Little Malcolm and His Struggle against the Eunuchs (1975)

David Halliwell’s 1965 satirical play was brought to the screen with funding from George Harrison, creating a boldly relevant 70s take on sex, power and art school rebellion.

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  • Little Malcolm Alternative

Introduction

“HandMade Films was really formed because of a film that I made with [George Harrison] back in 1973, Little Malcolm and his Struggle Against the Eunuchs. George so loved it, he played it and played it.”
John Hurt, interviewed by David Hayles, The Times, 15 May 2010

With a string of acting roles behind him, Stuart Cooper made a startling directorial feature debut with Little Malcolm..., teaming up with fellow RADA graduate John Hurt and cinematographer John Alcott to open up Halliwell’s play in a bleak Oldham setting.

As Malcolm Scrawdyke, a student malcontent, Hurt returned to a role he had inhabited in the late 60s stage production. His character is an impotent ranter, a plotter of outrages that never come to fruition but whose sense of injustice feeds a series of increasingly alarming acts.

The story is laden with the bleak awareness that, in the era of the Red Brigades and the Baader-Meinhof terrorist groups, disillusionment with student rebellion had already spawned dozens of little Malcolms wedded to the bomb and the bullet.

John Hurt played a much gentler student in his debut feature, The Wild and the Willing (1962), while Jean-Luc Godard showed a gang of far more politically-motivated student rebels in La Chinoise (1967).

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