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Johnny English

Johnny English film poster
Directed by Peter Howitt
Produced by Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Mark Huffam
Written by Neal Purvis
Robert Wade
William Davies
Starring Rowan Atkinson
John Malkovich
Natalie Imbruglia
Ben Miller
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Remi Adefarasin
Editing by Robin Sales
Studio StudioCanal
Working Title Films
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) 11 July 2003
Running time 88 min.
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $40 million[1]
Gross revenue $160,583,018[1]
Followed by Johnny English 2

Johnny English is a 2003 British comic film parodying the James Bond secret agent genre. It stars Rowan Atkinson (who, two decades earlier, appeared in an unofficial James Bond film - Never Say Never Again) as the incompetent titular British spy, with John Malkovich, Natalie Imbruglia, Tasha de Vasconcelos and Ben Miller in supporting roles. The screenplay was written by Bond writers Neal Purvis and Robert Wade, with William Davies and the film was directed by Peter Howitt. The film was known by its tagline, He knows no fear, he knows no danger, he knows nothing. The movie grossed a total of $160 million worldwide.[1]


Principal character's precursor

The character of Johnny English himself is based on a similar character called Richard Latham who was played by Atkinson in a series of British television advertisements for Barclaycard. The character of Bough (pronounced 'Boff') was retained from the advertisements though another actor, Henry Naylor, played the part in the ads. Some of the gags from the advertisements made it into the film, including English incorrectly identifying a waiter, and the ballpoint pen scene (Latham inadvertently 'shot' himself with a tranquilizer dart which fired from the gadget pen when Latham attempted to use it during a demonstration to a class of spy recruits, saying as he collapsed "take over for a Bougher, will you moment?" before being taken to hospital).


An explosion at the funeral of Agent One, Britain's top agent, wipes out every secret agent in the country—except one. When a plot to steal the Crown Jewels is revealed, Johnny English, an inept worker at British Intelligence (whose bungling was partially responsible for not only the agents' death, but for the death of Agent One himself, after giving Agent One incorrect information about his mission) is summoned as a last resort. Together with his assistant Angus Bough (Ben Miller), he manages to discover the person behind the plot, the French prison entrepreneur Pascal Sauvage (John Malkovich), whose family once had a claim to the throne.

Sauvage - a descendant of William the Conqueror - believes that the crown should have gone to him instead of the Queen, and has hatched an evil plan to steal the Crown Jewels, have an impostor replace the Archbishop of Canterbury (Oliver Ford Davies), and have him proclaim Sauvage as King. Meanwhile, English is strangely attracted to a mysterious woman, Lorna Campbell (Natalie Imbruglia), whom he meets at a big social event whilst guarding the centrepiece to the whole event—the Crown Jewels. He inevitably fails, and the Jewels, despite a desperate attempt on his part to retrieve them, are stolen.

Meanwhile, English reports his suspicions to the head of MI7 named Pegasus (Tim Pigott-Smith), who naturally doesn't believe him. English and Bough infiltrate Sauvage's headquarters, behind the knowledge of the agency, via parachute. English initially lands on the wrong building abseiling, the nearby and identical London Hospital, and after a phenomenal error of judgment resulting in him holding several doctors and patients at gunpoint, English enters the headquarters through a back door. Both agents activate a DVD player, exposing Sauvage's sinister scheme. English, after accidentally injecting himself with muscle relaxant, meets Lorna again, who turns out to be an Interpol agent herself, also on Sauvage's tail. Along with Bough, they gatecrash a party held by Sauvage, and Bough and English are promptly dismissed by their superiors (partly due to one of the henchmen reporting English's antics to Sauvage, still a friend of English's unwitting boss, and partially because the muscle relaxant's effects had not worn off completely, making English seem somewhat inebriated).

Sauvage concludes that English knows too much and has his henchmen enter Sandringham House and force the Queen to sign a letter of abdication renouncing her family's claim to the British throne. The Queen, at first, refuses to sign even at gunpoint, but when the threat is turned to one of her Welsh Corgis, she obeys, thus, leaving the post free for Sauvage. Sauvage is informed by British officials the day after that, as the closest surviving relative of the Queen, the position of monarch now belongs to him.

English returns to his flat in regret for himself. However, Lorna pays him a visit, saying that the mission which he was dismissed from was reassigned to her, and she persuades English to join her. They both travel to France and infiltrate Sauvage's chateau and overhear Sauvage's proposal of turning the United Kingdom into a giant prison once he is king. However, in a room where they are spying on Sauvage, English accidentally triggers a microphone, which causes Sauvage to hear their tactics and promptly call on guards to seize them. They decide to take the DVD, but due to English dropping it on a tray full of identical unlabeled disks, take the wrong one—a surveillance video of English dancing to ABBA in his bathroom. They are held hostage by Sauvage, however they are freed by Bough and return to England on the day of his coronation.

At Sauvage's coronation, English sneaks in with Lorna, emerges from his disguise as the English bishop in front of Sauvage and publicly accuses him of treason. Unaware that the fake Archbishop is dead, English attempts to verify his claim by pulling at the Archbishop's face, believing it to be a mask. This fails predictably. Undeterred, he tries to expose the 'fake' Archbishop a second time. Whilst infiltrating Sauvage's headquarters earlier on in the film, when Sauvage's first plan was still in action, English spotted a tattoo on the lower back of the original wearer of the Archbishop mask: ' Jesus is coming... look busy '. English grabs the Archbishop, turns him round and, in front of everyone at Westminster Abbey and the millions of viewers, bares the Archbishop's tattoo-free arse. Upon realizing that there is no tattoo there himself, English resorts to a final, last-ditch attempt.

He radios to Bough to tell him to play the DVD they retrieved. Bough has the people running the event at gunpoint, and makes them play the DVD on the massive television screen in the Abbey, an act which results in three-quarters of the world's population watching English, in a shower cap and underpants, dancing and miming along to 'Does Your Mother Know', by ABBA. English is subsequently taken away, but breaks free from Sauvage's cronies once again and, swinging from a wire above Sauvage and the Archbishop, grabs the crown before it touches Sauvage's head. While he is trying to prevent the Archbishop from crowning Sauvage king, he falls onto the throne, knocking Sauvage onto the floor, and is inadvertently crowned himself; he then places Sauvage under arrest, reveals the schemes to the public, and allows in the Queen to happily return to the throne.

The film ends with a romantic drive up a mountain. At the top, Johnny and Lorna start to get romantic but Johnny accidentally presses the eject button in his car and Lorna shoots into the sky, whilst still strapped to her seat, eventually landing into a swimming pool. "Oh F----" says Johnny and the credits roll. During the end credits of the film, Lorna lands in a swimming pool, which has Bough and a false assailant whose appearance Johnny gave to a Data Support officer whilst covering for his own mistake of knocking out the head of Royal Security in the Tower of London at its side.


Actor Role
Tim Pigott-Smith Pegasus
Kevin McNally Prime Minister
Oliver Ford Davies Archbishop of Canterbury
Douglas McFerran Klaus/Carlos Vendetta

Portrayal of the monarchy in the film

The denial of Sauvage's family's claim to the throne references the Jacobite succession. This is never mentioned explicitly (since the Jacobite line still bears real-life descendants), though Sauvage has a portrait of Bonnie Prince Charlie in his office, and the Jacobite family (eg the Old Pretender) lived for a time in France before and after their failed invasions of England in the 18th century.

The conferring of a knighthood, even in exceptional circumstances such as this, would usually occur in the birthday or new year honours list rather than immediately afterwards.

The Instrument of Abdication that the Queen was forced to sign was a copy of the one Edward VIII signed in 1936 - however, the title "(Emperor) of India", which Edward was during his reign, was omitted. The dates on the Queen's Instrument of Abdication were also changed in kind, and it was stated that she abdicated at Sandringham House, rather than Fort Belvedere, as Edward did. By the wording of this document, if the true Queen had signed it and renounced the claims of her descendants, the Crown would have passed to Viscount Linley, the son of her sister Princess Margaret.

Filming locations

  • Some scenes were filmed at Canary Wharf in London— indeed, the film duplicates the single real tower into two identical ones (albeit on the real site) for the fictional London Hospital and Sauvage's headquarters.
  • The scenes set in Westminster Abbey were filmed in St. Albans Abbey: though this connection is solely implied through the dialogue — for this footage is never intercut with footage of the real abbey's exterior. The interior (with the televisual screen hiding the St Albans organ) is clearly St Albans.
  • Both the exteriors and interiors in the opening credits sequence scene is Mentmore Towers[2].
  • 'Sandringham' is Hughenden Manor.[3]
  • The exterior and interior of MI7's headquarters which English enters at the start is Freemasons' Hall, London, which is also used as Thames House (the MI5 headquarters) in Spooks.
  • The scenes where Johnny English drives into Dover, Kent along the A20 road (with Dover Castle in the background) and then enters the Port of Dover (with a "Dover Ferry Terminal" sign, Dover's Athol Terrace and the White Cliffs of Dover in the background) to catch a ferry to France, were all shot on location.
  • The exterior of Sauvage's French chateau is actually the castle atop St Michael's Mount in Cornwall.


There have been reports of a sequel to Johnny English.[4] Atkinson confirmed on Richard & Judy on 28 March 2007 that a script for a second film was being worked on. Atkinson also said in an interview for Mr. Bean's Holiday that there is quite a moderate chance for a sequel.


The film received a largely mixed and negative response from critics, many of whom described it as having a formulatic, predictable narrative and meaningless, often nonsensical storyline. It currently holds a 33% approval rating on the review site Rotten Tomatoes.[5]


All tracks by London Metropolitan Orchestra unless otherwise noted.

  1. "A Man For All Seasons" (Written By Hans Zimmer, Robbie Williams) – Robbie Williams
  2. "Theme from Johnny English" (Written by Edward Shearmur)
  3. "Russian Affairs"
  4. "A Man of Sophistication"
  5. "Kismet" – Bond
  6. "Truck Chase"
  7. "The Only Ones" – Moloko
  8. "Parachute Drop"
  9. "Pascal's Evil Plan"
  10. "Theme from Johnny English (Salsa Version)" (Written by Edward Shearmur) – Bond
  11. "Off the Case"
  12. "Cafe Conversation"
  13. "Into Pascal's Lair"
  14. "Zadok the Priest"
  15. "Does Your Mother Know" – ABBA
  16. "For England"
  17. "Riviera Hideaway"
  18. "Agent No. 1"


External links


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Johnny English is a 2003 comedy; a James Bond-inspired spy spoof, in which the title character tries to stop a French-born royal outcast from becoming King of England. Directed by Peter Howitt and written by Neal Purvis, Robert Wade and William Davies.

He knows no fear. He knows no danger. He knows nothing.Taglines


Johnny English

  • Ah, the Heckler and Koch G-36. Quite deadly in the right hands.
  • A good agent doesn't need gadgets. The only gadgets I've ever needed are a sharp eye, sensitive hearing and a whole bunch of bigger brains.
  • [After climbing into a castle via the sewage system] Pull yourself together, it's only a bit of poo!
  • The word 'mistake' is not one that appears in my dictionary.
  • [Addressing the Archbishop of Canterbury, who he believes to be an impostor] Do you or do you not have tattooed on your bottom the words "Jesus is coming - look busy"?
  • You might have taken me, Sauvage, but you'll never take England. Not while I have breath in my lungs or a bullet in my gun. [English pulls the trigger, but poo splurts out instead of a bullet]
  • I've been dropped into the Kalahari desert, carrying nothing more than a toothbrush and a pack of sherbert lemons, and I still found my way to Bulawayo before Ramadan.
  • Good morning, gentlemen! MI7 at your service.

Pascal Sauvage

  • Clearly, the aptly-named English is a fool.
  • [furious because his coronation has been interupted by English] All this stupid little country has to do is stand in line and do what it's told for one miserable day! But can it do that? My fragrant French ARSE it can!


Lorna Campbell: What are you going to do, Johnny? Sit in this grotty flat feeling sorry for yourself, or are you gonna get out there and save your country?
Johnny English: I'm gonna sit in the flat.

Pegasus: Everything in order, English?
Johnny English: I think you'll find it's more than just in order, sir. You are now entering the most secure location in the whole of England. [a bomb detonates behind him]

Pegasus: It's an unmitigated disaster, English!
Johnny English: I couldn't agree more, sir.
Pegasus: Well we need to get these jewels back, and fast! Tell me about this assailant, because when they searched the building later, there was no sign of him.
Johnny English: [Uncomfortable; the 'assailant' was made up by him to account for him accidentally knocking a man out] Well, the man was clearly a professional. He must have escaped while the Queen was being sedated.
Pegasus: But he's the only lead we've got, English. Oh, this is Roger from Data Support. He'll produce a likeness based on your description. So tell us, what did this man look like?
Johnny English: Well, he was... big.
Roger: Hair colour?
Johnny English: [looks around the room for ideas and spots a fruitbowl] Orange.
Pegasus: Orange?!
Johnny English: And curly. Frizzy, actually. An eye patch, broken nose, very few teeth. Two I would say at the most, and a scar on his cheek... in the shape... of a banana.
Roger: Which cheek?
Johnny English: Both cheeks. They sort of met in the middle.
Pegasus: Are you sure about this, English?
[Pegasus shows him the likeness; it resembles a cross between a pirate and a clown]
Johnny English: AH! Oh, that's him. An uncanny resemblance. It's as if he was in the room with us now.

Johnny English: [picks up a pen on the secretary's desk] This reminds me of the old service issue ballpoint. I remember every agent used to carry a pen that looked just like this. Completely innocent to the untrained eye but, click it twice... [clicks the pen twice and a missile shoots out of the pen and hits the secretary, who collapses]

[After falling down a hole]

Bough: Are you all right, sir?
Johnny English: Yes, I landed on something quite soft.
Bough: That was me, sir.
Johnny English: Oh, good.

[Johnny and Bough are in a dark tunnel]
Johnny English: It may be pitch black, but we can still see.
Bough: How?
Johnny English: The Benodin monks of the Al Magreb Mountains developed a system of sonic chanting.
Bough: I see, sir. And?
Johnny English: The sound of their chanting would bounce back off any obstacles, and using their highly tuned ears they could paint a mental picture of the path ahead.
Bough: Brilliant.
Johnny English: However, you must always sing in E-flat.
Johnny English: [singing] E-E-E-E flat, E-E-E flat, E-flaaaaaaat! Thaaaaank you for the music, the songs I'm singing--
Bough: Is it working, sir?
Johnny English: Extremely well, thank you. [singing] Thanks for all the joy that-- [Johnny hits the tunnel wall] Oh!

Lorna Campbell: [watching Sauvage, who Johnny thinks is a waiter, standing just behind him] You obviously haven't met our host, Monsieur Sauvage.
Johnny English: No, thank God! You know, I think I'd rather have my bottom impaled on a giant cactus than exchange pleasantries with that jumped-up Frenchman. As far as I'm concerned, the only thing the French should be allowed to host is an invasion.
[he chuckles, then notices Sauvage standing behind him]
Johnny English: Sorry, can I help?
Pascal Sauvage: Pascal Sauvage, jumped-up Frenchman.
Lorna Campbell: Lorna Campbell. I've been so looking forward to meeting you.
Pascal Sauvage: Enchanté.
[Johnny stammers in embarrassment]
Pascal Sauvage: And of course, you're Johnny English. I've heard all about you.

[English has infiltrated a hospital, mistakingly believing it to be Sauvage's HQ; finds an old man in a bed]
Johnny English: My God, what have they done to you?
Elderly Man: They've taken some of my blood.
Johnny English: Bastards.

[after landing on the wrong building, which happens to be a hospital, and taking the medical staff hostage]
Johnny English: Now, perhaps you could direct me to your evil paymaster.
Doctor: What are you talking about?
Johnny English: You know exactly what I'm talking about. Where is the office of Pascal Sauvage?
[everyone looks out of the window; Jonny turns to see a giant SAUVAGE sign on the next building with Bough staring at him from the window]
Bough: [over com-link] Are you coming over here in a minute, sir?

[the Archbishop prepares to coronate Sauvage]
Archbishop: I crown you--
[Johnny swings from the chandelier and forces Sauvage out of the seat, seconds before the Archbishop lowers the crown onto his head]
Archbishop: --King.
[the whole world watches, astonished by what has just happened]


  • He knows no fear. He knows no danger. He knows nothing.
  • Prepare for British Intelligence.
  • The star of Mr. Bean is now Her Majesty's most trusted agent.
  • He's the kind of secret agent the Secret Service keeps secret.
  • When it comes to secret agents, there's the smooth, there's the sophisticated... and there's Johnny English.


External links

Wikipedia has an article about:

Simple English

Johnny English
Directed by Peter Howitt
Produced by Tim Bevan
Eric Fellner
Mark Huffam
Written by Neal Purvis
Robert Wade
William Davies
Starring Rowan Atkinson
John Malkovich
Natalie Imbruglia
Ben Miller
Music by Edward Shearmur
Cinematography Remi Adefarasin
Editing by Robin Sales
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) July 11, 2003
Running time 88 min.
Country  United Kingdom
Language English
Budget $40 million
Gross revenue $160,583,018
Followed by Johnny English Reborn
Official website
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

Johnny English is a 2003 English spy comedy movie that was produced by Tim Bevan, Eric Fellner and Mark Huffam and was directed by Peter Howitt. Johnny English parodies the James Bond movie series.


  • Rowan Atkinson as Johnny English
  • Ben Miller as Angus Bough
  • John Malkovich as Pascal Sauvage
  • Oliver Ford Davies as the Archbishop of Canterbury
  • Natalie Imbruglia as Lorna Campbell
  • Tim Pigott-Smith as Pegasusdon at its side.
  • Kevin McNally as Prime Minister
  • Douglas McFerran as Klaus/Carlos Vendetta


Johnny English gained mixed reviews:

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