Punch and Judy Man - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Punch and Judy Man Reviews

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½ September 28, 2010
For some reason I'd imagined this would be more bleak than it is - and it'd probably have been better so. Having said that, it's engaging enough - but as always I'm drawn to the long-suffering John Le Mes on the whole more than the volatile Hancock. Better than a Carry On, by far.
½ October 5, 2009
This is more like it. The Punch and Judy Man is a very good film, well shot, well played, well written, and brilliantly allegorical. In Tony Hancock‚??s second foray into movies he plays Wally Pinner, a punch and judy puppeteer who along with his oppo played by Hugh Lloyd (I‚??d love Hugh Lloyd to be my neighbor) works on the beach with a group of other ‚??theatricals‚?? putting shows on for the holiday makers. All very twee and nice you might think but you‚??d be wrong. This is a film about social perceptions, loveless marriages and inner happiness. The opening scenes are excellent, Hancock interacting along with the radio whilst getting dressed shows a massive contrast to utter silence that breakfast with his social climbing wife takes place in - here is a couple who politely pour tea and cereal into each others bowls without the merest hint of eye contact, if this were not a comedy film it would be difficult to watch.

We can see a lot of Tony Hancock‚??s inner self at work here - an entertainer at odds with the world who was at that time going through a very rough patch with his wife. His performance is faultless. As is the performances of the cast as a whole - from the beach front ‚??theatricals‚?? to the pocket lining town council; they even drink in segregated parts of the local pub where Hancock goads and lampoons them to his friends amusement.

There appears to be the perfect balance of visual and spoken gags through the length of this film and unlike The Rebel Hancock does not appear as a big fish in a small pond - more as a genuinely complicated, troubled and lovable character who along with the rest of the excellent cast, script rich in back story and class driven conflict and technically solid presentation (some nice jump cuts here) transforms The Punch and Judy Man from another run-of-the-mill comedy vehicle into a bitter sweet and compelling film.

Watch it - even if just for the ice cream parlour scene - where Hancock in an almost silent scene manages to out act almost everyone that I can think of.
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