Heavy Weather (film)
VHS cover of Heavy Weather
|Directed by||Jack Gold|
|Screenplay by||Douglas Livingstone|
by P. G. Wodehouse
|Music by||Denis King|
|Distributed by||BBC 1|
Heavy Weather is a television film by Douglas Livingstone based on the novel Heavy Weather by P. G. Wodehouse (1881–1975), set at Blandings Castle. It was made by the BBC and WGBH Boston, first screened by the BBC on Christmas Eve 1995 and shown in the United States on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre on 18 February 1996.
Though abridged for a 90-minute film, Heavy Weather follows closely the novel of 1933, the fourth in the Blandings series. Many of the familiar elements of the Blandings books are present: the wish of Lord Emsworth's nephew, Ronnie Fish, to marry a chorus girl, Sue Brown; the concern of Emsworth's sisters, the imperious Lady Constance Keeble and Ronnie's mother Lady Julia Fish, to ensure that the reminiscences of their other brother, the Hon. Galahad Threepwood, were not published; Galahad's protectiveness towards Miss Brown, the daughter of his long lost love Dolly Henderson; the sustained efforts of the publisher Lord Tilbury (a character probably based on Lord Northcliffe) to gain possession of the reminiscences; Lord Emsworth's determination that his prize Berkshire pig, the Empress of Blandings, should win the silver medal in the fat pigs class at the Shrewsbury agricultural show; Lord Emsworth's employment of a private detective, P. Frobisher Pilbeam, to protect the Empress and his rivalry with his neighbour, Sir Gregory Parsloe, of Matchingham Hall, who had not only his own designs on the fat pigs class, but, as a prospective Parliamentary candidate, an interest in suppressing Galahad's reminiscences; and the employment as Lord Emsworth's secretary of Monty Bodkin, who, as with most holders of that office, had an ulterior motive (in this instance, the need to hold down paid employment for a year in order to be considered suitable to marry one Gertrude Butterwick).
Heavy Weather features a distinguished cast: Peter O'Toole as Clarence, Lord Emsworth, Richard Briers as Galahad Threepwood, Judy Parfitt as Lady Constance, Sarah Badel as Lady Julia, Roy Hudd as Beach the butler, Ronald Fraser as Sir Gregory Parsloe and Richard Johnson as Lord Tilbury, the recently ennobled George "Stinker" Pyke. Pilbeam is played by David Bamber, who became widely known around the same time as Mr. Collins in the BBC's adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice. Other members of the cast include Rebecca Lacey as Sue Brown, Benjamin Soames as Ronnie Fish and Samuel West as Monty Bodkin.
- Sir Gregory's full surname was Parsloe-Parsloe, though this was never revealed in the television drama and Wodehouse usually wrote the name simply as "Parsloe".