A Merry War (1998) - Rotten Tomatoes

A Merry War (1998)



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Based on a novel by George Orwell, this satiric comedy concerns Gordon Comstock (Richard E. Grant), an advertising copywriter who fancies himself a poet. While Gordon has published a small volume of his verse that received faint words of praise in the press ("promising" was the most enthusiastic adjective used, in a review that turned out to be written by his publisher), he is convinced that literary greatness lurks deep within him. Deciding that he should begin living the bohemian lifestyle that is the mark of a true artist, Gordon quits his job, even though his friends think he's gone daft and even his publisher Ravelston (Julian Wadham) believes that he's being rash. Gordon's girlfriend Rosemary (Helena Bonham Carter) thinks he's being a bit silly but stands by him, even though Gordon's voluntary descent into poverty has a dire impact on their sex life; Gordon's new digs in a cheap boarding house offer little privacy, thanks to his prying landlady (Liz Smith), and Rosemary lacks Gordon's enthusiasm for love in the great outdoors. Desperate for money, Gordon takes a job in a used book shop (where he sees his own book marked down to three pence...with no takers), and he is forced to rethink his new lifestyle when he learns that one of his increasingly rare sexual assignations with Rosemary has left her pregnant. Originally titled Keep the Aspidistra Flying after Orwell's novel, this film was more widely distributed as A Merry War; it also briefly played under the title Comstock and Rosemary.more
Rating: PG-13 (adult situations)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By: ,
Written By: Alan Plater
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 1, 1999


Richard E. Grant
as Gordon Comstock
Jim Carter
as Erskine
Harriet Walter
as Julia Comstock
Lill Roughley
as Mrs. Trilling
Julian Wadham
as Ravelston
John Clegg
as McKechnie
Barbara Leigh-Hunt
as Mrs. Wisebeach
Grant Parsons
as Beautiful Young Man
Malcolm Sinclair
as Paul Doring
Derek Smee
as Lecturer
Ben Miles
as Ravenscroft Waiter
Richard M. Dixon
as Head Waiter
Roger Morlidge
as Policeman
Roland Oliver
as Magistrate Croom
Bill Wallis
as Cheeseman
Liz Smith
as Mrs. Meakin
Roger Frost
as Orton the Undertaker
Lucy Speed
as Factory Girl
Joan Blackman
as Librarian
Roy Evans
as Cabby
Eve Ferrett
as Barmaid
Lone Vidahl
as Girl in Modigliani's
Steven Crossley
as Man at CLub
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News & Interviews for A Merry War

Critic Reviews for A Merry War

All Critics (41) | Top Critics (14)

Full Review… | September 7, 2011
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | April 24, 2002
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Top Critic

Full Review… | August 28, 1998
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Full Review… | March 27, 2009
Top Critic

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