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Britannia Hospital (1982)

R | | Comedy, Sci-Fi | 27 May 1982 (UK)
Britannia Hospital is not preparing for a visit from Queen Elizabeth1, who died in 1603. The visitor is a fictional representation of Queen Elizabeth the Queen Mother.

Director:

Lindsay Anderson

Writer:

David Sherwin
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Leonard Rossiter ... Vincent Potter: Administration
Brian Pettifer ... Biles: Administration
John Moffatt ... Greville Figg: Administration
Fulton Mackay ... Chief Superintendant Johns: Administration
Vivian Pickles ... Matron: Administration
Barbara Hicks ... Miss Tinker: Administration
Graham Crowden ... Professor Millar: Medicos
Jill Bennett ... Dr. MacMillan: Medicos
Peter Jeffrey ... Sir Geoffrey: Medicos
Marsha A. Hunt ... Nurse Amanda Persil: Medicos (as Marsha Hunt)
Catherine Willmer Catherine Willmer ... Dr. Houston: Medicos
Mary MacLeod Mary MacLeod ... Casualty Sister: Medicos
Joan Plowright ... Phyllis Grimshaw: The Unions
Robin Askwith ... Ben Keating: The Unions
Dave Atkins Dave Atkins ... Sharkey: The Unions
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Storyline

Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell) is a reporter who is about to shoot a documentary on Britannia Hospital, an institution which mirrors the downsides of British Society. It's the day when Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth I is to visit the hospital to inaugurate a new wing, where advanced (and sinister) scientific experiments led by Professor Millar (Graham Crowden) will take place. Everybody in the hospital, from the cooks who refuse to cook, to the painters who couldn't care less to get their job done, to an African cannibalistic dictator (à la Idi Amin Dada Oumee) who demonstrators want expelled from the hospital and tried, will contribute to making Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth I's visit (and Mick Travis' life) a true nightmare. Written by Dragomir R. Radev <radev@cs.columbia.edu>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

An outrageous institution See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

27 May 1982 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Anderson's Britannia Hospital See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

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

Trivia

Some British critics walked out of its first screening at the Cannes Film Festival. See more »

Goofs

The nurse removes the gauze from HRH twice. See more »

Quotes

General Wetherby: I didn't have 50 years in India to end up bedding down with a lot of wogs!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Fulton Mackay's character was billed as Chief Superintendant; the correct spelling is Superintendent. See more »

Connections

Referenced in The Big Box: The Body Shop (2010) See more »

Soundtracks

RULE BRITANNIA
Sung by Gillian Knight
Arranged and conducted by Derek Wadsworth
See more »

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User Reviews

 
BRITANNIA HOSPITAL (Lindsay Anderson, 1982) ***
23 August 2006 | by Bunuel1976See all my reviews

This is the last entry in The Mick Travis Trilogy (also comprising IF.... [1968] and O LUCKY MAN! [1973], all directed by Anderson, written by David Sherwin and starring Malcolm McDowell as Travis) and the only one I hadn't watched before; ironically, the film made it to DVD before the others which are still M.I.A. (being owned by the majors, Paramount and Warners respectively) though both have been rumored as being "in preparation" for what seems like forever!! As with HELL IS A CITY (1960) and THE CRIMINAL (1960), I had my eyes on the Anchor Bay DVD of this title for the longest time but only now have I finally taken the plunge to acquire it - though, in its case, this had more to do with the fact that the film was largely considered a failure, certainly in comparison with its more highly-regarded predecessors!

Actually, it comes off as quite underrated and its satire on British society at large - with the titular hospital serving more or less as a microcosm of all that was not well with the country during the early 80s - is just as harsh, if admittedly somewhat hit-and-miss (the "Frankenstein" scenes, for instance, and the fact that royal representatives are played by a midget and a man in drag are more tasteless than anything else!). The thing is, however, that the film became part of the trilogy by accident and, in fact, McDowell isn't really the lead character - so that it's not quite as focused as IF.... and O LUCKY MAN!, and even borrows elements from both of them (the revolutionary aspect from the former and the bizarre experiments, mentioned above, from the latter) which aren't as successful this time around!

Still, it's very funny - for those who can take its unbridled savagery - along the way and the cast is brimming with talented character actors (Leonard Rossiter, Graham Crowden, Joan Plowright, Jill Bennett, Peter Jeffrey, Brian Pettifer, Dandy Nichols, Richard Griffiths, Brian Glover, Robbie Coltrane, uncredited bits by Alan Bates and Arthur Lowe, and even unlikely appearances - in fairly important roles - by Robin Askwith and Mark Hamill!), many of whom had already appeared in the two earlier Mick Travis films. Unfortunately, the score by Alan Price (ex-member of The Animals) - whose O LUCKY MAN! soundtrack, including a number of songs, had been one of its major assets - is underwhelming and, typical of old British films, the dialogue is hard to grasp sometimes due to the limited sound recording and the actors' heavy accents!


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