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A Private Function
Directed by Malcolm Mowbray • 1984 • United Kingdom
Starring Maggie Smith, Michael Palin, Bill Paterson
Harkening back to the classic Ealing comedies, this shrewd social satire (scripted by Alan Bennett) features marvelous performances from Maggie Smith and Michael Palin as Joyce and Gilbert Chilvers, a husband and wife living through the stringent food rationing of post–World War II England. When the ambitious Joyce sees a chance to improve her social station by stealing an illegally raised pig (“Pork is power!”), she convinces the compliant Gilbert to abduct the swine. Suddenly the pair find themselves thrust into the black-market meat business—but they’ll have to dodge a vigilant food inspector (Bill Paterson) if they hope to truly bring home the bacon.