Dudley Moore is subjected to more indignities with this uncalled-for film so dire there’s no humour to be had in its shortcomings. Burgess Meredith, Melvyn Hayes, Don Estelle, Christopher ‘Mike’ Ryan and John ‘Mallens’ Hallam are also implicated. Sheena Easton and the immortal Kaja provide the soundtrack.Read More
Posts Tagged With 'Melvyn Hayes'
Look out chaps, it’s one of those portmanteau comedy jobbies – commissioned by a studio executive wanting something vague featuring “lots of comedians and saucy girls”, a rag-bag of loosely-connected sketches from disparate writers, with the lack of plot papered over with one of those all-star casts that always signal turkeydom, and directed by… Graham ‘the second banana’s second banana’ Stark? Yes, and it’s a good’un, too.
Not all the seven segments come up trumps. Two that never provoke more than gentle grins are Gluttony and Envy, respectively featuring Leslie Phillips as a compulsive eater and Harry Secombe as a property hunting pools winner (just how many films featured Secombe as a pools winner, exactly? He seemed to be claiming once a year in the flicks). The final Wrath segment, with Arthur ‘Whack-O!’ Howard and Ronald Fraser being annoyed by Stephen Lewis’s park keeper, is not too bad, but it’s just more Blakey shtick on the big screen, and if we want that we’ll watch Holiday on the Buses, ta.
The rest, though, are rather good. Standouts include lusty batchelor Harry H Corbett using all means necessary to get a date, only to be cruelly humiliated via the medium of the payphone; chauffeur Bruce Forsyth searching London’s sewers for his avaricious boss’ mislaid 50p piece, attracting a line of penny-chasing followers along the way including Bernard Bresslaw, Roy Hudd and Joan Sims; and Spike Milligan’s demented silent film homage to Sloth (“I’d like to save you but I can’t let go of my walnuts!”) with Ronnie Barker, Marty Feldman, Madeline Smith and Melvyn Hayes variously not being arsed in black and white.
The best segment of all, ironically enough for a sketch show on film, comes straight off the telly, as Galton and Simpson rework a forgotten Comedy Playhouse entry to illustrate Pride, with Ian Carmichael’s regal Bentley and Alfie Bass’ clapped out Morris meeting halfway down a narrow country lane and each resolutely refusing to back up for the other. When the AA and RAC turn up (the former in the guise of Robert Gillespie), taking the sides you’d expect, a measuring tape-fuelled class war ensues. Throw in Bob Godfrey’s droll animated links and you’ve got a film tailor made for a lost TV afternoon.Read More
“SAFARI! SO GOODY!” Not in our book, obviously, but this extract from the festive edition of TVS’s interminable jungle jamboree On Safari from 1982 is a useful reminder of the threadbare morning schedules assembled for “younger viewers” during the run-up to Christmas.
Proceedings get off to a less than promising start as the never-popular BIGGINS greets our “glamorous” hostess GILLIAN TAYLFORTH, before guest star LYNSEY DE PAUL receives a bemused welcome from an audience possibly too young to remember Sugar Me.
The cast is completed by the arrival of celebrity contestants SHIRLEY ANNE FIELD and MELVYN HAYES, the latter modelling a distinctive ensemble of T-shirt, beanie hat and big shorts, later ripped off wholesale by CARTER THE UNSTOPPABLE SEX MACHINE.Read More
People tend to remember this as a Sid ‘n’ Babs romp, but it’s Ronald ‘Don’t talk to me about unemployment, young man’ Fraser leading the absconding crims to a new, pastoral life in a remote Cornish monastery, alongside Bernard Cribbins, Melvyn Hayes and Mile End shortarse Davy Kaye. It’s no doubt testament to the power of the Windsor giggle that the shade of the walnut-visaged one can be conjured up from thin air so evocatively with a single bubbly shriek.Read More
Poor and rather incoherent Cliff and The Shads film in which the boys (plus Susan Hampshire and the inevitable Una Stubbs and Melvyn Hayes) get involved with stereotypical overbearing Euro director Walter ‘voice of Gepetto’ Slezak and do a cute little speeded-up ‘brief history of cinema’ mime routine before Cliff sheds his rock ‘n’ roll mantle once and for all in a respect-your-elders duet with Slezak, averring “It Takes Youth and Experience”. Richard O’Sullivan and Gerald ‘Adamant’ Harper also star.Read More
LEGENDARY UNSALVAGEABLE sitcom disaster which for a long time held the record for fastest “schedule shunt”: from 7pm on a Friday for episode one to 12.05am on Sunday by episode three. Essentially a major lapse in taste, judgement et al by otherwise dependable bods DAVID NOBBS (script editor) and IAN DAVIDSON (director), pitching JIMMY EDWARDS into 13th century England as green-bellied knight of the realm, with distinctly 20th century line in patter, skits, frippery and so on. Best pal MELVYN HAYES assisted in battling dastardly Sir Griswold (ALAN CURTIS). Timing, decent gags, plotlines not amongst armoury.Read More
ROTTEN BADLY-DRAWN romp that began life as a mascot for the South Wales Electricity Board and should’ve stayed there. Teddy bear in factory was found to have “something wrong with him” and thrown away “like a piece of rubbish”. Then a “spotty man” brought him to life with “magic dust” and… well, you can see how desperate it all was. DEREK GRIFFITHS voiced the title role, JON P’TWEE was “Spotty”, and ROY KINNEAR and MELVYN “HOT MUM” HAYES were fat/skeletal henchmen to Texas Pete. Effortlessly irritating.Read More