The Rebel, 1961
It’s 1961. Thanks to the superb scripts written for him by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson, comedian Tony Hancock is one of Britain’s biggest stars.
With the Hancock’s Half Hour TV and Radio shows now behind him Tony Hancock was looking to the future. Whilst the Half Hour Series had come to an end, his final and possibly one of his best series for BBC Television ‘Hancock’ (again written by Galton and Simpson) had yet to air.
Perhaps bridging the gap between the final series of Hancock’s Half Hour and Hancock was The Rebel, Tony Hancock’s first big screen outing.
Hancock had agreed a two film deal with his writers, The Rebel was the only one to make it. However he did make a second film “The Punch And Judy Man” his first non Galton and Simpson collaboration. Filmed mainly in Bognor Regis, the film failed to live up to either Hancock’s international expectation’s or that of the critics.
The Rebel was well received in Britain, where it was the sixth most popular movie at the British box office for 1961. However it was not so well received in the USA, where it was felt that audiences possibly did not understand the highly anglocentric humour. Hancock though was nominated for a BAFTA Film Award in 1962 as Most Promising Newcomer to Leading Film Roles
Hancock plays a downtrodden London office clerk who gives up his office job to pursue full-time his vocation as an artist.
Single mindedly, and with an enthusiasm far exceeding any artistic talent (his ‘art’ has a ‘childlike’ quality – to put it mildly), he sets to work on his masterpiece Aphrodite at the Waterhole, moving to Paris where he expects his genius will be appreciated.
Written By: Ray Galton and Alan Simpson
Produced By: W.A. Whittaker
Directed By: Robert Day
Release Date: 7th March 1961 London (UK)