Water (1985 film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Dick Clement|
|Produced by||George Harrison
Ian La Frenais
|Written by||Dick Clement
Ian La Frenais
|Music by||Mike Moran
|Distributed by||Atlantic Releasing|
|Running time||115 min.|
Water is a 1985 comedy film scripted by Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais, directed by Clement, and starring Michael Caine. This HandMade Films production was released in U.S. theatres in April 1986 by Atlantic Releasing.
The story is set in the fictional Caribbean British colony of Cascara. Widely ignored by the British Government, media and general public, local Governor Baxter Thwaites is having an easy life in his small and peaceful colony. That peace is disturbed when an abandoned oil rig starts delivering water - at the standard of the finest table water brands. Different parties, including Downing Street, the Cascara Liberation Front, the White House and the Cubans take interest in the future of the island and threaten to destroy the cosy way of life enjoyed by the island's inhabitants.
The plot seems to be inspired by the 1958 comedy Carlton-Browne of the F.O..
The film stars Caine as Baxter Thwaites as a Governor who has 'gone native' (similarly to his role in The Honorary Consul) and Billy Connolly as local biracial activist Delgado, supported by the last performance of Leonard Rossiter as Sir Malcolm Leveridge and one of the last performances of Fulton Mackay.
The BBC television presenter Paul Heiney had a small part in the film as part of the In at the Deep End series.
The film is largely set on the fictional island of Cascara. In the film an oil well is re-opened and discovered to have mineral water with a 'slight laxative effect'. The island's name itself is a play on this as Cascara is the name of a plant (scientific name Rhamnus purshiana) which has laxative properties.
Concert for Cascara
Towards the end of the film, in order to garner support for independence the singing rebel appeals (in song) before the United Nations General Assembly. Accompanying him are Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ray Cooper, Jon Lord, Mike Moran, Chris Stainton and Ringo Starr, with backing singers Jenny Bogle and Anastasia Rodriguez.
The song performed by the group at the end of the film, "Freedom", was released as a music video. The soundtrack featured reggae music by Eddy Grant and Harrison himself, with Billy Connolly contributing additional songs.
- Michael Caine as Governor Baxter Thwaites
- Valerie Perrine as Pamela Weintraub
- Brenda Vaccaro as Dolores Thwaites
- Leonard Rossiter as Sir Malcolm Leveridge
- Billy Connolly as Delgado Fitzhugh
- Dennis Dugan as Rob Waring
- Fulton Mackay as Reverend Eric
- Jimmie Walker as Jay Jay
- Dick Shawn as Deke Halliday
- Fred Gwynne as Franklin Spender
- Trevor Laird as Pepito
- Alan Igbon as Cuban
- Stephen M Booker as Helicopter Pilot
The movie received a mixed review in the New York Times, which read in part "The folks who packaged this put-on operated on the theory that a lot of eccentric people doing nutty things produce hilarity. The ingredient missing from the fitfully amusing conglomeration of characters is a character for the whole. In kidding everything, the movie leaves us uncertain about whether anything is being seriously kidded."
- full cast list at IMDB
- "Michael Caine in Water", Walter Goodman, New York Times, 18 April 1986