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A Merry War (1997)

Keep the Aspidistra Flying (original title)
PG-13 | | Comedy, Drama, Romance | 28 August 1998 (USA)
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1:31 | Trailer

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Gordon Comstock is a copywriter at an ad agency, and his girlfriend Rosemary is a designer. Gordon believes he is a genius, a marvelous poet and quits the ad agency, trying to live on his ... See full summary »

Director:

Robert Bierman

Writers:

George Orwell (novel), Alan Plater (screenplay)
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1 win. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard E. Grant ... Gordon Comstock
Helena Bonham Carter ... Rosemary
Julian Wadham ... Ravelston
Jim Carter ... Erskine
Harriet Walter ... Julia Comstock
Lesley Vickerage ... Hermione
Barbara Leigh-Hunt ... Mrs. Wisbeach (as Barbara Leigh Hunt)
Liz Smith ... Mrs. Meakin
John Clegg ... McKechnie
Bill Wallis Bill Wallis ... Mr. Cheeseman
Lill Roughley Lill Roughley ... Mrs. Trilling
Dorothea Alexander Dorothea Alexander ... Old Woman
Peter Stockbridge Peter Stockbridge ... Old Man
Grant Parsons Grant Parsons ... Beautiful Young Man
Malcolm Sinclair ... Paul Doring
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Storyline

Gordon Comstock is a copywriter at an ad agency, and his girlfriend Rosemary is a designer. Gordon believes he is a genius, a marvelous poet and quits the ad agency, trying to live on his poems, but poverty soon comes to him. Written by Anonymous

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy | Drama | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for some sex-related material | See all certifications »
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Details

Official Sites:

First Look Media

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 August 1998 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Merry War See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$373,830, 30 August 1998, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$301,360, 25 October 1998
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color (Rankcolor)

Aspect Ratio:

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

Goofs

There is a suitcase beside Gordon as he sits on the park bench. When he leaves the park with Rosemary, Gordon does not carry the suitcase with him although it is no longer beside the bench. See more »

Quotes

Rosemary: I will not make love where dogs have peed.
Gordon Comstock: You're so middle-class.
Rosemary: That's not middle-class - that's hygienic.
See more »


Soundtracks

Tiger in the Night
Music and Lyrics by Mike Batt
Performed by Colin Blunstone
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User Reviews

 
It's only okay, but then the book is no masterpiece
29 August 2008 | by lexo1770See all my reviews

I have no idea why the US and New Zealand versions of this movie were retitled 'A Merry War' - it's not set during wartime, and it's not especially merry. George Orwell's original novel is far from the greatest work of that great writer, but it's a sardonic and gritty look at bohemian poverty. The movie is much the same. Richard E. Grant does a fine job as the chronically self-defeating anti-hero, a character who more or less defines the phrase "his own worst enemy" - Gordon Comstock is one of those characters who basically needs a good smack in the mouth, but he never actually gets one. Helena Bonham-Carter does some quietly expert sweeping-up as Rosemary, Gordon's girlfriend, one of Orwell's less boring female characters. Julian Wadham is fine as Gordon's affluent editor friend Ravelston. The film never really gets to the bottom of Gordon's puritanical hatred of money and success, but it's not screenwriter Alan Plater's fault, because neither does the book. All in all, an entertaining piece of guardedly feel-good period drama.


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