Richard Lester Collection

  |  Buy to Own: 10/09/2007
Rated TBC by the BBFC


Triple bill from director Richard Lester. In 'A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum' (1966), he brings his own madcap style to this screen adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's bawdy Broadway musical. Set in ancient Rome, it tells the story of Pseudolus (Zero Mostel), a slave who has made a deal to win his freedom if he can procure for his master (Michael Crawford) the beautiful virgin slave who lives in the house next door. Pseudolus does his best, but the forces of farce are against him, and his efforts soon come up against a series of bizarre complications involving mistaken identites, sly tricks, comic chases, unexpected arrivals and narrow escapes. Also starring Phil Silvers, Michael Horden and Roy Kinnear. 'How I Won The War' (1967) stars John Lennon in his first solo film performance, in a film that combines battle footage and one liners parodying the absurdity of war. Goodbody (Michael Crawford) must lead his battalion into Egypt to build a cricket pitch. Lester, the director, appears to send up filmakers who glamorise and glorify war. 'The Knack.. And How To Get It' (1965), is a madcap black and white sex comedy set in late 1960 swinging London. Michael Crawford is Colin, an awkward and naive teacher who shares a flat with smooth-talking womaniser Tolen (Ray Brooks). Keen to capitalise on the sexual revolution occurring around him, Colin asks Tolen for some advice about how to seduce women. His first port of call is to get himself a new, bigger bed; and while he and his other flatmate, Tom (Donal Donnelly) are procuring one, they meet Nancy (Rita Tushingham), an innocent country girl who agrees to come along with them for the ride. Things are looking up for Colin... until he gets Nancy back to the flat, where she meets the irresistible Tolen and falls under his spell. Can Colin get 'the knack' in time to beat Tolen at his own game?