Heavy Weather (film)

Heavy Weather is a television film with a screenplay by Douglas Livingstone based on the novel Heavy Weather by P. G. Wodehouse, set at Blandings Castle. It was made by the BBC and WGBH Boston, first screened by the BBC on Christmas Eve 1995 and shown in the United States on PBS's Masterpiece Theatre on 18 February 1996.[1]

Heavy Weather
VHS cover of Heavy Weather
Directed byJack Gold
Produced byVerity Lambert
David Shanks
Screenplay byDouglas Livingstone
Based onHeavy Weather
by P. G. Wodehouse
StarringPeter O'Toole
Richard Briers
Music byDenis King
CinematographyErnest Vincze
Edited byRalph Sheldon
Cinema Verity
Juniper Films
WGBH Boston productions for BBC
Distributed byBBC 1
Release date
  • 24 December 1995 (1995-12-24)
  • 18 February 1996 (1996-02-18)
Running time
95 minutes


Though abridged for a 90-minute film, Heavy Weather follows closely the novel of 1933, the fourth in the Blandings series. Many of the familiar elements of the Blandings books are present: the wish of Lord Emsworth's nephew, Ronnie Fish, to marry a chorus girl, Sue Brown; the concern of Emsworth's sisters, the imperious Lady Constance Keeble and Ronnie's mother Lady Julia Fish, to ensure that the reminiscences of their other brother, the Hon. Galahad Threepwood, were not published; Galahad's protectiveness towards Miss Brown, the daughter of his long lost love Dolly Henderson; the sustained efforts of the publisher Lord Tilbury to gain possession of the reminiscences; Lord Emsworth's determination that his prize Berkshire pig, the Empress of Blandings, should win the silver medal in the fat pigs class at the Shrewsbury agricultural show; Lord Emsworth's employment of a private detective, P. Frobisher Pilbeam, to protect the Empress and his rivalry with his neighbour, Sir Gregory Parsloe,[2] of Matchingham Hall, who had not only his own designs on the fat pigs class, but, as a prospective Parliamentary candidate, an interest in suppressing Galahad's reminiscences; and the employment as Lord Emsworth's secretary of Monty Bodkin, who, as with most holders of that office, had an ulterior motive (in this instance, the need to hold down paid employment for a year in order to be considered suitable to marry one Gertrude Butterwick).



The screenplay was written by Douglas Livingstone. The director was Jack Gold and the producer was Verity Lambert.[3] David Shanks was co-producer.[4] The production designer was Jane Martin.[1]

Filming location

Heavy Weather was filmed at Sudeley Castle, Gloucestershire,[5] which was widely, though not universally, regarded as Wodehouse's model for Blandings.


  1. Taves (2006), p. 198.
  2. Sir Gregory's full surname was Parsloe-Parsloe, though this was never revealed in the television drama and Wodehouse usually wrote the name simply as "Parsloe".
  3. "P G Wodehouse's Heavy Weather". BBC Genome. BBC. 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  4. "Heavy Weather (1995)". BFI. British Film Institute. 2019. Retrieved 26 August 2019.
  5. Taves (2006), p. 133.

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