Clockwise (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Clockwise (1986)





Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Clockwise Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

John Cleese's knack for mining hilarity from the growing frustration of a dignified gentleman is fully exploited in the British comedy Clockwise. Cleese portrays Brian Stimpson, a perfectionist English headmaster who has been selected to make an important presentation before a group of his peers. When Stimpson sets out upon his journey, however, he finds himself facing a seemingly never-ending series of delays and inconveniences, which range from missing a train to becoming a fugitive from the police. The film goes no deeper than its farcical surface, but is nevertheless consistently entertaining, thanks to former Monty Python member Cleese's precisely tuned transitions from composure to complete collapse.more
Rating: PG (adult situations/language)
Genre: Action & Adventure, Comedy
Directed By: , ,
Written By: Khalifa Almuraikhi, Abdulla Alsaadawi, Michael Frayn
In Theaters:
On DVD: Dec 4, 2001
Zubara Films


John Cleese
as Brian Stimpson
Alison Steadman
as Gwenda Stimpson
Penelope Wilton
as Pat Garden
Joan Hickson
as Mrs. Trellis
Mark Bunting
as Studious Boy
John Bardon
as Ticket Collector
Mark Burdis
as Glen Scully
Nadia Carina
as Mandy Kostakis
Dickie Arnold
as Man at Station
Angus MacKay
as Man on Train
Stephen Moore
as Mr. Jolly
Sharon Maiden
as Laura Wisely
Peter Lorenzelli
as Taxi Driver
Ann Way
as Mrs. Way
Ann-Marie Gwatkin
as Petrol-Station Cashi...
Mohammed Ashiq
as Manager of Petrol St...
Pat Keen
as Mrs. Wisely
Geoffrey Greenhill
as Policeman with Mrs. ...
Richard Ridings
as Policeman at Crash
Geoffrey Davion
as Policeman at Crash
Charles Bartholomew
as Man in Telephone Box
Sheila Keith
as Mrs. Garden
Christian Regan
as Pat's Son
Alan Parnaby
as Policeman at Telepho...
Tony Haygarth
as Ivan with the Tracto...
Susan Field
as Woman at Low church ...
Anthony Haygarth
as Man with the Tractor
Leslie Scofied
as Policeman Arresting ...
Michael Glynn
as Policeman with Black...
Peter Cellier
as Headmaster
David Conville
as Headmaster
Patrick Godfrey
as Headmaster
Leslie Schofield
as Policeman Arresting ...
Rupert Massey
as Headmaster
John Rowe
as Headmaster
Philip Voss
as Headmaster
Jeffrey Wickham
as Headmaster
Nick Stringer
as Detective Sergeant R...
Michael Percival
as Man in Wood
Peter Jonfield
as Detective Inspector ...
Benjamin Whitrow
as Headmaster
Geoffrey Palmer
as Headmaster
Sydney Livingstone
as Porsche Driver
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Clockwise

Critic Reviews for Clockwise

All Critics (9) | Top Critics (4)

Full Review… | September 18, 2008
Top Critic

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Should be funnier, but not bad.

December 11, 2003
New Times

Overlooked Cleese comedy.

July 25, 2002

Audience Reviews for Clockwise


When a perfectionist and always punctual headmaster gets on the wrong train, his well-organized world is falling to pieces and a trail of chaos ensues. Of course John Cleese is the perfect choice for the British gentleman who is set in his ways and stumbles into a series of misunderstandings and inconveniences. He is easily selling this film even through his slower parts, but the script makes sure to add one wonderfully uncomfortable situation behind the other and makes for a very British, very entertaining experience, even if the film feels a bit dated. One cell phone call would solve the whole problem nowadays. Still, in a way it is sad that there are no such comedies anymore.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

A scrupulously punctual headmaster in an English comprehensive school sets off for the Headmaster's Conference to deliver a keynote speech. One little slip sees him boarding the wrong train, which leads to a chain of consequences conspiring to keep him from his goal. This is one of the finest farces I've ever seen brought to the screen, written naturally enough by theatre farce-meister Michael Frayn. The frenetic energy of John Cleese in his prime really lifts this above the norm, as he hitches a ride with a student, bumps into and kidnaps an ex-girlfriend and winds up naked in a monastery. The climactic scenes at the HMC amount to perhaps the finest pay-off seen in farce. This is, indeed, a historic moment.

Cassandra Maples

Super Reviewer

A great forgotten comedy, makes me sweat and nervous everytime I watch it haha I just keep wanting him to succeed aarrrggghhhh there are some dull moments but also some truely inspired Cleese moments worthy of 'Fawlty Towers'. Evading the police, the final speech, in the fields, the old ladies etc, when I was a kid this was christmas TV gold LOL!!
'stimpsons supporters club?'

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

Clockwise Quotes

– Submitted by Becky B (22 months ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Clockwise on our Movie forum!