The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer Reviews

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November 18, 2015
Well it was a classic ?
November 17, 2015
Typically odd (viewed from 2015) 1970 British political farce with the likes of Cook, Cleese, Captain Mainwaring, Corbett, and that's just the 'C's. Classic.
November 17, 2014
A very humorous look at business, politics and generally people's behaviour (in 1970...) A motivated, self-made man... although it's not quite clear what he's motivated to do, as he doesn't appear to do anything with his power, he just "wins". The way in which a witty confident man can simply do what he wants in a world of incompetent mindless people with, what it would appear to be, no deep aspirations of their own.
February 5, 2014
The satire is bang on, but there's no successful light relief and the result is rather dour. It's a chilling foreshadowing of Thatcher and Blair, as well which probably makes it hard to really enjoy. It's a good premise poorly executed, and whilst Cook is a convincing amoral proto-yuppie who is very probably the Devil, his mechanical reading of it has no warmth. To make this film less horrifying, more should have been done with Arthur Lowe, I'd say. Interesting, but I can't recommend it. Comedies, after all, are meant to be funny. Even the black ones.
Super Reviewer
May 2, 2012
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."
July 4, 2011
British satire has its moments.
January 13, 2011
En politisk mediasatir klippt och skuren för Peter Cook och Harold Pinter. Tyvärr åldras sånt här inte särskillt väl. Men för den som gillar sin humor som en bra dry martini. Riktigt torr. Så kan det nog vara en vinnare.
½ November 7, 2010
What was once a sharp satire has sadly lost its fangs through time. But its still a good film.
December 27, 2009
British comedy at it's best Peter Cook as the smarmy Michael Rimmer is wonderful you don't see much of these kind of films anymore in the times of special effects and hype which is a shame, a true gem of a film
½ October 27, 2009
Brilliant. Very relevant in 1970 and even more so today. The story of a man who deceives and manipulates his way to being prime minister of the UK. Very funny, yet very intelligent and thought-provoking, it parodies the link between politicians and the media and the misuse of publicity. Also parodies politics, opinion polls and the media in general.

The only negative aspect was the overuse of silly Monty Pythonisms (the script was co-written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman). Now I am a huge Monty Python fan and the Pythonisms in isolation are great, but they often detracted from the serious parody.

Great acting by Peter Cook - so devious and manipulative that he should have been a politican! Denholm Elliott also shines. John Cleese, Graham Chapman and Ronnie Corbett also appear, though fairly briefly.
September 30, 2009
This was a very interesting, and funny, film. It starts off with your typical 1970's style British smutty humour and ends up as quite a clever social commentary. With one of the major themes being how the media can manipulate the public and results of opinion polls it's also still scarily relevant. The DVD has a director's commentary that I'm planning to listen to. I may report back after that.

P.S. I'd advise you to watch this with access to the IMDB because I spent half the movie going "Gah! Where do I recognise him from??"
September 15, 2009
fantastic and still scarily apt
July 18, 2009
British political comedy with a good strong cast but sadly this film comes up short. The best part is at the end with the would be assassin falling out of the window. But all in all politics and comedy don't really mix if this film is anything to go by
June 20, 2009
Excellent political satire and a film years ahead of it's time. Panned by the critics on it's original release it is now one of the cleverest witty satires ever produced. Great performances all around including one from Arthur Lowe.
March 1, 2009
A biting political satire of Britain coming from the late 1960's and into the 1970's, observed by Peter Cook and friends, and produced by his one-time rival David Frost. It has dated a bit since it's release, but in places, it does ring true and feel a bit relevant in places. It begins with the mysterious and idealistic Michael Rimmer (Peter Cook) appearing at an opinion poll company, ran by Mr. Ferrett (Arthur Lowe), and taking over the company. Through doing opinion polls, he's able to make a shift into politics, where he works as a government spin doctor for the Conservatives. Then, after a fatal accident with the PM and a lump of gold on an oil rig, Rimmer soon finds himself considered as the next PM!! It's got it's moments, Peter Cook did the script with John Cleese and Graham Chapman, (who both appear in the film), it has dated, but Rimmer is such a Machiavellian charmer, and it makes you wonder if that's how a politician or two these days made it to where they are now with similiar methods. :P But, it's cast makes up for any shortfalls, including Denholm Elliott, Harold Pinter, George A. Cooper, Dudley Foster, Norman Rossington, Julian Glover and Ronnie Corbett!! :D
½ July 24, 2008
Astute political satire from Peter Cook, who stars as Michael Rimmer a man who appears out of nowhere and rises through the ranks to become president of the UK.
Its very episodic and has some great scenes, but it never quite gels together as a whole film. I suppose this due to Cleese and Cook's experiences and talents for writing for sketch comedy shows in the 60's.
Cook is excellent as the strange, but driven Rimmer who will stop at nothing to reach the top. It's probably a lot more relevant now than it was in 1970, and you can see a lot of what was comedy at the time actually happening for real today.
Theres also some excellent support, most notably Arthur Lowe, but also some good turns from John Cleese, Harold Pinter, Ronnie Corbett and Ronald Fraser. Theres also a good turn from Graham Crowden who has been in some very similar films such as The Ruling Class and Brittania Hospital.
If you enjoyed those films you will certainly appreciated the Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer, if not you may well be scratching your head after you've watched it.
April 10, 2008
Fascinating satirical fantasy with an amazing cast of British acting talent which just about gets away with casting creepy Peter Cook as the most charming man in the world. If you can swallow that, you'll likely be carried along by the juggernaut plot which carries Rimmer from corporate leader to poliitician and unstoppably onward.
March 22, 2008
I am rating this maybe higher than it deserves - because it is still so on the money now. to the point that anyone who has done a political satire since may just as well not have bothered. Some great laughs, lit and art directed the way a film should be and Cook certainly is dapper. I have no criticisms of Cook's performance in this. His archness is priceless.
December 4, 2007
Peter Cook stars in a satirical film penned by David Frost, in which he starts by (literally) walking through the door of an advertising and polls agency, and ends up becoming the first President of the UK. Cook gives a very understated performance, giving his character an almost bland air - only the sharpness of his gaze gives away his true intentions. He rises up through the ranks by virtue of being a spin maestro - rebranding a line of sweets with a campaign mimicking that of Cadbury's flake, creating propaganda films of the UK's defences using models, and claiming gold has been struck in the North Sea. The rst of the cast are hugely varied - from Ronnie Corbett to Harold Pinter, and the ease and manipulation Rimmer takes to reach the top are ever more plausible in the media-obsessed 21st Century.
September 14, 2007
A lost gem, well worth watching ...
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