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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Directed by Christopher Morahan
Produced by Michael Codron
Written by Michael Frayn
Starring John Cleese
Sharon Maiden
Stephen Moore
Penelope Wilton
Music by George Fenton
Cinematography John Coquillon
Editing by Peter Boyle
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) 11 July 1986
Running time 96 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English

Clockwise is a 1986 British comedy film starring John Cleese. It was directed by Christopher Morahan, written by Michael Frayn and produced by Michael Codron. The film was co-produced by Moment Films and Thorn EMI Screen Entertainment. The music in the film was composed by George Fenton.



The film centres on Brian Stimpson (Cleese), the uptight headmaster of Thomas Tompion Comprehensive School. Having been habitually late and disorganised as a young man, he has grown up to become famously punctual, and his school runs "like clockwork". On the way to a Headmasters' Conference (to which he has been elected, for his school is a state school and the HMC is a trade association for fee-paying public schools) at which he is a speaker many misfortunes befall him and his ordered world begins to unwind in a way reminiscent of Greek tragedy.

Michael Frayn's screenplay has a different opening, involving illuminated digits on a clock radio, Cleese waking up when the alarm goes off and Cleese seen naked and wet in the shower ("a sight few of us expected to see in our lifetime").

For his performance in the film, Cleese won the 1987 Peter Sellers Award For Comedy at the Evening Standard British Film Awards.

Filming locations

The school used in the beginning of the film is Menzies High School, in West Bromwich (West Midlands).

King Edward's School, a private boys' day school and the east entrance to the University of Birmingham, both in Edgbaston, Birmingham, were also used as filming locations, as was Grimsby's Scartho Road Hospital (now called Diana, Princess of Wales Hospital).

The entrance to the on-screen hospital (in which the car Cleese and others are seen driving out of) is actually the entrance to the Scartho Road Cemetery in Grimsby. Most of the rural scenes were filmed in Shropshire, notably around Much Wenlock. The character of Mr Stimpson, played by Cleese, was based on a real headmaster at his daughter's school.

The A491 in and around the Hagley/Clent area was used to film certain scenes such as the breakdown. The Old Classic Red Phone Box that still remains in Hagley (Brake Lane) was used numerous times from different angles; it is one of the few remaining original telephone booths.

The railway station scene was filmed at Hull Paragon Station (now Hull Paragon Interchange). The petrol station was also in Hull, on Cottingham Road (B1233)[1]. The original Shell petrol station no longer exists, with a McDonald’s restaurant now on the site.

Notable cast

John Cleese in Clockwise


  1. ^ [1], Filming locations for Clockwise, IMDB.

External links



Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Clockwise, directed by Christopher Morahan and written by Michael Frayn, is a 1986 comedy film about a strictly punctual British school headmaster, played by John Cleese, who encounters an absurd chain of obstacles as he travels to a conference at which he is the guest speaker.



[Headmaster Stimpson collapses, failing to catch Pat as she drives away in his car after a serious of mishaps.]
Brian Stimpson: It's not the despair, Laura. I can stand the despair. It's the hope!


  • If you've ever been late… you'll know what this film is all about!


External links

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