The Naked Civil Servant

1975, Biography, 1h 20m

3 Reviews 500+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Quentin Crisp makes the bold choice of exhibiting his homosexuality in the highly conservative environment of England in the 1930s and 1940s. What's more, he adopts a self-consciously flamboyant and theatrical persona destined to attract negative attention, although he navigates the streets of London with caution as he comes of age against a backdrop of homophobia. But when he is confronted with criminal charges, he must decide how willing he is to defend his lifestyle.

Cast & Crew

John Hurt
Quentin Crisp
Liz Gebhardt
Art Student
Patricia Hodge
Ballet Teacher
Colin Higgins
Thumbnails
Stephen Johnstone
Young Quentin
Antonia Pemberton
Mrs. Longhurst
Joan Ryan
Mrs. Crisp
Frank Forsyth
Family Doctor
Ron Pember
Black Cat Proprietor
Roger Lloyd-Pack
Liz
Derek West
Freda
Dennis Chinnery
Business Man
John Flanagan
1st Policeman
David Goodland
2nd Policeman
Jack Gold
Director
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News & Interviews for The Naked Civil Servant

Critic Reviews for The Naked Civil Servant

All Critics (3) | Top Critics (1) | Fresh (3)

  • Thanks to Hurt's extraordinary performance -- soft-skinned, red-lipped and determined to fight politely for his rights -- it still seems relevant and not just an exercise in nostalgia.

    June 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It is well that Hurt's performance is preserved on film, for it is an extraordinary achievement.

    October 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The Naked Civil Servant is camp and unabashedly so - but it has far more going on beneath the surface, and helped usher in more nuanced portrayals of LGBT people and culture in the years to come.

    October 8, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Thanks to Hurt's extraordinary performance -- soft-skinned, red-lipped and determined to fight politely for his rights -- it still seems relevant and not just an exercise in nostalgia.

    June 8, 2017 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It is well that Hurt's performance is preserved on film, for it is an extraordinary achievement.

    October 23, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The Naked Civil Servant is camp and unabashedly so - but it has far more going on beneath the surface, and helped usher in more nuanced portrayals of LGBT people and culture in the years to come.

    October 8, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Naked Civil Servant

  • Dec 01, 2012
    Somewhat funny and somewhat sad at the same time. It's a exaggerated portrayal of the LGBT subculture of the 30s in Britain, based on the autobiography of Quentin Crisp. It's not entirely positive on the views of homosexuality as the characters were all stereotypically feminine. John hurt did a great job, but it's just not a film I would regard highly.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Oct 27, 2009
    Pretty fascinating but then again, Quentin Crisp was never boring. Great performance by John Hurt.
    Sunil J Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2009
    At a time when homosexuality was about as popular as bing a nazi Mr Crisp went about his life as camply as possible. In the face of overwhelming odds he kept it camp. Hurt is brillaint as the over the top chutney. It does have a serious side and the message is clear.
    Barry L Super Reviewer
  • Sep 21, 2007
    Along with his portrayal of Joseph Merrick, this is John Hurt's greatest performance. Personally I don't think he's ever been better. I think if you stood them side by side you would have found it difficult to say who was the real Quentin Crisp. Crisp was the quintessential English eccentric - shunned by general society for his determination to be himself and shunned by the gay society of the time for being 'too homo'! He was way ahead of his time - pre-empting the likes of Boy George and David Bowie by decades. If someone made him up they wouldn't believe it! I remember seeing him on Wogan chat show years ago. When this fragile looking, aged queen with a blue rinse, came on and sat down he was greeted with sniggers and nervous giggles in the audience. But he was unfazed - after all he has had this all his life. But he soon had them captivated with his intelligence and wit and left the studio to a respectable applause. He is still a controversial figure with parts of the gay community - often publicly proclaiming himself a "self loathing homosexual" was not gonna win him many fans. But his bravery and determination to be true to himself against such outrageous hostility and ignorence should be applauded. I'm not sure why this is in the films list seeing as it was a British TV drama from the 70s but what the Hell! It's still a great story with an eye-popping central performance.
    William S Super Reviewer

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