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A Private Function
A Private Function
Actors: Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Richard Griffiths, Tony Haygarth
Director: Malcolm Mowbray
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
R     2003     1hr 33min

Michael Palin (A Fish Called Wanda) teams with OscarĀ(r) winner* Maggie Smith (Gosford Park) in this uproarious comedy in which 'the laughs come fast (Variety) and the upper class becomes furious! Co-starring Denholm Elli...  more »


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Movie Details

Actors: Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Richard Griffiths, Tony Haygarth
Director: Malcolm Mowbray
Creators: Tony Pierce-Roberts, Malcolm Mowbray, Barrie Vince, Denis O'Brien, George Harrison, Mark Shivas, Alan Bennett
Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Sub-Genres: Indie & Art House, Comedy
Studio: MGM (Video & DVD)
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen - Closed-captioned,Subtitled
DVD Release Date: 04/01/2003
Original Release Date: 03/11/1985
Theatrical Release Date: 03/11/1985
Release Year: 2003
Run Time: 1hr 33min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 9
MPAA Rating: R (Restricted)
Languages: English
Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
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Movie Reviews

Oh! I am sorry.....She's seventy four !
Mr. M. A. Towey | London United Kingdom | 08/23/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"What a surprise that this perfect gem is not better known...such a loss. Britain during the early fifties had much to look forward to and much still to do. Everything was still rationed just as in the war years principally because the treasury was sacked to pay for the arms and munitions needed to fight it. The Empire (or what was left of it) was broke too and most that had not already done so went the autonomous route now, taking revenue away from London...though all quite peaceably and with everyone's best wishes. It would be ten years after the war ended (that makes roughly fourteen in all) until rationing would end for these isles, celebrated with the fantastic Festival of Britain in 1955, and people could at last look forward into a new Elizabethan age, rather than back on that darkness. My god Britain paid for that war in every way possible...really. What a period then to set a comedy I suppose...except that this particular story required those lean and austere times for the telling of it. Fresh meat you see...gammon, bacon, joints roasted and slavered with apple sauce...mouth watering! Imagine then the lengths you might go to for some of that after, let's say, eleven years of powdered egg.
Michael Palin as the hen pecked chiropodist, Maggie Smith as the social climbing hen, Liz Smith as the batty scatty mother-in law who'll stuff virtually anything and everything in her gannet gob, Denholm Eliot (as the doctor) who refuses to be impressed and so must be made so...along with everyone else in town who matters....I have never laughed so much. They are all that generation who would have been children (more or less) in this time period and all say how they never felt they went they enjoyed their childhood's and wish it could be the same always...when you watch this you can see their point. This film and everyone's performance in it is superb. Please...for your good health and for your better and more cheerful this movie."
Clear transfer and great story....
Dianne Foster | USA | 12/14/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Michael Palin of Monty Python and 'Fish Called Wanda' fame teams up with Maggie Smith ('Prime of Miss Jean Brodie', 'Room With a View', 'Gosford Park') to form one of the most eccentric married couples in English history. To top it off, the couple live with her mother played by the acctress who portrays the eccentric female vestry member (always knitting and creating strange kitchen concoctions) in the 'Vicar of Dilby' series. Palin is "foot doctor" who spends his days bicycling from house to house in post-War II Yorkshire tending to female patients. In his travels around and about he crosses paths with a syndicate of "business men" who are raising an illegal pig for a "private function" to be held the day the Princess Elizabeth (II) marries.Following a farcical turn of events, Palin kidnaps the pig named "Betty" planned for the roast. Urged on by Smith's character (pure Maggie), the couple "keep" the pig in their bathroom and try to kill it. Soon enough, the syndicate members discover the kidnapping and are hot on the tail of the missing pig. In the meantime, a zealous copper is hot on their tails. Other wonderful actors in this romp include Denholm Elliot ('Room With a View'), Alison Steadman ('Singing Dectective', 'Pride and Prejudice'), Pete Postlehwaite ('Name of the Father', 'Brassed Off') and other very familiar faces. An uplifting film, but not suitable for those who are weak of stomach."
Them's got cream cakes!
Mr. H. P. Pitfield | London UK | 03/13/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A vivid and comic look at dour Britain in the early 50's, just as Princess Elizabeth (the future Queen) is about to get married. Local celebrations are hampered by food rationing - and a stolen pig becomes the centre of attention. Lizzie Smith as the old mum is brilliant, Richard Griffiths excellent (he is in "Withnail and I" too) and Dame Maggie Smith as Michael Palin's wife is just right.
Denholm Eliot, as a local bigwig, is a revelation. Buy it! Pity it's not on DVD."
Mr. H. P. Pitfield | 05/02/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Hysterically funny movie about social climbing and rationed pork during wwII. Written by comic talent Alan Bennet who has contributed greatly to screenplays these past 20 years."