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Clockwise (Widescreen)

John Cleese , Penny Leatherbarrow , Christopher Morahan    PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)   DVD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
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Product Description


Monty Python's John Cleese makes this lighthearted farce work as a tightly wound, punctilious public school headmaster whose well-organized life unravels in a series of disasters on his journey to a conference. Cleese is a master of fussy, fastidious characters in exasperating situations, bottling up his frustration under good manners and sardonic comments until he finally blows, but he's also startlingly vulnerable as he systematically loses all sense of himself. Dressed in monk's robes and stranded on a lonely country road, he looks down at his naked wrist and sighs, "I've even lost the time." Michael Fryan (the playwright of Noises Off) doesn't really have much of a story behind the situations, but he provides plenty of complications, and Cleese holds the film together with his brittle manner, single-minded drive, and hilarious headmaster's condescending haughtiness. While it will seem slight to many, Cleese fans will love it. --Sean Axmaker

From the Back Cover

Mr. Brian Stimpson ran his life—and everyone else's—by the clock. Then one day at 2:09 and 43 seconds… The clock decided to strike back. In this hilarious comedy hit written by Michael Frayn (Noises Off), John Cleese stars as the compulsively punctual headmaster of a British high school. But on the day Stimpson is to give a major speech at the posh teachers conference, he finds himself in a frantic cross-country chase filled with missed trains, confused cops, strange monks, odd old ladies and stolen clothes. Can Stimpson make up for precious lost time of is the entire world conspiring to make him late for the most important appointment of his life?

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Vintage British Comedy Jan. 29 2002
This was clearly designed as a vehicle for John Cleese, cashing in on his international fame as Basil Fawlty. Here, as headmaster Brian Stimpson, he gets to engage in all the familiar Fawltyesque madness with great relish. However, it manages not to descend into meaninglessness and pedantry like so many comedy star vehicles tend to, since it boasts an excellent script by veteran playwright Christopher Frayn. It is all delicately paced, and nicely played out with typical British charm by a host of comedy regulars including Alison Steadman and Geoffrey Palmer.
The movie basically follows a day in the life of the time-obsessed Stimpson as he makes his way to a conference in Norwich, where he is to make a speech as the first ever grammar-school head to be made president of the headmasters association. Beginning with missing his train, we follow Stimpson in his ill-fated attempts to get to Norwich on time. Plenty of opportunity for mayhem and chaos along the way, as well as some laughs stemming from Cleese's irredeemably pedantic character. Nothing deep, but lots of fun.
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5.0 out of 5 stars John Cleese at his finest! Oct. 9 2001
John Cleese is the very precise, orderly and punctual headmaster of a common British public school. As such, he rules the school, students and faculty as strictly as possible. Due to his managerial excellence, he wins an award for best Headmaster of the year (a great honor coming from a public school,) and this is where the fun begins! In order to receive the award, he has to attend the award ceremony off in the middle of the English countryside, and getting there is all the fun! (Anything that can go wrong...)

This is, hands down, one of the best movies ever made, and I've been waiting years for it to come out on DVD! It's physically impossible not to incredibly enjoy Clockwise, especially if you're a Fawlty Towers fan. I remembered nearly every single scene in this film from when I saw it as a teenager over 15 years ago! It's that funny. You simply MUST see this movie! (And DVD is the best way to do it.) Enjoy!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Yes Cleese! Oct. 28 2003
It doesn't have much in the way of penetrating insights into religion, but this frantic Frayn/Cleese race across East Anglia is as good a transposition of farce to the silver screen as we've ever seen. The pace is kept just taut enough throughout (something A Fish Called Wanda never managed) and the roll-call of British character actors is dished out liberally without ever turning into an "ooh look, it's him off of Kinvig!" distraction, most notably Geoffrey Palmer, Penelope Wilton and Stephen Moore.
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5.0 out of 5 stars John Cleese Strikes again! Sept. 6 2002
By A Customer
This movie offers something that we rarely see these days, utter hilarity. I profusely enjoyed this movie. It was a great blend of good acting and a touch of slapstick. John Cleese delivers his utmost finest performance I have seen him in yet, and keeps a straight face about it all. There are thrills, of course laughs, and a great little ending. This is a movie you must go out and buy, no matter where the road may take you.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment March 9 2003
By A Customer
John Cleese seemed a bit off his game in this one. He didn't have that spark he had in A Fish Called Wanda and Fierce Creatures (two of my all-time favorites). I kept waiting for it to get funny and it didn't happen. Mostly it just reminded me of uncomfortable times when I was running late and everything kept going wrong.
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