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One Way Pendulum

Released Mar 2, 1965 1h 30m Comedy List
Reviews 50% Audience Score Fewer than 50 Ratings
Based on N.F. Simpson's stage play about members of a British family who behave in often-baffling ways. Read More Read Less

Audience Reviews

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john p Surreal and hilarious. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member British farce is gentle and slow-moving. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/27/23 Full Review eric b "One Way Pendulum" is one of the strangest films you'll ever see. There are no druggy hallucinations, time distortions or splashy visual effects -- just pure deadpan absurdity. Apparently a seminal influence on the Monty Python/Goon Show school of British humor, the scenario is a day in the life of an oddball, obsessive family. The father carts home supplies from a humdrum accounting job and constructs a replica of a high English court in the living room, where he orchestrates his son's murder trial (note that some members of the court appear in different guises during the film's opening section). When called to testify, he swears upon a copy of "Uncle Tom's Cabin" because he has moral objections to the Bible.The mother can't bear unconsumed food and hires a neighbor to finish the family's leftovers. The daughter ignores her obvious attractiveness, instead worrying that her arms are too short and wishing she were built more like an ape. Poor Aunt Mildred sits in a wheelchair all day, believing she's in an Outer Hebrides train station while yammering about various modes of transportation. And the possibly murderous son (writer/director/producer Jonathan Miller, in a rare acting role) hoards talking weight machines in the attic and teaches them to sing in chorus. His body is turned on and off by the ring of a downstairs cash register, which the family uses to stop him when his machines become too noisy. He's a Pavlov fan, you see. Wha? The acting is wholly stone-faced, as if no one knows they're in a comedy or that anything unusual is happening. Insane! Director Peter Yates later worked on "Bullitt," "Breaking Away" and other much more mainstream projects. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Audience Member Theatre of the absurd adaptation based on the N.F. Simpson play. Sykes and Miller play father and son, eccentrics with schemes involving fantasies of middle class aspiration toward authoritarianism/apocalypse. The ladies of the house obsess over more literal mobility and compulsory consumption, and Peggy Mount is especially funny and a delight. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 01/26/23 Full Review Read all reviews
One Way Pendulum

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Cast & Crew

Movie Info

Synopsis Based on N.F. Simpson's stage play about members of a British family who behave in often-baffling ways.
Peter Yates
Michael Deeley
Norman Frederick Simpson
United Artists
Production Co
United Artists
Original Language
British English
Release Date (Theaters)
Mar 2, 1965, Limited
Release Date (Streaming)
Sep 10, 2020
1h 30m