1963 horror film directed by Alfred Hitchcock
Tom Courtenay stars as Billy, an unhappy clerk who still lives at home with his impatient family. To escape the drudgery of his life, Billy passes the time telling outrageous lies and fantasizing about his very own country where he is the beloved ruler and war hero.
I must admit I didn't know this movie was considered a comedy until I read some reviews. While the fantasy sequences are certainly amusing, Billy's day-to-day existence is lonely, unfulfilling, and depressing. I found Tom Courtenay to be adequate but dull and unsympathetic. On the other hand, Julie Christie is remarkably confident, mature, and charismatic and the screen really lights up during her few scenes. The black and white movie was one of the first in the sixties to feature the working class in all it's gritty glory. (I wish the DVD had had subtitles to help me with the thick north-of-England accents.)
The movie is similar to Danny Kaye's The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, but the humor is much more subtle. I thought the dramatic scenes lacked heart-felt pathos and I never liked or felt sorry for Billy. Watch it for its place in British film history and for the screen debut of the lovely Miss Christie.
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