WATER: GEORGE HARRISON & THE BEST 80’S SATIRE MOVIE YOU DIDN’T SEE

Say what you will about movies from the 1980’s. Sure, most of it was like a food trough of cheese-ball, corny, 2-dimentional characters and big hair and bad dialogue. But, it also produced one of the decades least know and under appreciated films that, in my humble opinion, is also one of the best political satire films in recent decades: WATER. And we can all thank former Beatle George Harrison for it.

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In 1985, Georgies HandMade Films production company assembled an All-Star line up of his friends who were acting and musical heavyweights. Michael Caine, Billy Connolly, Fred Gwynne, (a young) Alfred Molina, Leonard Rossiter, Jimmy Walker, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Jon Lord, Mike Moran, Eddie Grant, and on and on… and together they made movie magic.

WATER is a movie made by people who love movies. It was made to be fun. It was made to have a message and it was made to be enjoyed. Not make $300 million to appease a round table of coked-out Hollywood Execs.  That was the joy of having a former Beatle as your backer. Someone once asked George Harrison why he helped fund Monty Python films in the 1970’s, knowing he would likely never make his money back, and the iconic guitar player sat back and said calmly, ’cause I wuuuunted to see it’. It’s just that simple.

The movie, WATER, was a satire inspired by the nearly botched and almost laughable (if it hadn’t killed so many people) 1983 US invasion of Grenada, Operation Clusterfuck Urgent Fury. In the film, western powers are drawn to the tiny impoverished island in a race against time and each other to secure a newly discovered and valuble mineral water spring ‘with a slight laxative effect’. (Dont forget, this was the 80’s when things like Perrier were suddenly in-vogue!) But this valuble spring will leave the island awash with money – if – the locals can keep control of it, while fending off the foreign invaders before London decides to relocate everyone off the island!

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If you’ve ever spent even a little time in the tropics, there are subtle (and not so subtle) winks to local island life that really hit home (like radio DJ, Jimmy Walker, sticking his arm out the window for the weather report proclaiming, ‘It’s HOT!’). It also does a nice job giving a wink to the setting sun on the crumbling remains of the once mighty British Empire. And it does it all without taking itself too seriously.

Movies like 1985’s, WATER, don’t come along very often and almost never do anymore. When you watch the film, you realize how impossible it would be to make it today, without the deep pockets of a producer like George Harrison who put the product before profits. But the result is a delightful, heartwarming comedy that has all the wickedness of intelligent and saucy British humour – wrapped around one of the best sleeper soundtracks you’ll ever hear. Seriously. 2 Beatles, Clapton, and all their friends singing together simply to have fun? It doesn’t get any better.

WATER. Go see it. Download it, watch it off YouTube or buy it off eBay. You will be delighted you did… and I guarantee you’ll be humming along with the Singing Rebels in no time!