Friday, October 14, 2011

Water (1985)

Water is a 1985 comedy film scripted by Dick Clement and Ian Le Frenais, directed by Clement, and starring Michael Caine. This HandMade Films production was released in U.S. theatres in April 1986 by Atlantic Releasing.

Plot summary

The story is set in the fictional Caribbean British colony of Cascara. Widely ignored by the British Government, media and general public, local Governor Baxter Thwaites is having an easy life in his small and peaceful colony. That peace is disturbed when an abandoned oil rig starts delivering water - at the standard of the finest table water brands. Different parties, including Downing Street, the Cascara Liberation Front, the White House and the Cubans take interest in the future of the island and threaten to destroy the cosy way of life enjoyed by the island's inhabitants.

Other information

The film stars Caine as Baxter Thwaites as a Governor who has 'gone native' (similarly to his role in The Honorary Consul) and Billy Connolly as local biracial activist Delgado, supported by the last performance of Leonard Rossiter as Sir Malcolm Leveridge and one of the last performances of Fulton Mackay.

Water was produced by George Harrison and is unusual in that it features a performance at the end by a (fictional) charity band "The Singing Rebels" featuring both Harrison and Ringo Starr, rarely seen together in film or television performances since the break-up of the Beatles, together with Jon Lord, Eric Clapton, and Connolly on vocals (The Rebels being the name of the "band" Harrison played in with his brother prior to joining up with McCartney and Lennon). The song performed by the group at the end of the film, "Freedom", was released as a music video. The soundtrack featured reggae music by Eddy Grant and Harrison himself, with Billy Connolly contributing additional songs. Most of the movie was filmed in and around Soufrière, Saint Lucia, with some scenes shot in Devon, England and at Lee International Studios.

The BBC television presenter Paul Heiney had a small part in the film as part of the In at the Deep End series.

Water was first released on home video by Paramount Home Video on 1 February 1987. The film received its first DVD edition in North America in 2006, courtesy of Anchor Bay Entertainment.


* Michael Caine as Governor Baxter Thwaites
* Valerie Perrine as Pamela Weintraub
* Brenda Vaccaro as Dolores Thwaites
* Leonard Rossiter as Sir Malcolm Leveridge
* Billy Connolly as Delgado Fitzhugh
* Dennis Dugan as Rob Waring
* Fulton Mackay as Reverend Eric
* Jimmie Walker as Jay Jay
* Dick Shawn as Deke Halliday
* Fred Gwynne as Franklin Spender
* Trevor Laird as Pepito
* Alan Igbon as Cuban
* Stephen M Booker as Helicopter Pilot


The movie received a mixed review in the New York Times, which read in part "The folks who packaged this put-on operated on the theory that a lot of eccentric people doing nutty things produce hilarity. The ingredient missing from the fitfully amusing conglomeration of characters is a character for the whole. In kidding everything, the movie leaves us uncertain about whether anything is being seriously kidded."

Despite being poorly received on its release, the film was noted for its script which addressed the confusion arising from the effects of colonialism on West Indian islands, spoofing the attitudes of both the locals and the representatives of Her Majesty's Government.


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