I finally got a chance to see the movie An Englishmen In New York and I must say I was completely intrigued by the film. The movie first started out as a made for TV movie in Britain but soon made it’s way through the U.S. via various film festivals. It received pretty good reviews overall and soon thereafter was released on DVD.
The story is about Quentin Crisp, a homosexual in his 70’s, who survived a time in England when homosexuality was illegal. As a result, he found his way to America and soon became a popular icon through his one-man theatre act, where he preached and encouraged the gays to integrate into society in a stylish fashion.
His fame however soon took a turn for the worst, when he downplayed a disease called AIDS and did nothing to support or show concern. And although his take was legitimate, no one understood his position and therefore he was exiled from the gay community.
The amazing part of the film is the way Quentin Crisp responded to questions and shared his views on any matter in life and although he relied heavily on his wisdom to teach, he ended up learning the biggest life lessons from those much younger and less experienced in life then he.
One bit of trivia is that the actor who portrays Quentin Crisp in the 2009 film, John Hurt, is the same actor who portrayed Quentin Crisp 33 years ago in a film called “The Naked Civil Servant.” His performance as Crisp is outstanding to say the least and amusing to watch. The film is a must see for anyone and everyone of legal age.
Some of my favorite quotes from the movie are:
“If at first you don’t succeed, failure may be your style”
“Never keep up with the Jones, drag them down to your level”
“My mother protected me from the world, and my father threatened me with it.”
“There is no need to do any housework at all. After the first four years the dirt doesn’t get any worse.”