The Bed-Sitting Room (film)  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

The Bed-Sitting Room is a 1969 British comedy film directed by Richard Lester and based on the play of the same name. It was entered into the 19th Berlin International Film Festival.

Plot

The film is set in London on the third or fourth anniversary of a war which lasted two minutes and twenty-eight seconds, including signing the peace treaty. Three (or possibly four) years after the nuclear holocaust, the survivors wander amidst the debris. Penelope is 17 months pregnant and lives with her lover, Alan, and her parents in a tube train on the (still functioning) Circle Line.

Other survivors include Captain Bules Martin, who holds a "Defeat of England" medal, as he was unable to save Buckingham Palace from disintegration during the war. Lord Fortnum (Richardson) is fearful that he will mutate into the "bed sitting room" of the title. Mate is a fireguard, except that there is nothing left to burn. Shelter Man is a Regional Seat of Government who survived the war in a fallout shelter and spends his days looking at old films (without a projector) and reminiscing about the time he shot his wife and his mother as they pleaded with him to let them in his shelter. Similarly, the "National Health Service" is the name of a male nurse, although overwhelmed by the extent of the war. Finally, there are two policemen, who hover overhead in the shell of a Morris Minor Panda car that has been made into a makeshift balloon, and shout "keep moving" at any survivors they see to offset the 'danger' of them becoming a 'target' in the unlikely event of another outbreak of hostilities.

Lord Fortnum travels to 29 Cul de Sac Place and actually does become a bed sitting room. Penelope's mother is provided with a death certificate, after which she turns into a wardrobe. Penelope is forced to marry Martin because of his "bright future", despite her love for Alan. Her father is initially selected to become Prime Minister due to his prodigious leg length, but unfortunately, he mutates into a parrot and is eaten due to the starvation conditions that prevail.

Penelope finally gives birth, but her monstrous mutant progeny dies. It emerges that Martin is impotent, so he yields marriage consummation to Alan. Penelope has a second child, which is normal, and there is an indication of hope for the future of the country amidst the devastation when it transpires that a team of surgeons have developed a cure for the mutations involving full-body transplant. Finally, a military band pays homage to Mrs. Ethel Shroake of 393A High Street, Leytonstone, the late Queen's former charwoman, and closest in succession to the throne.

Cast





Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "The Bed-Sitting Room (film)" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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