Norbert Smith: A Life (DVD)

Norbert Smith: A Life (DVD)
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Harry Enfields ground-breaking mockumentary about the life of fictional actor Norbert Smith.

Shown on Channel 4 in 1989 and filmed as if an episode of The South Bank Show, presented by Melvyn Bragg himself. Norbert Smith is a hilarious spoof of TV biopics and British cinema history.  


Filmed as if an episode of  The South Bank Show, Melvyn Bragg (as himself) travels to the large country estate which is the residence of Sir Norbert Smith (Enfield), one of Britain's most famous actors, to chat about his long acting career that ranged from  Hamlet  to the face of Sudso washing powder.

Norberts  uncertain  recollections,  helped along by his love of a good old sherry, are accompanied by clips from his greatest hits, from comedy capers to bravely serving the war effort by going off to Hollywood to make  horrendous musicals about London and the Blitz.

Such iconic performances include  Its Grim Up North,  reprising the unremitting misery of 1960s social realism, to the Greenham Common-inspired  Carry On Banging  in belated support of the peace movement.

Conversations with Sir Norberts famous friends help show the life of a great man, as a  huge array of actors and productions are gently mocked throughout the course of the film.  

The  huge cast includes Josie Lawrence (Whose Line Is It Anyway?), self-parodying  Carry On  regulars Jack Douglas, Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Connor, and Renée Asherson Lawrence Oliviers screen wife in  Henry V   as Lady Norbert.

Winner of the Popular Arts Award at the 18th  International Emmy awards in 1990.

Written by BAFTA-winners Harry Enfield (The Windors) and Geoffrey Perkins (Benidorm / The Catherine Tate Show). Directed by BAFTA-winner Geoff Posner (Little Britain).  

What the Press Said:

€œA cross between Woody Allen's Zelig and Monty Python's Flying Circus" Entertainment Weekly

€œScabrously funny, mock-reverent look at the life and career of a venerable old actor" and a "marvellous jape." People Magazine

Format: DVD

Release Date: 16th July 2018

Runtime: 50 minutes  

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