Review: ‘One Way Pendulum’

Adapted from his own play by N. F. Simpson, what there is of a plot deals with an eccentric British family whose antics resemble normal behavior as Salvador Dali resembles Grandma Moses.

Adapted from his own play by N. F. Simpson, what there is of a plot deals with an eccentric British family whose antics resemble normal behavior as Salvador Dali resembles Grandma Moses.

Papa (Eric Sykes) seeks change from his humdrum existence as an insurance clerk by erecting a do-it-yourself replica of the Old Bailey in his living room, only to find a trial underway when he gets it finished; the mother (Alison Leggatt repeating her stage role), seemingly the sane one, goes along with her oddly-behaviored family until she adds her own bit by engaging a charwoman (Peggy Mount) not to clean, but to eat the family’s leftovers.

Nearly rational is daughter (Julia Foster), whose only concern is for what she considers a physical deformity – her arms don’t reach her knees.

Peter Yates directs with a technique that treats comedy as deadly serious and is responsible for much of the antic spirit that keeps the film animated during most of its chaotic run.

One Way Pendulum

UK

Production

Woodfall. Director Peter Yates; Producer Michael Deeley; Screenplay N.F. Simpson; Camera Denys Coop; Editor Peter Taylor; Music Richard Rodney Bennett; Art Director Reece Pemberton

Crew

(B&W) Extract of a review from 1965. Running time: 90 MIN.

With

Eric Sykes George Cole Julia Foster Jonathan Miller Peggy Mount Mona Washbourne
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