Jack Gold’s satirical comedy-drama, The National Health, based on the stage play by Peter Nichols and set in the shabby men’s ward of a large Victorian hospital in London, interweaves the story of the real hospital with a fantasy one which exists in the soap-opera world of Nurse Norton’s Affair, where everything is fully funded and patients are miraculously cured.
A beguiling, perceptive and very funny satire on the state of the nation and also a deeply prescient comment on TV’s ability to turn tragedy into entertainment, The National Health sits somewhere between the bawdy antics of the Carry On films and the angry satire of Lindsay Anderson’s Britannia Hospital, but emerges as a starkly prophetic film, more relevant now than ever.
The National Health gets a Limited Dual Format Edition (Blu-ray premiere/UK DVD premiere) release from Powerhouse Films, as part of their Indicator Series, from 28 August.
• High Definition re-master
• Original mono audio
• New audio commentary with actor Jim Dale and journalist Nick Pinkerton
• Back to Health (2017, 24 mins): a new interview with author and playwright Peter Nichols
• Original theatrical trailer
• Image gallery: on-set and promotional photography
• New English subtitles for the deaf and hard-of-hearing
• Collector’s booklet with a new essay by Laura Mayne, archival interviews, historical articles, and an overview of contemporary critical responses