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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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1 win & 3 nominations. See more awards »

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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 »

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Box Office

Gross USA:

$375,713

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$375,713
See more on IMDbPro »

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

The monologue said by the robotic voice of the machine-wired brain of "Genesis" at the end of the movie is the "What a piece of work is a man" speech from William Shakespeare's Hamlet. See more »

Goofs

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

Quotes

[last lines]
Genesis: [deep, monotone voice] What... a piece... of work... is a man... How noble... in reason... How infinite... in faculty... In form and moving... how express and admirable... In action... how like... an angel... In apprehension... how like... a god.
[the giant brain starts repeating itself like a stuck record]
Genesis: How like... a god... How like... a god... How like... a god... How like... a god.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

References White Heat (1949) See more »

Soundtracks

Auld Lang Syne
(uncredited)
Traditional Scottish music, lyrics by Robert Burns
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Savage, Unsubtle satire with plot holes and needless characters
20 March 2005 | by smiths-4See all my reviews

Firstly i must note that If.... is one of my favourite films and within that film Malcolm McDowell is Mick Travis, as good a character as Alex De Large (Clockwork Orange) and one which he makes his own. I found that film to be beautifully shot, excellently acted and the satire to be pinpoint accurate. It was a very important British film and is one of a few classics from the sixties (Saturday Night Sunday Morning, Loneliness of the long distance Runner, Billy Liar etc).

Next came O Lucky Man, with Travis out of school and working as a coffee salesman. We see his rise and fall and eventual rise again as a accidental film star. I also think this film is very important with a extremely gifted cast including Arthur Lowe in several roles and Graham Crowden as a mad experimenting doctor. The music by Alan Price greatly contributes to the film (lesser so Price's attempt to act!).

Finally, the 80's and Britannia Hospital. A great cast, an interesting premise but alas a flawed film. The major characters, bar Graham Crowden have little to do (McDowell, Rossiter, Hamill,) and i found myself feeling no empathy for anyone. The pickets and protesters were annoying but were outdone by the upper class visitors to the hospital and as for Mick Travis, an ignoble end. It is never explained why McDowell is there (why isn't he investigating the luxury treatment of the African Dictator which is causing everyone else so much grief!.....why does the nurse decide to continue his work/was she an insider who gave him info on Crowdens project??). The idea that the Queen would be allowed to visit the hospital in such inhospitable(pardon the pun) times is ludicrous etc etc.

But perhaps i am being to empirical about the film, what of the satire? About as subtle as a punch in the face! The upper classes are still treated differently to the working/middle classes be it in the workplace or in health care....wow, what a revelation!! Anyway, there is some joy in watching it unfold if you disengage from the satire element and enjoy the face spotting (John Gorden Sinclar, Robbie Coultrane, Robert Pugh, Richard Griffiths, Brian Glover, Arthur Lowe, Alan Bates, Roland Culver, Jill Bennett etc) and general mayhem of it all. I suppose Travis had to go somehow but why like this? My recommendation is to watch If.... and O Lucky Man and if you are satisfied with the ending to the latter film, leave it at that.


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