Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1960s Work Is a Four Letter Word (1967)

Work Is a Four Letter Word (1967)

David Warner and scouse songbird Cilla Black star in this delightfully absurd film, set in a near-future dominated by automation, courtesy of the ubiquitous DICE Organisation.

Young Valentine Brose (Warner) is on a mission to grow a crop of psychedelic mushrooms to promote happiness for the overworked masses of Great Britain (I kid you not).

Under pressure from his fiancée, Betty (Cilla), he takes a job in the boiler room at a power station – as “Auxillary Plant Attendant, Nights” – knowing it will be the perfect place for his mushrooms.

He knocks out the entire city’s power supply and then feeds the authorities his mushrooms, sending them into a frenzy of hallucinogenic bliss. He then is able to escape with his new wife and a pram loaded with mushrooms.

Peter Hall’s disjointed Swinging Sixties adaptation of Henry Livings’ surrealistic play Eh?, is recognisable only in that the eccentric hero is still obsessed with growing hallucinogenic magic mushrooms.

Filmed on location in Birmingham, this is one of those films that tell you more about its own decade than the projected futuristic era in which it is set. Nevertheless, it’s interesting to see 1960s songstress Cilla Black showing her ambition of being more than just a pop star in her role as Warner’s girlfriend.

The electronic music was provided by Delia Derbyshire.

Valentine Brose
David Warner
Betty Dorrick

Cilla Black
Mrs Murray

Elizabeth Spriggs
Dr ‘Aly’ Narayana

Zia Mohyeddin
Pa Brose
Joe Gladwin
Mrs Dorrick
Julie May
Mr Price

David Waller
Reverend Mort
Alan Howard

Peter Hall