Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer

The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer

Director: Kevin Billington, Peter Cook, Denholm Elliott, Ronald Fraser

Cast: Kevin Billington, Peter Cook, Denholm Elliott, Ronald Fraser

     
 
Like Socrates of ancient Athens, Michael Rimmer (Peter Cook) of modern England believes the key to success is to ask the right questions. Lots of questions. So he gets a job with an advertising agency that conducts polls, rises swiftly through the ranks, and eventually runs the agency. Then he bombards England with questions. His ingenious system enables him to

Overview

Like Socrates of ancient Athens, Michael Rimmer (Peter Cook) of modern England believes the key to success is to ask the right questions. Lots of questions. So he gets a job with an advertising agency that conducts polls, rises swiftly through the ranks, and eventually runs the agency. Then he bombards England with questions. His ingenious system enables him to predict the outcome of a general election. (Every voter in England had received a questionnaire.) So accomplished is Rimmer at asking questions that he finds his future wife through market research. To insure that he gets the right answers, Rimmer is not above manipulating the polls. For example, when he asks residents of Coventry their religion, 95 percent identify themselves as Buddhists, thanks to an influx of Rimmer stooges. Then he enters politics. In a short time, he gets himself elected to Parliament, becomes a cabinet minister and eventually moves into Ten Downing Street as prime minister after pushing the incumbent prime minister off an oil platform. By this time, every eligible voter in Britain can cast ballots with a television remote control. Alas, the electorate tires of the endless referendum questions that they must answer as part of their daily routine. This development serves only to catapult Rimmer to further success, for the people decide to place all decisions in his hands as dictator of England. So Rimmer keeps rising and rising and rising. And asking questions.

Editorial Reviews

All Movie Guide - Mike Cummings
Although The Rise and Rise of Michael Rimmer fell and fell at the box office after it was released in 1969, it earned cult status among moviegoers who appreciate wildly imaginative films. Through preposterous hyperbole, the kind that crowns a mouse king of an elephant herd, it satirizes the use of opinion polls to plumb the electorate and shape a country's future. In doing so, the film correctly prophesies the 21st century's excessive use of such polls, the kind that ordained Al Gore as victor in Florida in the 2000 U.S. presidential election. Pundits and politicians regularly refer to the film to call attention to the possibility that excessive polling could undermine representative democracy. Droll Peter Cook, a favorite in Britain, stars as the devilishly clever Michael Rimmer, a man who uses and manipulates opinion polls to rise from nobody to prime minister of England. Of course, history dictates that everyone who rises must also fall, like Julius Caesar, Macbeth, Napoleon, and George III. But not Rimmer. He keeps on rising and rising. The production also brings together for the first time the comedic genius of future Monty Python regulars John Cleese and Graham Chapman, who wrote the original script and acted in the film. Cook later rewrote the script. The film includes a cast of characters with Dickensian names such as Snaggot, Spot, Blocket, Spimm, Poot, and Fromage (the French word for cheese).

Product Details

Release Date:
05/06/2011
UPC:
0883316278833
Original Release:
1970
Source:
Warner Archives
Time:
1:42:00
Sales rank:
47,332

Cast & Crew

Performance Credits
Peter Cook Michael Rimmer
Denholm Elliott Peter Niss
Ronald Fraser Tom Hutchinson
Arthur Lowe Ferret
Vanessa Howard Patricia Cartwright
George A. Cooper Blackett
Graham Crowden Bishop of Cowley
Harold Pinter Steven Hench
James Cossins Crodder
Richard Pearson Wilting
Ronnie Corbett Interviewer
Dudley Foster Federman
Julian Glover Col. Moffat
Ann Beach Receptionist
Jonathan Cecil "Spot"
Diana Coupland Mrs. Spimm
Percy Edwards Bird Impersonator
Arthur Lovegrove Doorman
Frank Thornton Stoddart
Desmond Walter-Ellis Buffery
Michael Bates Mr. Spimm
Norman Bird Alderman Poot
Graham Chapman Fromage
William Job Waring
Norman Rossington Guide
Michael Trubshawe Mandeville
Michael Barrington Maj. Scott
John Cleese Plumer
Roland Culver Sir Eric Bentley
Elspeth March Mrs. Ferret
Nicholas Phipps Snaggot
Dennis Price Fairbum
Valerie Leon Actor

Technical Credits
Kevin Billington Director,Screenwriter
John Cameron Score Composer
Graham Chapman Screenwriter
John Cleese Screenwriter
Peter Cook Screenwriter
Carmen Dillon Art Director
Michael Dryhurst Asst. Director
Harry Fine Producer
David Frost Executive Producer
Stanley Hawkes Editor
Ken Lewington Costumes/Costume Designer
Alex Thomson Cinematographer

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