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Water (Handmade 1985, Michael Caine, Billy Connolly)

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Michael Caine plays the laid-back governor of a Caribbean island colony in Dick Clement’s fresh and enjoyable British comedy. Caine already has problems dealing with his turbulent Latin American wife Brenda Vaccaro, who wants a posting to somewhere more lively, and a further thorn in his side is local rebel leader Billy Connolly, who has sworn to communicate only in song while the islands remain under British colonial rule. But when Connolly tries to win Cuban support for his cause, Whitehall wakes up to the colony’s potential and diplomat Leonard Rossiter (in his last screen role) is dispatched to Cascara to inform Caine that the island has to be abandoned and its inhabitants evacuated within three weeks.

Comic complications escalate when mineral water of a superb quality is discovered on the island and Rossiter secretly encourages the rebels so that British intervention, Falklands-style, can be arranged. And Caine ends up at the centre of a raging political storm as Cascara is invaded by tourists, the media, idealistic ‘environmental activist’ Valerie Perrine, Cuban advisers, British and American commandos and a German-led band of mercenaries who have been hired by French interests to destroy the competition to Perrier. As the island becomes the focus of world media attention, Connolly decides to take his message to the UN and his ‘concert for Cascara’, featuring George Harrison (one of the film’s two executive producers), Eric Clapton and Ringo Starr, is a huge success. The island wins its freedom but French bombs destroy the water supply and the future looks bleak…

production details
UK | Handmade | 94 minutes | 1985

Director: Dick Clement
Producer: Ian La Frenais, George Harrison
Director of Photography: Douglas Slocombe
Editor: John Victor-Smith
Music: Mike Moran
Script: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais, Bill Persky
Production Design: Norman Garwood

cast
Michael Caine as Governor Baxter Thwaites
Billy Connolly as Delgado Fitzhugh
Alan Igbon as Cuban
Valerie Perrine as Pamela Weintraub
Oscar James as Miguel
Leonard Rossiter as Sir Malcolm Leveridge
Brenda Vaccaro as Dolores Thwaites
Chris Tummings as Garfield
Maureen Lipman as Prime Minister
Alfred Molina as Pierre
Ruby Wax as Spenco Executive
Dennis Dugan as Rob
Fulton Mackay as Eric
Jimmie Walker as Jay Jay
Dick Shawn as Deke Halliday
Fred Gwynne as Spender
Felicity Dean as Sarah
William Hootkins as Ben
Alan Shearman as Charlesworth
Glory Annen as Hostess
Eric Clapton as Himself – The Singing Rebels’ Band
Ray Cooper as Himself – The Singing Rebels’ Band
George Harrison as Himself – The Singing Rebels’ Band
Jon Lord as Himself – The Singing Rebels’ Band
Mike Moran as Himself – The Singing Rebels’ Band
Chris Stanton as Himself – The Singing Rebels’ Band
Ringo Starr as Himself – The Singing Rebels’ Band

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