Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s One Way Pendulum (1965)

One Way Pendulum (1965)

Eric Sykes stars as Mr Arthur Groomkirby, an eccentric dreamer who recreates the Old Bailey in his living room at home. His son, Kirby (Jonathan Miller), is up in the loft trying to teach ‘speak your weight’ machines to sing in harmony and awaiting his trial (in the living room) on a murder charge.

Arthur ends up being questioned about his whereabouts, with the Prosecuting Counsel (Graham Crowden) grilling him about all the places he has never been (eg: Reykjavik, Iceland, which Mr Groomkirby claims not to be familiar with).

Peggy Mount is Mrs Gantry, the lady who is paid to come and eat the leftovers; Mona Washbourne is Aunt Mildred, who left St Pancras station 25 years ago with no destination and no way to get there; and Alison Leggatt is Mrs Groomkirby who, when asked if her husband has any negro blood, replies that there is a strange bottle in the medicine cabinet which might be that.

George Cole plays the family friend, Fred, (who is also the Defence Counsel in the imaginary trial) and Julia Foster holds her own as Sylvia, a girl who buys memento mori which don’t work.

It’s a bizarre parade of looney nonsense, sometimes dark and often not politically-correct, but it’s an absolute must-see for those who appreciate surreal and/or insane comedy (a la Monty Python’ Flying Circus and the ilk).

Mr Arthur Groomkirby
Eric Sykes
Mrs Groomkirby
Alison Leggatt
Defence Counsel/Fred
George Cole
Mrs Gantry
Peggy Mount
Julia Foster
Jonathan Miller
Aunt Mildred
Mona Washbourne
Detective Inspector Barnes
Glyn Houston
Prosecuting Counsel
Graham Crowden
Kenneth Farrington
Douglas Wilmer

Peter Yates