TV Cream

Films: U is for...

Up Pompeii

Is this the best ever film version of a sitcom? The Likely Lads runs it close, but there’s just so much about this that we love; the excellent device of having Francis appear over a splendidly crap model of Vesuvius with attached Pompeii (‘Copulatum expensium, as we Pompeiians say!’), the fantastic ‘there’s no deco-rum in the fo-rum’ theme song, the sheer stupidity of the plot and silliness of the conclusion complete with all characters returned to life and the present day for a winning reprisal of their individual traits, “lamp black”, the appalling wig on the bloke that is manifestly not Francis wrestling with Bernard Bresslaw but which is manifestly his own wig, “the street of a thousand…yippeee!”, Derek Griffiths on a treadmill, “known to gardeners everywhere as the last of the red hot pokers”, Michael Hordern in a toga, “you see that ring that she’s wearing? The ring? Well it was given to her by her husband on their wedding night, but then he left her and she’s never had it off since. It is a shame.” You hardly need to watch it now. But you should anyway. It may sound tame with a Latin name, but – oooooOOOOOOOoooooh!



  1. ds

    January 25, 2013 at 8:23 pm

    “How does he do that?”

    “It’s a little trick I learned in the army”

  2. Lee James Turnock

    March 30, 2016 at 3:37 pm

    Followed by Up the Chastity Belt, which really is terrible, and Up the Front, which isn’t much better, but at least it looks good, has a brief cameo by Bob Hoskins, and Madeline Smith as a maid.

  3. Tom Ronson

    May 23, 2022 at 12:30 am

    It’s effectively a hormonally-crazed teenage boy’s dream come true, this film, and for that reason alone, it was manna from heaven when it turned up late one night on BBC1 in 1990. Yep, this was how we had to get out jollies in an era before Nuts, Zoo, Loaded, and the internet.

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