Published November 24, 2019


Film info

  • Title Clockwise
  • Director Christopher Morahan
  • Year 1986
  • Run time 1hr 36m
  • Genre Comedy
  • Tagline The clock decided to strike back

John Cleese, at his harried best in this hilarious British comedy, plays a school headmaster obsessed with punctuality. His best laid plans to attend a headmasters' conference go wrong when he boards the wrong train. He turns back to find alternative means of transport, hijacking one of his pupils who is taking the afternoon off school in her father's car. As the journey descends into further chaos, the head begins to lose his schoolmasterly poise.

Live blog

Time Comment
1:53 The 80s haircuts are something else, aren’t they?
3:19 Why does the bell go at 8:52? That’s an obnoxious time.
10:20 Haha, the teacher got detention too!
12:11 He can’t know every student’s schedule off the top of his head, surely?
19:55 So the speech is on the train, the bag is in the driveway.
21:20 You’d think he’d have learnt not to say “right, left” like that.
23:48 The cars in this are so bad!
26:43 “Laura, you’re going to discover that life is full of the most terrible moral choices.”
41:51 I love the concept that he wasn’t vandalising the phones but he sort of ended up doing that anyway.
42:29 “No, no, I’m not late, I’m in a hurry.”
48:19 “It’s like putting a shark in charge of a swimming pool.”
55:17 Love that the farmer has just been watching the show.
1:04:46 “It’s not the despair. I can stand the despair. It’s the hope.”
1:11:46 Stimpson Supporters' Club.
1:19:33 Sellotape to stick a suit back together?
1:29:44 Cleese does frustration so bloody well.


Went into this one slightly concerned it wouldn’t have aged well, and knowing John Cleese is verging on a bad reputation. But this is what he does best, running around furious at everything.

The haircuts didn’t age well and the cars definitely didn’t, but the rest of it stood up. There were plenty of questions to be asked about Mr Stimpson’s moral choices. He spent the first fifteen minutes criticising everyone but then spent the rest of the movie stealing cars and mugging people. Which I know is part of the fun but doesn’t quite make sense.

I did like that all the posh headmasters ended up running around like school children at the end anyway. Overall, fun.

Rating: 3 / 5

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