(UK - 1982; US release 1983)
Directed by Lindsay Anderson. Written by David Sherwin. Cast: Leonard Rossiter, Graham Crowden, Malcolm McDowell, Joan Plowright, Jill Bennett, Marsha Hunt, Robin Askwith, John Bett, Frank Grimes, Mark Hamill, Peter Jeffrey, Fulton Mackay, John Moffatt, Dandy Nichols, Brian Pettifer, Vivian Pickles, Marcus Powell, Arthur Lowe, Alan Bates, Catherine Wilmer, Dave Atkins, Peter Machin, Gladys Crosbie, Rufus Collins, Robbie Coltrane, Tony Haygarth, Richard Griffiths, Dave Hill, Roland Culver, Val Pringle, Liz Smith, Gordon John Sinclair, T.P. McKenna. (R, 116 mins)
An anarchic, absurdist black comedy that's a scathing satire of England under then-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, 1982's BRITANNIA HOSPITAL was the final chapter of the very loosely-connected "Mick Travis" trilogy from director Lindsay Anderson and writer David Sherwin. Following 1968's IF... and 1973's O LUCKY MAN!, BRITANNIA HOSPITAL brings back Anderson protagonist Mick Travis (Malcolm McDowell), now a muckraking documentary filmmaker who relocated to Arkansas but is back in his native London to cover various goings-on at the beleaguered Britannia Hospital. They've got a lot on their plate, starting with a highly-publicized visit from the Queen Mother (Gladys Crosbie), with a laundry list of distractions putting the whole operation in jeopardy: striking nursing staff has led to a marked decline in patient care, including dead people left on gurneys at admitting; the socialist kitchen staff are refusing to prepare the elaborate meals demanded by the wealthy VIP patients; one of those patients is African dictator President Ngami (Val Pringle), a ruthless, Idi Amin-like despot who slaughters children in his country and is reputed to be a cannibal; Ngami's presence at the hospital has sparked intense protests by increasingly large crowds just outside the entrance gate; and quack mad doctor Professor Millar (Graham Crowden, reprising an O LUCKY MAN! character) is about to kick off the grand opening of the Japanese-financed Millar Center for Advanced Surgical Studies, a mysterious new wing of Britannia Hospital where he and his staff are conducting top secret experiments with unwitting patients, all of this under the watchful eye of an all-knowing AI supercomputer known as "Genesis."
scene where a peaceful female protester offers a flower to a cop only to get violently punched in the face, instantly sparking a massive riot that ultimately spills into the halls of the hospital.