Rent Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party (1977)

4.0 of 5 from 120 ratings
1h 0min
Rent Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party (aka Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party) Online DVD & Blu-ray Rental
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Beverly (Alison Steadman) has invited her new neighbours, Angela (Janine Duvitski) and Tony (John Salthouse), over for drinks. She has also asked her divorced neighbour, Sue (Harriet Reynolds), because Sue's fifteen year-old daughter, Abigail, was holding a party in their house. Beverly's husband, Lawrence (Tim Stern) comes home late from work, just before the guests arrive. The gathering starts off in a stiff insensitive British middle class way with people who do not know each other, until Beverly and Lawrence start sniping at each other.
, , , ,
Margaret Matheson
Mike Leigh
Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party
British TV, TV Classics, TV Comedies, TV Dramas
Release Date:
Run Time:
60 minutes
English Dolby Digital 1.0
English Hard of Hearing
DVD Regions:
Region 2
Aspect Ratio:
Full Screen 1.33:1 / 4:3
  • Documentary: 'All About Abigail's Party', 'Welcome', 'Party Nibbles', 'Intro' and 'Goodbye'

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Reviews (3) of Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party

Over-rated but still a worthy part of Leigh's oeuvre - Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert

I saw this film once on the stage around ten years ago, and now for the first time on the screen. Initially I was impressed with the dramatic versions of everyday traits demonstrated in the play. Having now seen many of Leigh's later works however, this seems less sophisticated by comparison and the characters too ridiculous.

The play is funny with a dark thread, and shows a great understanding of human character, however the characters do not attract much empathy, and at certain times the play seems to jolt forwards. I think that films such as 'High Hopes' or 'Happy-go-Lucky' are far stronger examples of Leigh's work.

Nevertheless, Mike Leigh would definitely rank among the better directors of British 'theatre-influenced' film in the late twentieth century, and so it is fair to say that there is value in watching any of his films.

2 out of 2 members found this review helpful.

Wannabe middle class aspiration makes for excruciating black humour - Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party review by RP

Spoiler Alert

Based on a stage play, this is the 1977 BBC 'Play For Today' version. Written and directed by Mike Leigh, it translates well to the small screen. While it is a little dated, it is most definitely 'of its time' and the 1970s decor, dress, music and topics of wannabe middle class aspiration only add to the black humour. It makes for excruciatingly embarrassing viewing in places as the truly dreadful, pretentious hostess (astonishingly well played by Alison Steadman) entertains her hapless neighbours. I'm of an age where I saw the original, and seeing it again some 35 years later it is still superb stuff. 5/5 stars - highly recommended.

1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

cringeworthy stuff that deserves an oscar - Mike Leigh at the BBC: Abigail's Party review by CP Customer

Spoiler Alert

retro 1970s (or is it 80s) back to the old style nighbour drinks party. hostess who cant seem to stop putting her foot in it. guests who really dont want to be thee. undercurrents of drama and intrigue. and some cool 70s kitchen tiles to boot. what more could you want. its so cheesy and dire it gets compelling. bear with it as its slow to start.

0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.

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