Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1980s Private Function, A (1984)

Private Function, A (1984)

In post-war Yorkshire, with rationing still very much in force, a mild-mannered chiropodist tries to prove his worth to the snobbish locals by kidnapping a pig which is being fattened up for a local banquet to celebrate the 1947 royal wedding.

With its gentle, witty portrait of postwar Britain and its sly digs at bourgeois aspirations, this comedy has the stamp of Ealing about it.

Scripted by Alan Bennett, it is an often hilarious mixture of well-observed social comedy and sometimes laborious earthy humour, much of the latter being inspired by the bodily functions of the pig.

Michael Palin does a nice line in mortified meekness, but he is upstaged by Maggie Smith, as his scheming wife, and Liz Smith, whose eccentric antics and distracted ramblings provide some of the highlights.

Gilbert Chilvers
Michael Palin
Joyce Chilvers
Maggie Smith
Dr Charles Swaby
Denholm Elliott
Henry Allardyce
Richard Griffiths
Bernard Sutcliff
Tony Haygarth
Frank Lockwood
John Normington
Douglas Nuttal
Pete Postlethwaite
Maurice Wormold
Bill Paterson
Liz Smith
Mrs Allardyce
Alison Steadman
Inspector Howard Noble
Jim Carter
PC Penny
Reece Dinsdale
Don Estelle
Mrs Sutcliff
Eileen O’Brien

Malcolm Mowbray