HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Possessor
Flint
Miserables, Les
Ritz, The
Patrick
Cemetery
Girls of the Sun
Princess and the Goblin, The
Skyfire
Upright
Incredible Kung Fu Mission
Dirty Cops
You Cannot Kill David Arquette
Leap of Faith: William Friedkin on The Exorcist
Son's Room, The
Evil Hits Evil
Agency
Blue My Mind
Thumbelina
Proxima
Aprile
Assassination Nation
Golden Key, The
Image Book, The
On Body and Soul
Unhinged
Eyewitness
Girlfriends
Danger Within
Rent-A-Pal
Battle in Outer Space
H-Man, The
Painted Bird, The
Finding Steve McQueen
Ropes
Five Easy Pieces
Peninsula
Nuclear
Queen of Hearts
Chinese Evil Technique
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
Werewolves are Real: Dog Soldiers on Digital
Rose: A Love Story - Producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley Interview
Phone Phreak: 976-EVIL on Blu-ray
Living the Nightmare: Dementia on Blu-ray
Becky and The Devil to Pay: Ruckus and Lane Skye Interview
Big Top Bloodbath: Circus of Horrors on Blu-ray
A Knock on the Door at 4 O'clock in the Morning: The Strangers on Blu-ray
Wives of the Skies: Honey Lauren Interview
To Catch a Thief: After the Fox on Blu-ray
   
 
  Rebel, The Art For Art's Sake
Year: 1961
Director: Robert Day
Stars: Tony Hancock, George Sanders, Paul Massie, Margit Saad, Irene Handl, Grégoire Aslan, Dennis Price, John Le Mesurier, Liz Fraser, Mervyn Johns, Peter Bull, Nanette Newman, Oliver Reed
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: Lowly office worker Anthony Hancock (Tony Hancock) climbs aboard the train to work in dejected mood. It's the same week in, week out, the daily grind, a boring job that is destroying his artistic soul, and what does he get to show at the end of it? A silver cigarette case, if he's lucky. When he reaches the office, he sets about the books in unison with his co-workers, yet his heart is in self-expression, and when nobody is looking, he draws sketches to amuse himself, but then his boss (John Le Mesurier) notices and orders him in for a stern talking to. However, Hanckock goes rather berserk when trying to explain himself - maybe a change of scenery would be best?

The Rebel was basically a spin-off from Hancock's Half Hour, the acknowledged classic, groundbreaking radio and television series that shot Tony Hancock to fame. It was written by his long-time collaborators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, working from a story all three had devised, and is probably a film that shows him at somewhere near to his best in comparison with the handful of others he made before his untimely death. In the film, the joke was that Hancock has the soul of a great artist trapped in the body of a mediocre man, so as always, he has ideas that far outweigh his abilities, but once he gets to Paris to find himself he finds something that his character never found on TV.

Which is acceptance of his grand ideals. And also the early establishing of the sitcom movie trope that the characters must go on holiday. Of course, it's acceptance by people who are as equally pretentious as he is - the film has a noticeable element of the Great British Public's suspicion of all things artistic, as if the whole art world is a fraud perpetrated by folks who think they can get away with any old rubbish as long as they claim to be aesthetic. So the creative types tend to have half a moustache or blue hair, or are taken in by Hancock's terrible paintings and the way he bluffs his way through highbrow conversations.

The real talent (Paul Massie) goes unnoticed because these people are easily fooled, and Hancock manages to string them along with his blustering proclamations on the nature of his craft, stuff about shapes and colours that we can perceive are the words of a man who really doesn't know what he's on about, but has been enabled by his surroundings to believe otherwise. It was true that Galton and Simpson committed to the milieu of a Parisian art world that was at once mocking and rather bleak, as if this bunch don't actually know what they're doing, then their dedication is unavoidably hollow and more or less a complete waste of time. Hancock's landscapes and life paintings are pitifully amateurish, and that's the gag. But is it really all that funny?

While it has a few good laughs, The Rebel doesn't really compare to Hancock's TV and radio series, in spite of his personality being of a piece with that material. He's at his best in more mundane surroundings than Paris or Monte Carlo; in fact, the first part where he trades barbs with the philistine landlady (Irene Handl) would make a perfectly decent Hancock's Half Hour. Where's Sid James when we need him? It's better than The Punch and Judy Man, though, since it has a philosophy, though blue-lipsticked and thickly-eyelinered Nanette Newman's beatnik lecturing Hancock on the benefits of suicide isn't amusing at all in light of how he ended up a few years later. Also with: Oliver Reed in a bit part; an action painting Tony Hart would be proud of; and a couple of cows, one of whom is called Ermintrude, which begs the question, was Eric Thompson a fan of this and was he inspired by it when creating his narration for The Magic Roundabout, or was Ermintrude a very bovine name? Music by Frank Cordell.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 5461 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

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

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: