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The Comedy Man

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Director  Alvin Rakoff
Music director  Bill McGuffie
Duration  
Language  English
7.6/10 IMDb

Genre  Drama
Cinematography  Ken Hodges
Country  United Kingdom
The Comedy Man movie poster
Release date  3 September 1964 (London) (UK)
Based on  novel by Douglas Hayes
Writer  Douglas Hayes (novel), Peter Yeldham
Cast  Kenneth More (Chick Byrd), Cecil Parker (Thomas Rutherford), Dennis Price (Tommy Morris)
Similar movies  Related Alvin Rakoff movies

Chick Byrd (Kenneth More) is an unemployed actor in London, recently fired from a repertory theater amidst allegations of sexual misconduct. His flatmate, Julian Baxter (Edmund Purdom), has recently returned from a disillusioning stint in Hollywood, and his agent, Tommy Morris (Dennis Price), is pressuring Byrd to take jobs in television, a medium he considers beneath his talents. When Byrd relents and takes a small part in a TV commercial, unexpected repercussions complicate his life.

Contents

The Comedy Man movie scenes

The Comedy Man is a 1964 British drama film directed by Alvin Rakoff and starring Kenneth More, Cecil Parker, Dennis Price and Billie Whitelaw. It depicts the life of a struggling actor in Swinging London.

More later said that when he read the script he "was profoundly struck by its relevance to my own life, and to the lives of so many actors I had known." However it received limited distribution, being released on a double bill with Lord of the Flies (1963).

A middle-aged stock actor goes to London to try the big time. After much frustration, he lands a job doing TV commercials, gaining wealth and recognition. He eventually gives it all up to return to stage work and keep his pride.

Plot

Sacked from his job in provincial rep, actor Chick Byrd moves into digs in London with Julian, a fellow actor. Julians career soars after a successful screen test, but Chicks meets with continued failure. Mobilised into action by the suicide of a friend, Chick auditions for a TV commercial and finally finds fame. Confident of his talents for the first time, but fearing he may have sold out, Chick leaves London to return to rep.

Cast

  • Kenneth More - Chick Byrd
  • Cecil Parker - Thomas Rutherford
  • Dennis Price - Tommy Morris
  • Billie Whitelaw - Judy
  • Norman Rossington - Theodore Littleton
  • Angela Douglas - Fay Trubshaw
  • Edmund Purdom - Julian Baxter
  • Frank Finlay - Prout
  • Alan Dobie - Jack Lavery
  • J.G. Devlin - Sloppitt
  • Valerie Croft - Yvonne
  • Leila Croft - Pauline
  • Gerald Campion - Gerry
  • Jacqueline Hill - Sandy Lavery
  • Harold Goodwin - Assistant director
  • Penny Morrell - Actress
  • Naomi Chance - Bit part
  • Guy Deghy - Schuyster
  • Derek Francis - Merryweather
  • Myrtle Reed - Tommys secretary
  • Edwin Richfield - Commercial director
  • Gordon Rollings - Skippy
  • Eileen Way - Landlady
  • Freddie Mills - Indian Chief
  • Frank Thornton - Producer
  • John Horsley - Co-pilot
  • Wally Patch - Bar manager
  • Talitha Pol - Actress at Party
  • Hamilton Dyce - Burial minister
  • Anthony Blackshaw - Bus conductor
  • Richard Pearson - Advertising Man
  • Maurice Durant - Barman
  • Ronald Lacey - Assistant Director
  • Chubby Checker - himself
  • Jill Adams - Jan Kennedy
  • Robert Raglan - Minor role
  • Critical reception

    Radio Times wrote, "written by Peter Yeldham with a nice balance between irony and drama, and directed by Alvin Rakoff with an accurate eye for the dingy environments and brave bonhomie of unemployed actors, this modest British film boasts a superior cast" ; while Allmovie wrote, "matching Mores terrific starring performance are such British "regulars" as Dennis Price, Billie Whitelaw, Cecil Parker, Norm Rossington, and Frank Finlay" ; and the Sunday Mirror noted, "Kenneth More in the greatest performance of his career. Brilliantly directed."

    References

    The Comedy Man Wikipedia
    The Comedy Man IMDb The Comedy Man themoviedb.org


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