The Bed Sitting Room

The Bed Sitting Room

Richard Lester (1969)

PG Certificate


Our Score
One of comic genius Spike Milligan's two great West End hits, the other being Son of Oblomov, this anti-war play by Milligan and John Antrobus seemed ideal screen material. Set three years after the great nuclear holocaust, its cast gradually transmutes into various altered physical states: Ralph Richardson plays the title role, while Arthur Lowe becomes a parrot. The rest of the cast is peopled by priceless British eccentrics, including Milligan's Goon Show pal Harry Secombe, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. Top-billed is the 17-month pregnant Rita Tushingham, who also starred in director Richard Lester's The Knack... and How to Get It. Lester is quite at home in this surreal world, having pressed the anti-war button earlier with How I Won the War and having made his big-screen bow with the silent two-reeler The Running, Jumping and Standing Still Film. Yet this type of farrago sorely tried the patience of paying punters and, despite its undoubted originality, The Bed Sitting Room failed to transfer successfully from stage to screen. Watch carefully for Marty Feldman in his movie debut.


A handful of bizarre characters struggle with the remnants of their lives in a post-nuclear-holocaust Britain. Surreal comedy, based on the play by Spike Milligan, who also stars. With Ralph Richardson, Rita Tushingham, Michael Hordern, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore.

Cast & Crew

Lord Fortnum Ralph Richardson
Penelope Rita Tushingham
Inspector Peter Cook
Sergeant Dudley Moore
Father Arthur Lowe
Plastic Mac Man Roy Kinnear
Mother Mona Washbourne
Captain Bules Martin Michael Hordern
Mate Spike Milligan
The Shelter Man Harry Secombe
Field Marshal Sergeant Ronald Fraser
Nigel Jimmy Edwards
Allan Richard Warwick
Newscaster Frank Thornton
Ethyl Shroake Dandy Nichols
Electricity man Henry Woolf
Dwarf Ron Brody
Patient Gordon Rollings
Nurse Arthur Marty Feldman
Director Richard Lester
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: United Artists Corp. LtdAvailable on: DVD and Blu-ray