The best thing about these film versions of sitcoms is that the plots seldom bear much similarity to the “sit” of the original series. So in Are You Being Served? for instance, you get the entire cast going on holiday together, no questions asked. Bless This House introduces Terry Scott and Peter Butterworth apropos nothing. Possibly the biggest deviation comes from this film, with the fraught five-way dynamic of the series getting the boot early on when the cast find themselves uniting to save their lodgings from the clutches of ruthless property developer Peter ‘Sir Frank is in charge of civil service pay’ Cellier. It’s a plot hardly worthy of an also-ran Children’s Film Foundation adventure, but it’s all carried off with a such an end-of-term sense of fun you hardly notice. After O’Sullivan and Bill Maynard sabotage his posh dinner date with Wilcox (consisting, of course, of prawn cocktail followed by Steak Diane), Cellier climbs into a taxi and utters the key line – “Thames Television studios, Euston Road, please” – so waving a fond goodbye to the demands of plot and a big hello to “a galaxy of Thames stars” from Bill Grundy, through Jack Smethurst and Rudolph Walker indulging in a terrible pull-back-and-reveal racial gag, Michael Robbins as an old flame of Mildred’s, to an extravagantly bearded Spike “gotta get these things OUT!!” Milligan. It’s the nearest thing there is to a Christmas special on film, really, and for that, to say nothing of the wonderfully wistful closing credits theme, we love it.Read More
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Creamguide's Pick of the Day
Thanks heavens for Frank filling up some otherwise barren days in the early part of this week. This sounds the most interesting of the various programmes marking his centenary as it looks at Frank when he was down the dumper in the early fifties, when he was having a tough time financially, romantically and professionally. As we’ll hear tomorrow, it all worked out OK in the end but in the meantime here’s the story of how he trudged around Britain performing in front of not especially enthralled audiences, interspersed with a couple of appearances on the Beeb.
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Points of View
- In 'PICK OF THE DAY', Darthflanflinger says: "I used to stumble in late to Simon Frith’s seminars at the University of Strathclyde, reeking of chicken pakora that I used to buy at..."
- In 'Insight', Scott McPhee says: "Another segment on Insight was ‘Joe’s Gang’. The only thing I remember from this, was how Joe and his friends helped out an elderly..."
- In 'Only Fools and Horses', Richard Davies says: "It drifted a little into drama with the 50 minute episodes & annual extended specials, but the quality of the series was there right..."
- In 'Only Fools and Horses', Barbersmith says: "If this had finished after series four it would stand up there with the greatest sitcoms ever. Sadly, it didn’t. Mawkish, over-long,..."
- In 'One Man and his Dog', Barbersmith says: "Absolutely spot on Jim."