and the faces, the faces of Maggie and Liz Smith. I've been a ardent fan of Maggie Smith all my life and I had a unshakable memory of Liz Smith and Dora Bryan as the British spinsters of Apartment Zero. Here the two Smiths create a subliminal duo that is downright irresistible. Don't miss it.

Reviewed by MOscarbradley 7 / 10

Like something Ealing might have done

A near classic; like something Ealing might have done if, perhaps, raunchier though not necessarily darker. Set at the time of the present Queen Elizabeth's wedding to Prince Phillip, it's about the petty jealousies of the ostensible middle-classes of Northern ration-book Britain.

Michael Palin is Gilbert, a mild-mannered chiropodist, looked down upon, in all senses, by the local community who finds his trump card and way into society in the form of a pig that is being fattened for the private function of the title, a dinner for local dignitaries in celebration of the royal wedding. Maggie Smith is his genteel wife who turns into Lady MacBeth in pursuit of her dreams of fitting in and that great character actress Liz Smith is her slightly dotty mother. Scriptwriter Alan Bennet's depiction of the milieu of false noblesse oblige is as sharp as ever and the entire cast rise to the occasion.

Reviewed by matthew-58 8 / 10

Underrated gem

The 1980s were dark days for the British film industry and productivity was at an unprecedented low. That doesn't mean that there weren't a number of very fine films made during this time. It does mean that they tend to be rather forgotten in what is often described as a period of wilderness for British cinema. This is rather unfair, as there are a number of fine films made during this decade that don't get the attention they should. A Private Function is a case in point.

The cast assembled for the film is simply one of the best I have ever seen in one movie. Look at the cast today and you would say it was star-studded; actually, many of these actors were not especially famous at the time (only Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott and Alison Steadman were really famous actors). Most of the others (Richard Griffiths, Pete Postlethwaite, Jim Carter, Liz Smith, Bill Paterson, Tony Haygarth) have achieved more recognition since. Their obvious talent and future potential was clear to see in this movie. As the fortunes of British films have improved since, their careers have duly flourished.

If the film has a weakness, it is that it is supposed to be a star vehicle for Michael Palin, and yet his character is utterly dull and boring. Palin has proved he is a very capable actor elsewhere and might have impressed more if the kind of effort Bennett put into developing the other characters had also been afforded to Palin's role. This is a minor point though, because the rest of the characters are so well scripted it doesn't seem to matter too much. Palin would probably be the first to admit that the film works because of the script's overall quality (Alan Bennett is simply one of Britain's most incisive comic minds) and because of the wonderful supporting cast, not because of the strength of his own character.

A Private Function is a relatively low budget and uniquely British film. The writing and the acting represent the very best of British cinema. It's a shame it doesn't get more recognition but the gentle wit, eccentric characters and lack of glamour and romance, plus the state the British film industry was in at the time it was made, probably meant that it was never destined to be a blockbuster. It does remain a very funny and at times quite barbed portrait of a particular period in 20th century British history.

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