Britannia Hospital details
|Starring:||Arthur, Malcolm McDowell, Joan Plowright, Leonard Rossiter, Arthur Lowe, Graham Crowden, Jill Bennett, Robin Askwith, Marsha Hunt|
|Run time:||1 hour 52 minutes|
|Rental release:||Limited availability|
Most helpful review
Rule Britannia!By Tim Turner from Manchester , 05 Jul 2004
[Highly rated reviewer]You shouldn't mistake this for a jolly hospital comedy in the grand British tradition of 'Carry on' and 'Doctor in the House'. The plethora of murder, rioting crowds and hideous Frankensteinian experiments will take care of that delusion, but that was the impression I had when I watched this on Channel 4 years ago, and I was jolted from the idea very quickly.
This is the third in Lindsay Anderson's loose trilogy (linked by their satire on the British establishment and the presence of Malcolm McDowell in the lead), and it's possibly the most accessible of the three. The last twenty minutes are, predictably for Anderson, well over the top.
Anyway, it's a bitter satire of Great Britain in the early years of Thatcherism, set around a crumbling hospital which is expecting a royal visit. Medicine, unions, politics, and royalty are all thrown in the mix, together with Graham Crowden as a psychopathic doctor trying to create a new species. It's not easy viewing, but I guarantee you won't have seen many other films like it.
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An Unfortunate Let DownBy Richie77777 (274 reviews) from Essex , 02 Feb 2011The second in the line of sequels to If, 'Britannia Hospital,' looks at the class conflict in a more obvious and more boring way. The message is lost and distracted by a mad surgeon's dream to build the ultimate brain. Director Lindsay Anderson would have been better off exploring further the class conflicts.
Filmed in 1982 (and set a few years previous), this depicts a time when the unions held the power in the country. Hell, even the Kitchen staff went on strike! The Porters were on strike and wanted cooked breakfast in addition to extra money, (a tall order when the kitchen staff were on strike!)
Travis, (Mr Mcdowell) is trying to to get an exclusive undercover television report about the illegal goings on. His two buddies in the recording van get stoned, which is vaguely amusing but that's all they do.
Some of the more comical moments were the hosiptal dj - a young a slightly slimmer Richard Griffiths who was interviewing a whole manner of hospital staff, (even a vicar) and when the patients of the private wing were served oranges and the African President orange slices!
Mostly it is film of black humour. The scene when a human brain is blended and drank, (I'm not kidding!) was particulary nascueating but the Frankstein moments funnier.
It attempts to convey modernality (the building that Millar inhabits would have been flash in 1982) but ends up feeling dated especially with its unfortunate two instances of racist language.
There was no explanation behind the street demonstrations, but they were among the most, 'Interesting,' parts of the film. Although only a generation ago, this was an era of a more noticable class structure. Everyone in the kitchen spoke with a cockney accent and all the hospital managers were well spoken. People were more politically enfranchised and talked about socialism as something to aspire to.
Would you ever see demonstrators meeting strikers on picket lines these days in a hospital?!
Im sure that Anderson was conveying other deeper messages, but they were unapparent.
This was a disappointly lame film which in one form or another was making the same messages as were made in, 'If,' and Mcdowell's role quite frankly was wasted on him.
What a piece of work...By SteveBent (99 reviews) from Tring , 26 Sep 2009Thanks to LoveFilm I just learned that the third part of Lindsay Anderson's If trilogy exists. I've been a fan of the first movie and O' Lucky Man for 20 years. To learn I was missing a piece of the puzzle was a thrill.
The spark and zest of the first two movies is missing from Malcolm McDowell's Travis. He is now a cynical investigative reporter and reduced from leading man to part of an ensemble. But what an ensemble. Stars of Reginald Perrin, Star Wars, Confessions of a Window Cleaner and Withnail And I all share the screen.
The film feels more labored than it's 1973 counterpart, the running time is far too long but just as If... had the heady aroma of the 60's and O' Lucky Man the 'times have changed forever' feel of the 70's so Britannia Hospital suffers from 80's excess.
The Sci-Fi meets class satire plot is right out of the era and the ending is well worth the wait for it's video-drome/ twilight zone feel.
Where else can you get to see severed heads, a stoned Luke Skywalker and a Shakespeare quoting brain in a jar?
A bad caseBy a customer from London , 07 Nov 2008The third in a loose trilogy featuring the Mick Travis character lacks the anarchic precision of 'if...' and the free-wheeling, free-loving nature of 'O Lucky Man!'. In fact, it's a mess as a leading British hospital is beset by strikes, a mad professor and all sorts of oddities just prior to a visit from the Queen Mother. Whereas the previous entries had a nice sense of bemusement, this one merely comes across as the work of a sour old man who doesn't like what he sees in the world today.
An Interesting filmBy a customer from Bath , 04 Oct 2008
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideA very interesting take on the health care system,
slightly odd story line but it seems to work and is quite comical, think of the carry on films (carry on Doctor etc) but on a slightly more modern timescale.
The genesis project raises some interesting moral issues regarding transplantation and the creation of a human from 'spare' parts.
The doctors seem to have the usual God complex though!
A reasonable film all in all
Britannia HospitalBy a customer from Brighton, England , 23 Oct 2007
THIS REVIEW CONTAINS SPOILERS Show review anywayHideI recently had a total hip replacement but that was nothing compared to the agony of watching this film.
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