Richard Lester Michael Dempsey - Essay

Michael Dempsey

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Working with a brashly theatrical script (the John Antrobus-Spike Milligan play), Lester predictably opens [The Bed Sitting Room] up by spreading the scenes across a vast landscape. But he also insists on the play's theatricality and tries for a visual style that will combine both approaches. (p. 33)

[Lester] succeeds where he failed in How I Won the War. The earlier movie also featured caricatures going through hopefully surrealistic routines, but the director failed to stylize the locations. Thus, the actions and the dialogues … took place against quite ordinary backgrounds. The clash wrecked the movie, made it both unfunny and uninvolving. In The Bed Sitting Room, whose...

(The entire section is 768 words.)