The Comedy Man
The Comedy Man – 1963 | 92 mins | Comedy, Drama | B&W
Sardonic comedy drama that was unappreciated upon release due to its downbeat tone and that lead star Kenneth More was largely recognised for his breezy Rank comedies and stiff-upper-lip war films. Douglas Hayes’ novel is adapted into a modest film that oozes authenticity. Moore, whose career was in decline, produces one of his finest performances, really living the part with a deep sadness in his eyes. The strong supporting cast includes Billie Whitelaw as the girl who loves him, Dennis Price a suave theatrical agent and Cecil Parker as a washed-up veteran.
Charles ‘Chick’ Byrd (Kenneth More), a middle-aged actor fired from a provincial repertory company, finds dingy digs in London with out of work actor Julian Baxter (Edmund Purdom). Undaunted, they plan a glorious future which becomes possible for Julian after a successful screen test for an overseas feature film. Chick revives his love affair with ex-girlfriend and unemployed actress Judy (Billie Whitelaw), who is frustrated by his lack of maturity and failure to fulfil his acting promise.
Julian’s place in the flat is taken by aging stage actor Thomas Rutherford (Cecil Parker), and when he vacates to join a repertory company, Chick’s latest love conquest moves in – young actress Fay (Angela Douglas). Finally stunned into action by the suicide of a friend, he agrees to casting agent Tommy Morris’s (Dennis Price) offer to appear in a series television commercials and at last finds fame. But Chick remains unprofessionally unfulfilled and leaves London to return to rep.
Alvin Rakoff: Director
Colin Grimes: Art Direction
Ken Hodges: Cinematography
Ernest Hosler: Film Editing
Ernest Gasser: Makeup Department
Joan Smallwood: Makeup Department
Douglas Hayes: Novel
Bill McGuffie: Original Music
Jon Penington: Producer
David Henley: Producer
John Blezard: Production Design
Peter Yeldham: Script
Brian Marshall: Sound
Alfred Cox: Sound
George Stephenson: Sound