A Sense of History (1992) 

Jim Broadbent plays The 23rd Earl of Leete   Written by Jim Broadbent and Directed by Mike Leigh

"If anything should happen to me I do want this film to be shown"

Plot Summery:  Broadbent as The 23rd Earl of Leete, a very British and eccentric landowner, takes us on an intriguing tour of his estate and tells of the progress of over 900 years of family history.  A Sense of History has the look and feel of a very real documentary; there is no canned laughter to give us the clue that it might be a spoof.  Only as the Earl's revelations unravel do we begin to suspect anything.

Patrick's comments:  Mike Leigh is known for directing his own work and his own work exclusively.  A Sense of History is the first time that Leigh has directed for another writer.  Perhaps this is testament to the friendship that Leigh and Broadbent enjoy.

One of the questions I get asked the most as the host of this website is "Where can I get a copy of A Sense of History?"  The answer, I am afraid, is that you can't.  Sad but true; it has never been released on video or DVD.  Currently only those of you who have managed to tape it of the TV will be the privileged owners of this short film.  If the situation changes I will be sure to announce the good news.

A Sense of History is an October Films production.  If you would like to write to them and show support for the distribution of this film then all the contact details are at www.octoberfilms.co.uk

Mike Leigh
Director Mike Leigh

Reviews: In building his character from a seemingly-ordinary, pompous aristocrat to an off-the-wall, homicidal lunatic, Broadbent is intensely funny.  It's clear that he and director Mike Leigh have formed a rapport that they use to good effect here. "A Sense of History" represents the best in "intellectual comedy". James Berardinelli

Awards:  A Sense of History was nominated for Best Short Film at the 1993 BAFTA Film Awards.  A Sense of History went on the win the Audience Award at the 1993 Clermont-Ferrand International Short Film Festival.

Internet Movie Database
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