The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer, first released in 1970, is a dry political satire that gains extra relevance in today's political climate. Peter Cook stars as Michael Rimmer, eventual President of Great Britain who works his way up from coordination officer, and is supported by a first-rate cast that includes Denholm Elliot, Arthur Lowe, John Cleese, and Ronald Fraser.
Written by Cook, Cleese, Graham Chapman, and director Kevin Billington, The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer is clever and subtle, the humor coming from witty wordplay and observations of just how politicians go about achieving their success. The only problem with the film is also just what the film is mocking: The Rise can sometimes feel as cold and emotionless as the politicians it satirizes. The film would have benefited from a little more characterization and, though the cast makes up for this with their wonderful performances, the result is a very clever but not always engaging film.
Aside from that small point, The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer is a great example of late-1960s British comedy. The "swinging" soundtrack and set design add nostalgic charm, while there's some good direction by Billington. It's easy to see why The Rise became a cult classic: it is the type of movie that gets better with each repeat viewing. The DVD extras will add to that enjoyment, as there is a Director's Commentary, Picture Gallery, and Original Film Poster feature.
The Rise And Rise Of Michael Rimmer is essential viewing for fans of British comedy and political satire and the newly released DVD would be a welcome addition to their movie collections.