The Comedy Man

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The Comedy Man
"The Comedy Man" (1964).jpg
UK campaign book cover
Directed byAlvin Rakoff
Written byPeter Yeldham
Based onnovel by Douglas Hayes
Produced byDavid Henley
Jon Penington
StarringKenneth More
CinematographyKen Hodges
Edited byErnest Hosler
Music byBill McGuffie
Consant Films
Distributed byBritish Lion Film Corporation (UK)
Release date
3 September 1964 (London) (UK)
Running time
92 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom

The Comedy Man is a 1964 British kitchen sink realism drama film directed by Alvin Rakoff and starring Kenneth More, Cecil Parker, Dennis Price and Billie Whitelaw. It depicts the life of a struggling actor in Swinging London.[1]

More later said that when he read the script he "was profoundly struck by its relevance to my own life, and to the lives of so many actors I had known."[2] The film was shot in 1962 but not released until two years later. It received limited distribution, being released on a double bill with Lord of the Flies (1963).


Sacked from his job in provincial rep, actor Chick Byrd moves into digs in London with Julian, a fellow actor. Julian's career soars after a successful screen test, but Chick's meets with continued failure. After the suicide of an actor friend, Jack Lavery, Chick is informed by his widow that just after Jack's death he was offered a job by Tommy Morris, an agent.

Chick contacts Tommy and takes Jack's job for a TV commercial. Chick finally finds fame when the commercial is a hit and he's signed for a series of commercials for breath mints. Confident of his talents for the first time, but fearing he may have sold out, Chick leaves London to return to rep.


Critical reception[edit]

Radio Times wrote, "written by Peter Yeldham with a nice balance between irony and drama, and directed by Alvin Rakoff with an accurate eye for the dingy environments and brave bonhomie of unemployed actors, this modest British film boasts a superior cast" ;[3] while Allmovie wrote, "matching More's terrific starring performance are such British "regulars" as Dennis Price, Billie Whitelaw, Cecil Parker, Norm Rossington, and Frank Finlay" ;[4] and the Sunday Mirror noted, "Kenneth More in the greatest performance of his career. Brilliantly directed."[5]


  1. ^ "The Comedy Man". BFI. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  2. ^ Kenneth More, More or Less, Hodder & Staughton, 1978 p 189
  3. ^ Robin Karney. "The Comedy Man - Film review and movie reviews - Radio Times". RadioTimes.
  4. ^ "The Comedy Man (1964) - Trailers, Reviews, Synopsis, Showtimes and Cast - AllMovie". AllMovie.
  5. ^ "Alvin Rakoff".

External links[edit]