The Strange World of Gurney Slade DVD
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Directed by Various (TV)
Produced in 1960
Main Language - English
Countries & Regions - British Film
Classic Comedy • Classic Science Fiction & Fantasy Movies • Comedy Television • Science Fiction & Fantasy Television • British Television • Comedy • Science Fiction & Fantasy - Fantasy • Classic British Film
Completely unpredictable and far ahead of its time, Anthony Newley's affably surreal series is like nothing else, says Nick Riddle. Transferred from the original film, it looks stunning.
When someone gets round to writing a History of British Cult TV, they’ll need to take account of this fascinating curio, overlooked at the time but now justly celebrated (by David Bowie, among others) as an oddball treasure in which Anthony Newley wanders off the set of a dreary-looking sitcom and begins a series of peregrinations and daydreams in urban and pastoral settings.
The scripts, by Sid Green and Dick Hills (future writers for Morecambe and Wise), mostly amble pleasantly along, doing cheeky things with what was then TV convention, and you have to remind yourself that this was daring stuff in 1960. It’s been described as ‘a cross between Monty Python and The Prisoner’, but its affable surrealism puts it closer to The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film (made in the same year) or NF Simpson’s One Way Pendulum. Until, that is, the final two episodes, when the tone shifts to something darker, and the writing sharpens noticeably. The very last scene of all could even unsettle hardened Twilight Zone fans.
Nick Riddle on 21st July 2011
Author of 68 reviews
Both firmly of its time and spectacularly ahead of it, The Strange World of Gurney Slade is to television comedy what The Prisoner has become to television drama - brilliantly inventive, startlingly surreal and unlike anything previously seen on television.
Anthony Newley stars as an actor who walks off the set of a banal sitcom and into a fantasy world of his own imagination. In this surreal odyssey through his own personal alternative reality he indulges in random conversations with both animals and inanimate objects – it’s a world in which characters can step out of advertising posters, where he can converse with ants and cows and hear the most intimate thoughts of passers-by.
A completely unpredictable absurdist fantasy, Gurney Slade created an indelible impression upon anyone who saw it. Created by Newley and written by the highly talented Sid Green and Dick Hills (who were soon to become key writers for Morecambe and Wise) this series has been newly transferred from the original 35mm film elements specifically for this release and looks stunning.
Length: 150 mins
Aspect ratio: 4:3
Format: DVD Colour
Released: 15th August 2011
Cat No: 7953388
- Newly transferred from original 35mm film elements
- TV Spots & Teasers.