Watch Rising Damp
- 1 hr 38 min
Rising Damp is a 1980 film adaptation of a popular British television series of the same name. The story revolves around four very different residents of a run-down boarding house in London, and their somewhat cantankerous landlord, Rupert Rigsby (Leonard Rossiter), who takes great delight in trying to keep them all in line. The film boasts a star-studded cast, including Frances de la Tour, Don Warrington and Richard Beckinsale. The characters are all equally memorable, with Miss Ruth Jones (de la Tour) a spinsterish university administrator, Philip Smith (Warrington) a wealthy African student, and Alan Moore (Beckinsale) a muscle-bound and none-too-bright aspiring boxer. Rossiter, who was a talented stage actor, delivers a particularly memorable performance as the comically misguided Rigsby, whose attempts to get close to Miss Jones are both hilarious and cringe-inducing. The film is set in the early 1970s, and its social commentary is very much of its time. It tackles issues such as race, class, and sexuality head-on, and although some of the jokes are undoubtedly dated, the film still feels fresh and relevant today. The film's themes are brought to life by the brilliant writing of Eric Chappell, who created the original television series and also penned the screenplay for the movie. Despite its comedic elements, Rising Damp is also tinged with sadness. The characters all have their own personal struggles and are haunted by past traumas, making the film much more than just a light-hearted romp. The film is therefore able to explore complex themes while still providing plenty of laughs. The boarding house itself is very much a character in its own right, with its decrepit walls and leaky pipes adding to the film's overall sense of decay and despair. The communal living spaces are filmed with claustrophobic intensity, such that the viewer can almost smell the damp and mold. This helps to create a sense of shared misery between the characters, allowing the audience to empathize with their various plights. Overall, Rising Damp is an excellent comedy-drama that offers plenty of laughs while still remaining grounded in reality. The actors all deliver strong performances, and the writing is sharp and witty. It is a testament to the film's enduring popularity that it is still enjoyed by audiences today, some 40 years after its release.