Review: ‘Work Is a Four Letter Word’

Work Is a Four Letter Word is based on Henry Livings' unconventional and not wholly satisfactory play Eh?. A difficult theme for a film, Work is a wayout comedy fantasy.

Work Is a Four Letter Word is based on Henry Livings’ unconventional and not wholly satisfactory play Eh?. A difficult theme for a film, Work is a wayout comedy fantasy.

There is an irritating air of improvisation about much of the picture which shows up particularly in the editing, Jack Harris clearly having difficulty in keeping Jeremy Brooks’ wayward screenplay within coherent bounds.

The thin storyline visualizes man’s struggle against automation, something of a harkback to Chaplin’s Modern Times. Overwhelmed by the DICE organization which makes such horrors as plastic daffodils and whose skyscraper offices and factories are automated to a point of frenzy, one young man holds out against the system.

The plot and message are merely hooks for a series of off-beat situations, some very funny and others over-reminiscent and over-stressed. Director Peter Hall often hangs on to a point just long enough to blunt it.

Work Is a Four Letter Word

UK

Production

Cavalade/Universal. Director Peter Hall; Producer Thomas Clyde; Screenplay Jeremy Brooks; Camera Gil Taylor; Editor Jack Harris; Music Guy Woolfenden; Art Director Philip Harrison

Crew

(Color) Extract of a review from 1968. Running time: 93 MIN.

With

David Warner Cilla Black Elizabeth Spriggs Zia Mohyeddin David Waller Alan Howard
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