Paul Merton

Paul Merton

Date of birth: 17-01-1957
© Steve Ullathorne

Newly restored Tony Hancock films to be released

Paul Merton to help launch The Rebel and The Punch And Judy Man

Tony Hancock’s films The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man have been restored for a new DVD and Blu-ray release.

It is the first time the movies have been released in the high-definition format, and  Paul Merton is to launch them with a special screening of The Rebel in London next month.

The 1961 film was Hancock's first starring role in a movie. Long-time collaborators Ray Galton and Alan Simpson wrote the script, ridiculing effete pseudo-intellectualism, middle-class pretensions and bohemian artiness.

Merton, a life-long fan of Hancock’s work, said The Rebel was 'one of the best British film comedies ever made.  Now [it] looks absolutely splendid in its pristine Technicolor. This is no more than this film deserves’.

Despite the success of The Rebel, Hancock split with Galton and Simpson over a planned follow-up, believing all their ideas unsuitable for him and his ambitions to become an international star. 

 Subsequently he went on to star in 1963’s The Punch and Judy Man, which he wrote with Philip Oakes. It was the only other film he starred in.

 In it, Hancock plays a puppeteer content to scratch out a living in a faded seaside town, although his wife Delia (Sylvia Syms) is determined to climb the social ladder. 

Both titles will be released by Network on Blu-ray, DVD and Amazon Video on Monday September 30 - a week after Merton introduces The Rebel screening  at the Prince Charles Cinema, just off Leicester Square. (Tickets).

Click here to order the films.

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Published: 31 Aug 2019

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