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The Mystery of Men (1999)

When their friend Donald unexpectedly drops down dead pub landlord Colin proposes that he and his older friends Oscar, Julian and Vernon take out life insurance policies, with the last one ... See full summary »


David Wheatley


Nick Vivian (screenplay), Guy Bellamy (novel)


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Warren Clarke ... Vernon Jones
Neil Pearson ... Julian Wyatt
Robert Daws ... Oscar Mansfield
Peter Silverleaf Peter Silverleaf ... Donald
Nick Berry Nick Berry ... Colin Dunbar
Jody Watson Jody Watson ... Louise
Graham Turner Graham Turner ... La Fontayne
Emily Morgan Emily Morgan ... Susy Wyatt
Sue Devaney Sue Devaney ... Gaynor Jones
Bobby Windebank Bobby Windebank ... Adrian Mansfield
Biddy Hodson ... Fay Dunbar
Matt Wilkinson Matt Wilkinson ... Hendon - Bank Manager
Mark Frost ... Wayne
Geoffrey Beevers Geoffrey Beevers ... Dr. Littleton
Max Wrottesley ... Pub Teenager


When their friend Donald unexpectedly drops down dead pub landlord Colin proposes that he and his older friends Oscar, Julian and Vernon take out life insurance policies, with the last one standing taking all the money. Both the pub and Julian's advertising firm are on hard times whilst teacher Oscar, whose marriage has grown stale, has a sexual encounter with precocious pupil Louise. Wrongly believing that Vernon has a heart condition Julian's wife Susy decides to help him on his way with afternoon sex sessions and soon he has acquired a reputation, causing his wife Gaynor to leave him. With Julian bankrupt, Oscar on a life support after Vernon accidentally ran over him, Colin suffering from burns caused by a kitchen fire and a depressed Vernon about to hang himself it seem s unlikely that any of them will survive to claim the pot. Written by don @ minifie-1

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Drama | Mystery | Comedy







Release Date:

30 August 1999 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Amicii See more »

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Did You Know?


[Wayne has been screwing Julian's wife Susy when he was supposed to have been building a conservatory for Julian]
Julian Wyatt: [to Wayne] If you give enough chimpanzees enough wood and glass, eventually one of them will build a conservatory. If only the same could be said of you, Wayne, you muscle-bound twat. I don't have to discuss my domestic affairs with you, even if you *are* the luckless sod who's been screwing my wife - most recently. If that cow wants to talk to me, put a halter on her and bring her ...
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User Reviews

Oddball black comedy, with VERY strange humour
31 August 1999 | by MegabuckSee all my reviews

The Mystery of Men is a strange little piece that will have done little to explain the mystery - or even which particular mystery the title refers to. The comedy is at times hilarious, at others so black as to be distinctly uncomfortable - and the ending was just plain strange.

The story concerns three drinking partners, at a pub named the Oasis of Sanity. Vernon (Warren Clarke) is a depressive English teacher, going through the motions of life with little notion as to why. Julian (Neil Pearson) is the boss of a struggling regional advertising agency, while Oscar (Robert Daws) is a successful sales executive. Colin (Nick Berry) is the landlord of the pub.

Colin suggests a bizarre scheme - they all take out life insurance, with the others as beneficiaries, so that whoever lives the longest, gets rich. They all go in for this, even Vernon - a depressive, overweight, heavy-smoking drinker.

The programme then follows the unbelievable sequence of events that follows on from this. Without revealing any of the plot, the incidents involve adultery, deceit, three broken marriages, head injuries and a broken leg, a bankruptcy, serious burns to one protagonist, the destruction of the pub and finally a particularly gruesome death.

The humour varies between comical - the reaction of Vernon to the attempts by a student to seduce him - and thoroughly black, including the closing eulogy by the vicar at the funeral of the dead man. Occasionally uncomfortable, so long as your sense of humour veers to the darker end of the spectrum, this is an engaging way to pass 90 minutes.

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