The Hippopotamus

Synopsis: A country manor mystery that's actually a deliciously wicked comedy of manners, The Hippopotamus is a rollicking adaptation of the best-selling novel by Stephen Fry. It centers on a lapsed poet, failed drama critic, redundant husband and hard-working drunk, Ted Wallace (the mellifluously voiced Roger Allam in a rare starring role). Fired from his newspaper job, Ted leaps at the chance to drown his sorrows at his old friend's country estate, Swafford Hall. A series of spiritual healings have recently put the household in a tizzy. The purported miracle worker is his hosts' teenage son, Ted's godson, David (Tommy Knight). Lord and Lady Logan are set on sharing their boy's "gift" with the world, blissfully unaware that his "laying on of hands" trick involves, well, an emphasis on "laying." At odds with a colorful party of fellow guests only too ready to swallow anything they're told, Ted sets out to prove the miracles are a hoax and save the young man from a lifetime of embarrassment.
Genre: Comedy
Director(s): John Jencks
Production: Lightyear Entertainment
  1 nomination.
Rotten Tomatoes:
89 min

[Ted] 'T. S. Eliot said that

'the purpose of literature

was to turn blood into ink.

'Well, I tried that.

'I published five collections

of poetry in eight years

'and I bled like a hemophiliac.

'Then, somewhere along the way,

the blood finally clotted.

'Over time,

the scab became a scar

'and now I can scarcely

feel the wound.

'All the arteries and veins

are dried out.

'I no longer turn blood

into ink.

'These days, I turn whiskey

into journalism.

'I haven't written a poem

since 1987.'

[Farts and blows bubbles]

[Men chant] Ah-ah-ah! Ah! Ah!


Ah! Ah!

Ah-ah-ah! Ah! Ah!

Ah-ah-ah! Ah! Ah!


[Men] Aaah!




Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh! Ooh!


[Saturninus] Noble patricians,

patrons of my right,

defend the justice

of my cause with arms...

[Men chant]

[Saturninus] And, countrymen,

my loving followers...


If ever Bassianus, Caesar's son,

were gracious

in the eyes of royal Rome,

take then this passage

to the Capitol...

Complete and utter crap.


You're not defending

this fecal matter, are you?

- To justice! Continence.

- [Men] Huargh! Huargh!

- And nobility.

- [Men] Huargh!

[Horn sounds]

Princes, that strive

by factions and by friends...

- [prompt] ambitiously.

- Oh, f*ck off.

Will you keep your opinions

to yourself?

Goes rather against the grain,

being a critic, doesn't it?

Know that the people of Rome,

for whom we stand

a special party,

- have for... for...

- By common voice.

Have, by common voice, in

election for the Roman empery...

- [Prompt] Chosen Andronicus.

- Chosen Andronicus...

- Right, that's it.

- Surnamed Pius for many...

Get off the stage

and find new representation!

Is this part of the performance?

On the contrary, madam,

this is an intervention.

Where is the man responsible

for this theatrical audia?

Where is Matthew Lake?

- Throw him out!

- Not me, madam.

It is the director

who should be ejected,

then tarred and feathered,

for inflicting such

loose-stooled effluent

- [horn sounds]

- upon the paying public.

Say that again.

Loose... stooled...

- [people gasp]

- effluent.

Oh, do you need the line again?

Sun got it.

'Oh, come on!

'Get your fucking hands off me!

'I haven't seen such a load

of shit on the stage

'since "Copraphilia",

the musical!

'Get off me! Get off.

'You should be ashamed

of yourselves.'

We need to put up

a strong front,

but first we have to

check you in for some rehab.

I can hold my drink.

Ted, I'm trying to help you.

This... this all...

all just needs management.

Needs management!

The war cry

of the brown-trousered.

You know I venerate your work.

I know no such thing.

I know you've been told by

people cleverer than you

that I'm a feather

in your greasy cap.

I know my writing for you

makes you feel successful.

I know you know

I could walk into any job

and spark grateful tears

from the illiterate

pricks in charge.

I also know you took culture

because you couldn't

get the news desk.

You would censure me?

You're the one

bringing down the tone

with your mealy-mouthed mummery

and your prostration before

the gods of public approval.

I bet you never had a wank

that wasn't focus-grouped,

you sexually craven

provincial nerd.

Why don't you take your

freckled ass on a sabbatical

and let a real man

edit the paper?

You may have been the great

hope for British poetry

once upon a forever ago,

but when did you

last write anything?


When... when did you last

do anything at all?

I have about as much need of you

as I do a fucking fountain pen.

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Stephen Fry

Stephen John Fry (born 24 August 1957) is an English comedian, actor, writer, presenter, and activist. With Hugh Laurie, he is half of the comic double act Fry and Laurie, who starred in A Bit of Fry & Laurie and Jeeves and Wooster. Fry's acting roles include a Golden Globe Award–nominated lead performance in the film Wilde, Melchett in the BBC television series Blackadder, the title character in the television series Kingdom, a recurring guest role as Dr Gordon Wyatt on the crime series Bones, and as Gordon Deitrich in the dystopian thriller V for Vendetta. He has also written and presented several documentary series, including the Emmy Award–winning Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive, which saw him explore his bipolar disorder, and the travel series Stephen Fry in America. He was also the long-time host of the BBC television quiz show QI, with his tenure lasting from 2003 to 2016. Besides working in television, Fry has contributed columns and articles for newspapers and magazines and written four novels and three volumes of autobiography, Moab Is My Washpot, The Fry Chronicles, and More Fool Me. He also appears frequently on BBC Radio 4, starring in the comedy series Absolute Power, being a frequent guest on panel games such as Just a Minute, and acting as chairman during one series of I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue, where he was one of a trio of possible hosts who were tried out to succeed the late Humphrey Lyttelton, Jack Dee getting the post permanently. Fry is also known for his voice-overs, reading all seven of the Harry Potter novels for the UK audiobook recordings, narrating the LittleBigPlanet and Birds of Steel series of video games, as well as an animated series of explanations of the laws of cricket, and a series of animations about Humanism for Humanists UK. He has also filmed commercials, including an advertisement where he explains the essence of British culture to foreigners arriving at London's Heathrow Airport. more…

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Submitted on August 05, 2018

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    "The Hippopotamus" STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 19 Oct. 2020. <>.

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