The Kiss Of Death

This is the most enigmatic Mike Leigh comedy I’ve seen, and certainly one of the most interesting. It focuses on the life of a young coroner’s assistant (David Threlfall), a solitary character with a single friend who laughs compulsively in most social situations; things come to a head when his friend’s girlfriend introduces him to a shoe-store clerk. The ensuing tortured and abortive courtship, which culminates in a disastrous double date at a disco, brings out the best in Leigh’s social observation and uses of real time. Made for the BBC in 1976. (JR)

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