Film: The Rebel U Rating Year: 1961
The Rebel DVD Cover
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Country: UK Genre: Comedy
Director: Robert Day
Starring: Tony Hancock, John Le Mesurier, Paul Massie, George Sanders

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The Rebel Synopsis - The Rebel centres around Tony, an aspiring artist approaching middle age stuck in a deathly dull accountancy job. Growing increasingly frustrated with his day job, his artistic aspirations take over him and he runs away from his job to go to Paris to seek his fame and fortune as a painter and sculptor. When he gets there he meets and shares a flat with fellow ex-pat painter Paul. Paul is a very talented artist also looking to make it as an artist, he looks at Tony's work which appears to be childish artless rubbish and Paul assumes Tony's art must be above his understanding. Paul decides he can no longer put anymore time into his art, and leaves his canvasses at their studio flat. When Tony gets an art critic in to see his own work the critic immediately sees Tony's work is rubbish, but when he accidentally spots Paul's work he is immediately enthralled with it. Tony passes the work off as his own, and the critic sets about getting Tony exhibited, and in turn Tony is lauded by Paris society. But how long can Tony keep this pretence a secret.

Review of The Rebel - The Rebel was originally called "Call Me Genius" in the US. When this film was made Tony Hancock the actor and, confusingly, the character was the biggest star on British television bar none. This film was Hancock's attempt at getting away from television in order to become a truly international star, unfortunately this film didn't do that for him. As a piece of work itself it is very good, particularly impressive is the focus on his characters frustration with the boring bowler hatted 9 to 5 and his desire to drop out and become an artist (bear in mind this pre-empted the flower power revolution by a good 7 years). Whilst this film is not as laugh out loud funny as his TV work it certainly works very well indeed, which makes it all the more of a shame this film is practically forgotten.
The reasons I recommend The Rebel are: 1.A superb script by the legendary Alan Simpson and Ray Galton. 2. Superb performance by Hancock and the terrific cast of British film regulars.