This film is part of Free

Captain Busby  The Even Tenour of Her Ways

Captain Busby The Even Tenour of Her Ways

Quentin Crisp made his acting debut in this surreal short based on a poem by Philip O'Connor.

Animation & Artists Moving Image 1967 16 mins


Based on a surreal poem by Philip O'Connor, Captain Busby is truly a curate's egg. The first half of Ann Wolff's BFI-funded short sees the eponymous captain (played by O'Connor) enacting the bizarre actions of the verse, chewing his beard, bouncing through a window and "frowning at a passing ceiling". In the second half, a curious interplay involving a carrot unfolds at a railway station.

What does it all mean? Even if you can't make head nor tail of it, enjoy the pleasingly peculiar rhymes and rhythms, the arresting visuals and, above all, a rare acting role for Quentin Crisp as the stationmaster. O'Connor and Crisp, two very British eccentrics, were to become close friends until the former’s death in 1998.