The Naked Civil Servant is remembered for John Hurt's fine performance as author Quentin Crisp, and for the controversy that arose when the film first aired on U.S. television. The film depicts the life of Crisp, who lived an openly gay lifestyle at a time that homosexuality was still a crime in Britain. While the story generated some controversy in the U.K., it was U.S. viewing audiences who objected the most -- though it was not clear how many protestors had actually watched the film they were complaining about. Controversy aside, the film plays well to current-day audiences, who can enjoy Hurt's well-crafted acting and the unapologetic way with which he portrays the character. As with much of director Jack Gold's best work, the production values are minimal but fit the character-driven material.