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4.0 out of 5 stars A light-hearted look at post-war food deprived Brits
There is an amazing cast of characters in this film - which is based on a story by well known British playwright and author Alan Bennett. Maggie Smith and Michael Palin are wonderful together - who would expect less from these two? But so are all the other offbeat and very British personalities which make this film so enjoyable. It also made me want to have a pig! The...
Published 9 months ago by Susana Bear River

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Private Function
Had I known that this VHS tape was being imported from England I would have been able to verify where it was produced. As England is on a different electrical system I would have known that I would not be able to view the movie!
Published on Jan. 1 2010 by Paul Weiss


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars A Private Function, Jan. 1 2010
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Paul Weiss "review" (Wpg MB Can) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Private Function (VHS Tape)
Had I known that this VHS tape was being imported from England I would have been able to verify where it was produced. As England is on a different electrical system I would have known that I would not be able to view the movie!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A light-hearted look at post-war food deprived Brits, July 10 2013
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This review is from: Private Function [Import] (DVD)
There is an amazing cast of characters in this film - which is based on a story by well known British playwright and author Alan Bennett. Maggie Smith and Michael Palin are wonderful together - who would expect less from these two? But so are all the other offbeat and very British personalities which make this film so enjoyable. It also made me want to have a pig! The Brits really suffered post-war where food was rationed for several years and it was a time of day to day hardship and scratching meals together. However, this story is told with the blunt, oblique humour the Brits are known for and is therefore deliciously digestible.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Maggie Smith Shines Again!, Jan. 27 2013
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Eddie Nguyen (Toronto Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Private Function [Import] (DVD)
This is a classic Maggie Smith flick...such wonderfully British humor. As it is an older movie the speed of the story is much more relaxed than today's frenetic pace of flicks. This cast is chocked full of marvelously familiar faces. This certainly is a must have for any Maggie Smith fan...
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5.0 out of 5 stars She's seventy four!, Sept. 20 2011
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J. Holmes "Old Hobbs" (Ottawa Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Private Function [Import] (DVD)
This is a highly entertaining comedy pertaining to the formal town festivities surrounding the wedding of Princess Elizabeth to Prince Philip. The comedy arises for the shortages of celebratory food during that time of severe rationing and concerns an illegally kept pig. Officialdom has to be kept at bay at all costs! Michael Palin and Maggie Smith excel as a married couple, he a podiatrist and innocent of the pig affair. The Mother-in-law (Liz Smith) is 74 years old, doddery and amusing; --and younger than I am now, hence the title of the review.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Clear transfer and great story...., Dec 14 2003
This review is from: Private Function, a (DVD)
Michael Palin of Monty Python and 'Fish Called Wanda' fame teams up with Maggie Smith ('Prime of Miss Jean Brodie', 'Room With a View', 'Gosford Park') to form one of the most eccentric married couples in English history. To top it off, the couple live with her mother played by the acctress who portrays the eccentric female vestry member (always knitting and creating strange kitchen concoctions) in the 'Vicar of Dilby' series.
Palin is "foot doctor" who spends his days bicycling from house to house in post-War II Yorkshire tending to female patients. In his travels around and about he crosses paths with a syndicate of "business men" who are raising an illegal pig for a "private function" to be held the day the Princess Elizabeth (II) marries.
Following a farcical turn of events, Palin kidnaps the pig named "Betty" planned for the roast. Urged on by Smith's character (pure Maggie), the couple "keep" the pig in their bathroom and try to kill it. Soon enough, the syndicate members discover the kidnapping and are hot on the tail of the missing pig. In the meantime, a zealous copper is hot on their tails.
Other wonderful actors in this romp include Denholm Elliot ('Room With a View'), Alison Steadman ('Singing Dectective', 'Pride and Prejudice'), Pete Postlehwaite ('Name of the Father', 'Brassed Off') and other very familiar faces. An uplifting film, but not suitable for those who are weak of stomach.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A comedy about post-war rationing?, May 10 2003
By 
F. J. Hoffknecht "49 States" (Redwood City, CA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Private Function, a (DVD)
A true lost-between-the-cracks comic gem. My friends and I have enjoyed this movie since we first saw it and finding good copies of it were difficult, to put it mildly. Although the DVD is skimpy, it's here, and damn reasonably priced, too.
Even with the DVD remaster, the sound is typically lousy (what IS it with the British...refuse to use German microphones?) and one almost has to turn the subtitles on to understand all the muffled dialog. Miking problems aside, "A Private Function" is a delightful, funny, occasionally crude comedy about class struggle in post-war Britain. A small "who's-who" of England's character actors make up the perfect cast of this film and all turn in splendid, low-key performances. Michael Palin, possibly the best "actor-actor" of the Monty Python troupe, is charming as the chiropodist who unwittingly stumbles unto the upper-middle-class via his female clientele, much to the delight of his social-aspiring, piano teacher wife, Maggie Smith.
Thank George Harrison's Handmade Films, without whom this, and many other films would have never been made, however low-budget and poorly-received they were. "A Private Function" may not grab you on the first viewing, but there's much to go back for on repeated viewings. And it gets funnier each time.
One warning: if you're at all squeamish about the butchering business (or piggie gastro-intestinal business), you may want to skip this one!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Private Function, Feb. 15 2012
By 
Duchess "Duchess" (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Private Function [Import] (DVD)
This is a 'very British' movie. It had all the good actors that we liked, but for the story it was very boring. It was raved as a 'ripe, rude and robust movie that will shake the rafters with laughter' but pretty much through the whole movie it was very boring. We both much prefer the comedy of 'As Time Goes By' or 'Are You Being Served' because at least there, we could have a few laughs. It has also more the 'Coronation Street' style of plot, which for us is not so funny.
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Private Function [Blu-ray] [Import]
Private Function [Blu-ray] [Import] by Malcolm Mowbray (Blu-ray - 2011)
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