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A Private Function [Blu-ray] (1984)

Michael Palin , Maggie Smith , Malcolm Mowbray  |  R |  Blu-ray
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: Michael Palin, Maggie Smith, Denholm Elliott, Liz Smith
  • Directors: Malcolm Mowbray
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Dolby, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region A/1 (Read more about DVD/Blu-ray formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.77:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: R (Restricted)
  • DVD Release Date: February 8, 2011
  • Run Time: 92 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (46 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B004ALIG38
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #261,000 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "A Private Function [Blu-ray]" on IMDb

Special Features


Editorial Reviews

An ambitious couple and a V.I.P. (Very Important Pig) collide in his outrageous comedy of manners! During a time of extreme food rationing in England following World War II, one town’s upper class bends the rules by illegally fattening a prize pig for a feast to celebrate the upcoming royal wedding. When a timid foot doctor (Michael Palin, A Fish Called Wanda) and his bossy wife (two-time Academy Award winner* Maggie Smith, A Room with a View) get wind of the plan, they seize the chance to climb the social ladder by kidnapping the pig…who has a few unpleasant surprises of its own in store. One of the most hilarious, critically-acclaimed British cult comedies of all time, this star-packed satire proves some people will truly do anything to get ahead!

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh! I am sorry.....She's seventy four ! August 23, 2002
Format:VHS Tape
What a surprise that this perfect gem is not better known...such a loss. Britain during the early fifties had much to look forward to and much still to do. Everything was still rationed just as in the war years principally because the treasury was sacked to pay for the arms and munitions needed to fight it. The Empire (or what was left of it) was broke too and most that had not already done so went the autonomous route now, taking revenue away from London...though all quite peaceably and with everyone's best wishes. It would be ten years after the war ended (that makes roughly fourteen in all) until rationing would end for these isles, celebrated with the fantastic Festival of Britain in 1955, and people could at last look forward into a new Elizabethan age, rather than back on that darkness. My god Britain paid for that war in every way possible...really. What a period then to set a comedy I suppose...except that this particular story required those lean and austere times for the telling of it. Fresh meat you see...gammon, bacon, joints roasted and slavered with apple sauce...mouth watering! Imagine then the lengths you might go to for some of that after, let's say, eleven years of powdered egg.
Michael Palin as the hen pecked chiropodist, Maggie Smith as the social climbing hen, Liz Smith as the batty scatty mother-in law who'll stuff virtually anything and everything in her gannet gob, Denholm Eliot (as the doctor) who refuses to be impressed and so must be made so...along with everyone else in town who matters....I have never laughed so much. They are all that generation who would have been children (more or less) in this time period and all say how they never felt they went they enjoyed their childhood's and wish it could be the same always...when you watch this you can see their point. This film and everyone's performance in it is superb. Please...for your good health and for your better and more cheerful this movie.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
When the incredible Maggie Smith shares top billing in a film with a pig, it is simply too delicious to resist. That is much the way I feel about 1984's "A Private Function." This delightful British comedy didn't get a lot of attention upon its release and is still relatively unknown stateside, but those that appreciate a droll skewering of class politics will be enchanted by this rude, yet smart, film. "A Private Function" won three British Academy Awards (BAFTAs) for Best Actress Maggie Smith, Best Supporting Actress Liz Smith, and Best Supporting Actor Denholm Elliott in addition to being nominated for Best Film and Best Screenplay. Headlined by Michael Palin, "A Private Function" is more akin to a classic Ealing Studio's comic caper than to contemporary Python. Bizarre and uniquely British in tone and temperament, I hope a new DVD release will raise awareness of this quiet gem. And there's a pig in it!

Set in a small town in post-war 1947 Britain, "A Private Function" introduces a world were deprivation and rationing are still every day occurrences. When the local town bigwigs want to impress for an impending Royal wedding, they set aside a pig for slaughter. It's all rather hush hush, though, as the very act they intend to commit violates the law. When Palin, as the put upon husband of Dame Maggie, is pushed too far by his socially carnivorous wife--he abducts the prize porker. Mayhem ensues as the town falls to pieces and Palin and Smith desperately try to hide their porcine concubine from prying eyes. There are plenty of gags, many at the expense of Smith's daft mother Liz Smith, who fears senility from all the strange new odors at home. Of course things work out--but not in the way anyone was expecting.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It... August 12, 2011
Format:Blu-ray|Verified Purchase
A great cast and story. It's so witty as only the English can make. It's not a current movie, so don't expect any of the current stars with the exception of Maggie Smith, who is one of England's greatest actors. I didn't know how post WWII England was like when it had to ration meat, especially pork, during it's lean times. The story comes to a funny and entertaining climax at the end. Without giving the story away, I felt sorry for the pig. Although, I just couldn't stop laughing. I highly recommend this movie to adults with a great sense of humor. Let your children watch the cartoon channel. They just wouldn't appreciate the adult humor. I'm a "Carry On" fan so expect the same humor. The quality of the blu-ray is very good, if you into blu-ray movies.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Clear transfer and great story.... December 14, 2003
Michael Palin of Monty Python and 'Fish Called Wanda' fame teams up with Maggie Smith ('Prime of Miss Jean Brodie', 'Room With a View', 'Gosford Park') to form one of the most eccentric married couples in English history. To top it off, the couple live with her mother played by the acctress who portrays the eccentric female vestry member (always knitting and creating strange kitchen concoctions) in the 'Vicar of Dilby' series.
Palin is "foot doctor" who spends his days bicycling from house to house in post-War II Yorkshire tending to female patients. In his travels around and about he crosses paths with a syndicate of "business men" who are raising an illegal pig for a "private function" to be held the day the Princess Elizabeth (II) marries.
Following a farcical turn of events, Palin kidnaps the pig named "Betty" planned for the roast. Urged on by Smith's character (pure Maggie), the couple "keep" the pig in their bathroom and try to kill it. Soon enough, the syndicate members discover the kidnapping and are hot on the tail of the missing pig. In the meantime, a zealous copper is hot on their tails.
Other wonderful actors in this romp include Denholm Elliot ('Room With a View'), Alison Steadman ('Singing Dectective', 'Pride and Prejudice'), Pete Postlehwaite ('Name of the Father', 'Brassed Off') and other very familiar faces. An uplifting film, but not suitable for those who are weak of stomach.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb movie
Great movie with a wonderful cast.
Published 7 days ago by Marshall Anderson
5.0 out of 5 stars A Private Function [1984] [Blu-ray]

An ambitious couple and a V.I.P. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Andrew C. Miller
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
A great cast wasted in a bad farce. Tries for Monty Python but fails. With similar cast go for " the misionary"
Published 3 months ago by Jose Luis Cocho Roldan
1.0 out of 5 stars Not to our liking
The plot, failed attempt at humor, not agreeable. We trashed the DVD after watching the first scenes .......without watching the whole thing.
Published 3 months ago by er
4.0 out of 5 stars The Pig's the Thing
Funny movie with a pig as the star attraction. Lots of our favorite British actors, not including the pig. The quality of the DVD is excellent.
Published 6 months ago by Jan Y
5.0 out of 5 stars I Love Maggie Smith
Delightful movie! Typically British comedy with a fab cast. Well worth watching again and again! It will not disappoint you!
Published 6 months ago by Nancy L Geddes
4.0 out of 5 stars A Classic Brit Comedy
A great movie. Very very funny - Maggie Smith is excellent. I only wish they made more of these sort of movies.
Published 7 months ago by William H. F. Liversedge
5.0 out of 5 stars A Private Function
Very interesting movie, different from others. It have a humor and sadness, pretty classical british act. Many great actors in this movie too.
Published 8 months ago by James rogers
4.0 out of 5 stars Good film
Love Michael Palin from Monty Python. This film is not for everyone, some subtle English comedy. I saw in theaters years ago & enjoyed revisiting it on Blu-ray.
Published 9 months ago by Iconoclast
5.0 out of 5 stars Just OK
We were kinda disappointed in this one. Was not quite as family oriented as we thought it would be. Over all, it was just OK.
Published 9 months ago by atticmom
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