April 23, 2014

Films

The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer – 1970 | 94 mins | Comedy | Colour

Plot Synopsis

The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer

This brilliantly observed satire of party politics and spin doctors that was a box office failure on release but has since gained cult status. The cast reads like a who’s who of British comedy, with Graham Chapman, fellow Python John Cleese, Ronnie Corbett, Denholm Elliott and Arthur Lowe all showing up to lend Peter Cook a hand. The laughs are patchy and the series of farcical sketches sometimes fails to hit the mark but the tightly constructed story is a frighteningly incisive forecast of modern day politics.

The shadowy coordination expert Michael Rimmer (Peter Cook) gets a job with an advertising agency, swiftly rises through the ranks, and turns around its fortunes until he eventually runs the company. He instigates a flood of polls aimed at English householders. Rimmer sabotages his competitor’s reputation by sending a bus full of stooges to Nuneaton and telling the oppositions market researchers they’re Buddhists. When the poll results show 95 percent of the Nuneaton populace are Buddhists, the rival agency’s reputation is in tatters. His imaginative scheme enables him to predict the outcome of a by-election’s by polling the whole constituency.

Rimmer then enters politics at the behest of Conservative opposition leader Tom Hutchinson (Ronald Fraser) and sets out to capture a trophy wife to aid his political goals. He quickly becomes Conservative Member of Parliament for Budleigh Moor (arf), becomes a cabinet minister and eventually moves into 10 Downing Street after slyly pushing the serving Prime Minister off a North Sea gold platform. Rimmers vision of true democracy is that every eligible voter in Britain can cast ballots via a television remote control. Alas, the electorate tire of the endless referendum questions and propel the ruthless Rimmer to the position of dictatorial President of Great Britain by relinquishing all decisions to him.

Production Team

Kevin Billington: Director
Carmen Dillon: Art Direction
Alex Thomson: Cinematography
Ken Lewington: Costume Design
Stan Hawkes: Editing
David Frost: Exexcutive Producer
John Cameron: Original Music
Harry Fine: Producer
Graham Chapman: Script
John Cleese: Script
Peter Cook: Script
Kevin Billington: Script

Cast

Peter Cook: Michael Rimmer
Denholm Elliott: Peter Niss
Ronald Fraser: Tom Hutchinson
Vanessa Howard: Patricia Cartwright
Arthur Lowe: Ferret
George A Cooper: Blocket
Harold Pinter: Steven Hench
James Cossins: Crodder
Roland Culver: Sir Eric Bentley
Dudley Foster: Dederman
Dennis Price: Fairburn
John Cleese: Pumer



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