1997 Running time: 90 Certificate: pg Rating: 3


Rowan Atkinson lets his disastrous actions speak louder than words as the much-loved TV hero goes large. In Mel Smith's big-screen spin-off, Mr Bean is the unlikely choice to oversee the transfer of priceless painting Whistler's Mother from a London gallery to a museum in the USA. Havoc ensues, with Bean having a hand in the break-up of a marriage, driving an American cop to distraction and breaking art lovers' hearts. Co-written by Atkinson and Richard Curtis and directed by Smith, it's something of a Not The Nine O'Clock News reunion.


  • Mel Smith


  • Rowan Atkinson

  • Peter MacNicol

  • Pamela Reed

  • Burt Reynolds

  • Harris Yulin


Full-length features based on half-hour sitcoms are rarely successful, but this comedy comes as quite a pleasant surprise.

Not all of the gags work, and indeed the character is stretched too far by the film's length, but when it is funny it's very funny indeed.

Rowan Atkinson, is of course, Mr Bean, a lowly employee of the National Gallery, who is surprisingly put in charge of the painting Whistler's Mother on its transatlantic journey to the States, and he's as inept as ever.

The funniest bits are still those without words - his cavortings with a sick bag are particularly hilarious.

These tend to highlight the fact that there have been compromises to cover the fact that Mr Bean is a largely silent character and a 90-minute silent film would have bombed at the box office.