Whatever Happened to Harold Smith?

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It's 1977, and when dopey young legal clerk Vince Smith (Legge) isn't clock watching, he's making eyes at fellow desk jockey Joanna (Fraser), comely daughter of the local university's super-don (Fry). Back home, dad (Courtenay) is an ineffectual couch potato, resigned to the philandering of his wife (Lulu) and the contempt of his eldest son (Rhys). Whereupon Vince spies a strangely familiar punk girl out and about, and Pa Smith modestly reveals to the family his long hidden psychic powers. Given his delightful film of The Borrowers, it's no pleasure to report that director Hewitt has come a cropper with this desperately uneven comedy. To be fair, Ben Steiner's lumpen attempt at a feelgood screenplay must shoulder some blame. After a neat, if predictable, opening pastiche of Saturday Night Fever, the film abandons everything but the most facile notion of its punk/disco period setting.

Release details

Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Peter Hewitt
Screenwriter: Ben Steiner
Cast: Tom Courtenay
Michael Legge
Laura Fraser
Stephen Fry
Charlotte Roberts
Amanda Root
Lulu
David Thewlis
Matthew Rhys
Rosemary Leach
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