- 1 hr 36 min
In the 1986 British comedy film Clockwise, John Cleese plays the lead role of Brian Stimpson, a punctual and organized headmaster of a comprehensive school who becomes obsessed with arriving on time for a conference. Despite his best intentions and meticulously prepared schedule, everything goes wrong as he faces a series of hilarious obstacles that leave him stranded and frustrated.
The film opens with Brian preparing for the conference, which he considers the most important event of his career. He has been awarded a prestigious award and is excited about the opportunity to network with other headmasters and learn from their experiences. However, his enthusiasm is not shared by his colleagues, who seem to be more interested in getting him out of the way so they can enjoy an afternoon of golf.
As Brian sets off on his journey to the conference venue in Norwich, he encounters a series of unexpected setbacks that cause his carefully planned schedule to unravel. He misses his train, gets stranded in the middle of nowhere, and ends up hitchhiking with a group of eccentric travelers who are more interested in partying than helping him reach his destination.
Despite his repeated attempts to control the situation and get back on track, Brian's plans continue to unravel. He even ends up in jail for a short while, where he is mistaken for a convict after trying to break into a car. Eventually, he reaches the conference venue, but only after numerous mishaps and near-misses that leave him exhausted and disillusioned.
Throughout the film, Cleese delivers a masterful performance as the uptight and obsessive Brian, whose attempt to maintain control of his world is threatened at every turn. He captures the character's frustration and desperation perfectly, making the audience fully invested in his journey and rooting for him to succeed despite the odds.
The supporting cast, including Penny Leatherbarrow as Brian's long-suffering wife, and Howard Lloyd-Lewis as a hapless train conductor, also deliver strong comedic performances that help keep the film moving at a brisk pace. The film's script, written by Michael Frayn, is filled with witty one-liners and clever insights into the human condition that give the film a depth and intelligence rarely seen in mainstream comedies.
Clockwise is ultimately a film about the absurdity of life and the futility of trying to control every aspect of it. Brian's journey serves as a cautionary tale about the dangers of taking oneself too seriously, and the importance of being able to laugh at oneself in the face of adversity. Despite the many obstacles he faces, Brian ultimately learns that it is impossible to plan for every eventuality and that sometimes, the best thing to do is to simply go with the flow.
Clockwise is a must-see for fans of British comedy and John Cleese in particular. With its witty script, excellent performances, and hilarious set-pieces, it remains a beloved classic of the genre and a testament to the enduring talents of its cast and crew. Whether you're a fan of Monty Python or simply looking for a good laugh, Clockwise is a film that is sure to delight and entertain.
Clockwise is a 1986 comedy with a runtime of 1 hour and 36 minutes. It has received mostly positive reviews from critics and viewers, who have given it an IMDb score of 6.6.