The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer (1970)
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The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer Photos
as Tom Hutchinson
as Patricia Cartwright
as Plumer, Pumer
as Michael Rimmer
as Bishop of Cowley
as Steven Hench
as Peter Niss
as Col. Moffat
as Mrs. Spimm
as Bird Impersonator
as Maj. Scott
as Sir Eric Bentley
as Mrs. Ferret
Critic Reviews for The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer
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Audience Reviews for The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer
Sort of a darker cousin to "Being There" and "How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying," "The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer" is a 1970 satire about a man climbing through the ranks of commerce and politics with improbable speed. Happily, it's co-written by comedy legends Peter Cook (also the star), John Cleese and Graham Chapman. How could it miss? Michael Rimmer strolls into an advertising firm one morning, and immediately unnerves the company with his eerie, smiling confidence. He announces that he has been hired to work in "coordination," but the possibility is left open that he is pretending -- everyone just accepts his word that he is a new employee. Once he has introduced himself, Rimmer (armed with intimidating stopwatch and clipboard) begins monitoring others' efficiency and arousing their insecurities. He even camps out in the restroom, watching other men use the facilities. He focuses most on the polling department, and soon pressures the otherwise conservative group to launch a wide-ranging poll about sexual habits. The sensational results land him and the firm on the newspapers' front pages. Not content with this success, Rimmer goes even further, sabotaging a rival company by planting interviewees to skew the "random" data being gathered for a religious survey. Needless to say, the eventual conclusion -- that local Buddhists and Muslims greatly outnumber Church of England members -- does wonders to sink the competitor's credibility. Major political forces soon notice Rimmer and recruit him as a consultant. He winds up in Parliament, continuing to find devious ways to elevate himself while setting up his peers to embarrass themselves. One of his more elaborate schemes involves government spies robbing a Swiss gold reserve -- they incapacitate the guards with aerosol cans that spray instant flu germs. He then engineers a cover-up lie about a vast gold discovery in the North Sea, and somehow blames Egypt for the heist. Inhabited with Cook's usual dead-eyed demeanor, Rimmer casually shrugs through these sinister triumphs. The humor is not especially "Monty Python"-esque, and the gags may be subtler than you'll expect (though Cleese -- both he and Chapman have tiny parts -- inserts a random move around the 10-minute mark that's oddly similar to a "silly walk"). There's a fake commercial that's boldly suggestive by 1970 standards, an amusing Scrabble game where the words serve as sexual banter, a few good puns (Rimmer visits "Budleigh Moor," obviously a nod to Cook's comedy partner Dudley Moore) and some scattered quotable lines. Says someone of Rimmer: "He's ruthless, opportunistic, dishonest, shallow, evasive and unprincipled. But I'm still not sure he'll make a good leader."
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