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directed by Bryan Izzard
UK 1991

 

The short-lived BBC sitcom AN ACTOR'S LIFE FOR ME should touch at least one or two nerves with anyone who has ever been an actor, lived with an actor, or been a cheerleader for and not-always-willing shoulder to cry on for an actor. Over the course of six episodes, young Scottish actor Robert Neilson (John Gordon Sinclair, ERIK THE VIKING) faces several comical situations common to those who are trying to make it big. Best known as the prat in the Doberman Body Spray commercials - for which he was paid with a lifetime supply - and one of the horses in Equus on the stage, fame goes to Robert's head when he beats out handsomer rival Sebastian Groom (Benedict Taylor, WATCHER IN THE WOODS) for the role of "Man at Party" who has a love scene with Kim Basigner. Only after he has bored everyone within shouting distance with the tale of his triumphant audition does he learn exactly why the starlet considered him "ideal" for the role. Encouraged by agent Desmond Shaw (Victor Spinetti, A HARD DAY'S NIGHT) to lie about his skill-set to get a part in an action film produced by old pal (Gareth Hunt, FIERCE CREATURES), Robert finds that he not only has to learn how to drive as the hero's chauffeur but also scuba diving and abseiling although he cannot swim and suffers from vertigo. Badgered by long-suffering girlfriend Sue (Gina McKee, NOTTING HILL) into finally taking a holiday and not worrying about always being available in the event that a role pops up that only a twenty-something 6'3" Scot can play, Robert invents a dead biological father whose funeral he must attend to delay the start of their Greek vacation in order to appear in a Ridley Scott film or lose it to his theatre director father's (Roy Sampson, THE HOUSE OF MIRTH) favored player (Tim Marriott, THE BRITTAS EMPIRE). Just thirty minutes from making his debut in a West End farce, clueless Robert is dragged into a backstage farce as his girlfriend, his agent, and his agent's wife (Rula Lenska, ALFIE DARLING) as they try to sort out who is having an affair with whom and which of the ladies is expecting a happy event. Six months after his West End debut, the most promising role Desmond can get Robert (after sending him to audition as Martin Luther in what turned out to be a play about Martin Luther King) is a non-speaking, non-breathing role in a Polish intellectual drama as "The Battered Corpse" but there may be one corpse too many on opening night. In the final episode of the series, Robert has found some notoriety as a transvestite rugby player in the softcore, sexist stage show "Strap Up Your Jocks" (co-starring a Playboy model and a winking, mechanical donkey) but must trick his girlfriend's conservative and disapproving parents (AN AMERICAN WEREWOLF IN LONDON's John Woodvine and BLEAK MOMENTS's Joolia Cappleman) into thinking he's headlining something more respectable. The series takes a more dramatic turn at this point - which is understandable as certain characters might not find their fates in this episode as funny as we the audience - but there was unfortunately no second series. Sinclair's Robert is a well-realized actor protagonist, by turns goofy (his remarked-upon "unromantic" looks have more to do with deliberately pulling faces), passionate, and determined but also self-involved, oblivious, insensitive, and insecure; and it might have been interesting to see him take his relationship more seriously and how that might affect his future as a struggling actor.

Eric Cotenas

Theatrical Release: 14 November 1991 - 19 December 1991 (UK TV)

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DVD Review: Simply Media - Region 2 - PAL

Big thanks to Eric Cotenas for the Review!

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Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

Runtime 2:54:24
Video

1.33:1 Original Aspect Ratio
Average Bitrate: 5.7 mb/s
PAL 720x576 25.00 f/s

NOTE: The Vertical axis represents the bits transferred per second. The Horizontal is the time in minutes.

Bitrate

Audio English Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo
Subtitles English HoH, none
Features Release Information:
Studio: Simply Media

Aspect Ratio:
Fullscreen - 1.33:1

Edition Details:
� Episodes (with 'Play All' option; 2:54:24):
� - 'A Kiss is Just a Kiss' (4:3; 29:17)
� - 'I Can Do That' (4:3; 29:01)
� - 'Fathers and Sons' (4:3; 29:26)
� - 'May the Farce Be With You' (4:3; 28:07)
� - 'Night of the Living Dead' (4:3; 29:22)
� - 'Not Suitable for Parents' (4:3; 29:06)

DVD Release Date: 7 September 2015
Amaray

Chapters 19

 

 

 

Comments

Simply Media's dual-layer disc does what it can with the nineties broadcast video which is subject to the inherent weakness of the format more so than any compression issues with putting three hours of material on a dual-layer disc. The Dolby Digital 2.0 stereo audio is well-rendered and the HoH subtitles contain no glaring errors. There are no extras.

  - Eric Cotenas

 


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DVD Box Cover

CLICK to order from:

Distribution

Simply Media

Region 2 - PAL

 



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