The Naked Civil Servant

Overview

Based on Quentin Crisp's autobiography, the once-controversial picture The Naked Civil Servant stars John Hurt as Crisp, a flamboyant character who publicly declared his homosexuality during the brutally homophobic and misogynistic England of the 1930s and '40s -- a time when this alternative lifestyle was still an offense punishable by imprisonment in Great Britain. The man dyed his hair and wore makeup in an era when women were looked on with disapproval for such behavior! Director Jack Gold handles the ...
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Overview

Based on Quentin Crisp's autobiography, the once-controversial picture The Naked Civil Servant stars John Hurt as Crisp, a flamboyant character who publicly declared his homosexuality during the brutally homophobic and misogynistic England of the 1930s and '40s -- a time when this alternative lifestyle was still an offense punishable by imprisonment in Great Britain. The man dyed his hair and wore makeup in an era when women were looked on with disapproval for such behavior! Director Jack Gold handles the material with taste, discretion, and a generous supply of humor; it thus might seem bizarre to a contemporary viewer that anyone could be offended by this, but remember that the world was a different place in 1975. More than a few PBS subscribers threatened to yank their support when this British TV film was first offered to American viewers in the spring of that year. Fortunately, many others were willing to see beyond the film's controversial subject matter and revel in the excellence of the production and its participants; one of the film's biggest and most influential fans was none other than Milton Berle. Carl Davis, best known for his symphonic silent-movie restoration scores, composed the music. Hurt drew equal controversy later that same year for his work in another British drama-turned-PBS special -- when he played the psychotic Caligula in Herbert Wise's epic miniseries I, Claudius.
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Special Features

Commentary by star John Hurt, director Jack Gold and executive producer Verity Lambert; Deja Vu with Quentin Crisp: Quentin Crisp's observations on British and American culture
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Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Richard Gilliam
The Naked Civil Servant is remembered for John Hurt's fine performance as author Quentin Crisp, and for the controversy that arose when the film first aired on U.S. television. The film depicts the life of Crisp, who lived an openly gay lifestyle at a time that homosexuality was still a crime in Britain. While the story generated some controversy in the U.K., it was U.S. viewing audiences who objected the most -- though it was not clear how many protestors had actually watched the film they were complaining about. Controversy aside, the film plays well to current-day audiences, who can enjoy Hurt's well-crafted acting and the unapologetic way with which he portrays the character. As with much of director Jack Gold's best work, the production values are minimal but fit the character-driven material.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 5/29/2007
  • UPC: 794051290823
  • Original Release: 1975
  • Rating:

  • Source: Bbc Warner
  • Region Code: 1
  • Time: 1:18:00
  • Format: DVD

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
John Hurt Quentin Crisp
Patricia Hodge Ballet teacher
Shane Briant Norma
Colin Higgins Thumbnails
Lloyd Lamble Mr. Crisp
Stanley Lebor Mr. Pole
John Rhys-Davies Barndoor
Katherine Schofield Mrs. Pole
Antonia Pemberton Mrs. Longhurst
Frank Forsyth Family Doctor
Frederick Treves Detective
Technical Credits
Jack Gold Director
Carl Davis Score Composer
Philip Mackie Screenwriter
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Scene Index

Disc #1 -- The Naked Civil Servant
1. Chapter 1 [7:51]
2. Chapter 2 [6:12]
3. Chapter 3 [3:21]
4. Chapter 4 [7:39]
5. Chapter 5 [5:10]
6. Chapter 6 [6:51]
7. Chapter 7 [6:46]
8. Chapter 8 [4:42]
9. Chapter 9 [8:04]
10. Chapter 10 [5:54]
11. Chapter 11 [9:23]
12. Chapter 12 [5:35]
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Menu

Disc #1 -- The Naked Civil Servant
   Play Movie
   Scene Selection
   Deja Vu With Quentin Crisp
   Audio Commentary
   English Subtitles for the Hard of Hearing: On
   English Subtitles for the Hard of Hearing: Off
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