Newest Reviews
Fire Will Come
Jailbreak Pact
News of the World
Beyond Clueless
Stylist, The
Sky is On Fire, The
Wrong Turn
In a Year with 13 Moons
Strange Affair of Uncle Harry, The
Sinners, The
Tammy and the T-Rex
State Secret
Mogul Mowgli
Owners, The
Twentieth Century, The
Story of Gilbert and Sullivan, The
What Lies Below
Dead Pigs
Willy's Wonderland
It's in the Air
School's Out Forever
Stump the Guesser
Last Warning, The
Ascent, The
Hurt by Paradise
Saint Maud
Johnny Frenchman
Glitch in the Matrix, A
Newest Articles
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
  Work is a Four Letter Word Mushroom Clouded
Year: 1968
Director: Peter Hall
Stars: David Warner, Cilla Black, David Waller, Elizabeth Spriggs, Zia Moyheddin, Joe Gladwin, Julie May, Alan Howard, Jan Holden, John Steiner, Tony Church
Genre: Comedy, WeirdoBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Valentine Brose (David Warner) is a man with a one track mind. As everyone around him works for the huge Dice company, Brose would much prefer to be spending time with his collection of plants. However, he has a problem, his cramped home isn't really the most beneficial atmosphere for growing his beloved mushrooms, so he sets out to find somewhere that will suit them properly. His fiancée, Betty (Cilla Black) wants Brose to settle down with her and get a job, but nothing gets in the way of his mushroom cultivating as he searches the town for a place with enough steam and humidity for his obsession. A sauna isn't good enough, but what about somewhere that will combine his need for a job with his gardening?

Adapted by Jeremy Brooks from Henry Livings' play Eh?, Work is a Four Letter Word is a bizarre, semi-satirical film whose points become less clear, rather than more evident, as the story draws on. If you enjoyed Warner's work on Morgan - A Suitable Case for Treatment then you'll appreciate his interpretation here, as he's basically the same kind of driven character who cares little for other people's feelings and has only one desire, here, to see his mushrooms grow. Why is he so interested in mushrooms? What will he get out of it? We never really find out as the whole set up is designed to expose the mediocrity of the other characters - is he irrevocably selfish or does he have the good of humanity on the agenda?

Although the Dice company ensures that everyone in town has a job, there's no sense of an underclass rising up. If anything, the workers are dulled by their work, seen here as the banal likes of watching plastic daffodils trundle by on a conveyer belt, and have no complaints, accepting their lot in life. It's the white collar workers who are the unsatisfied ones , especially the bosses, as shown by the manager Mr Price (David Waller) for whom Brose becomes an arch enemy. Brose, you see, has heard that there's a job going in the boiler room of the main Dice building and makes it his business to get there knowing it will be the perfect place for his mushrooms.

There follows a selection of scenes where, basically, Brose drives everyone he meets up the wall, from security guards to a vicar who has him thrown out of his church. He does eventually secure the boiler room post, mostly by dazzling the over-emotional head of personnel, Mrs Murray (Elizabeth Spriggs), which involves him sweeping up - a simple enough task, you would have thought. But naturally Brose is more interested in installing his trays of mushrooms and so that's what he does, oblivious to the frustration he's causing. There's a huge computer in the boiler room too - it wouldn't be a sixties satire on big business without one - that promises to go haywire by the time the finale comes around.

Meanwhile, Brose has to get married to Betty. Black seems a strange bit of casting amongst the actors from the Royal Shakespeare Company as the end credits proudly proclaim, but she's not too bad, given that she's not really stretched in her role - she does get to sing the theme song, though. After the vicar throws them out, Brose and Betty get married at a registry office, but it soon transpires that the main reason he wanted a wife was so that she could take care of the sweeping up while his mushrooms take up his time. Breaking into the Dice building with the help of an automatic digger, they attract the attention of everyone in the cast who swarm around the boiler room to for a magic mushroom-fuelled, running about climax. Very much of its time, Work is a Four Letter Word has novelty value, but doesn't bear much scrutiny in its philosophy. Electronic music by Delia Derbyshire.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 9608 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan


Last Updated: