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Down Among the Z Men (1952)

 -  Comedy  -  October 1952 (UK)
4.8
Your rating:
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Ratings: 4.8/10 from 214 users  
Reviews: 23 user | 3 critic

The cast of the popular radio program "The Goon Show" perform some of their favourite routines.

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Harry Secombe ...
Harry Jones
Michael Bentine ...
Prof. Osrick Purehart
...
...
Carole Carr ...
Carole Gayley
Twelve Toppers ...
Dancers (as Leslie Roberts' Twelve Toppers)
Clifford Stanton ...
Stanton
Robert Cawdron ...
Sergeant Bullshine
Andrew Timothy ...
Captain Evans
Graham Stark ...
Spider
Russ Allen
Elizabeth Kearns ...
Girl in Shop
Miriam Karlin ...
Woman in Shop
Sidney Vivian ...
Landlord
Howell Evans
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Storyline

Professor Pure Heart absentmindedly loses the top secret formula in Harry Jones' Grocery Shop. "Bats of the Yard", as Harry calls himself, finds it and proudly attempts to return it to the Professor. Written by ICMagent

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

goon show | lingerie slip

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

October 1952 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Stand Easy  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

(RCA Sound System)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Stanton, one of the soldiers, does an impersonation of Danny Kaye. See more »

Crazy Credits

(opening credit) E. J. Fancey has the misfortune to inflict ... See more »

Soundtracks

If This Is Love
(uncredited)
Music by Jack Jordan
Lyrics by James Douglas (i.e. Jimmy Grafton)
Performed by Carole Carr
See more »

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User Reviews

 
DOWN AMONG THE Z MEN (Maclean Rogers, 1952) **
22 December 2007 | by (Naxxar, Malta) – See all my reviews

This independently-produced British army comedy is chiefly notable now as Peter Sellers' film debut and for being the only starring screen vehicle for comic radio performers The Goons (of which Sellers himself was a member). Actually, it wasn't as bad as I had anticipated – given the unenthusiastic reviews online (chiefly because it's said that their material has been heavily diluted in the transition); still, it's not helped by the dated TV-style technique on display.

Curiously enough, the laughs come mostly from the characterization of a scruffy, absent-minded Professor played by Michael Bentine – the least-known and shortest-lived member of the group! Of the other three, Harry Secombe is the nominal lead – but his character doesn't have a distinct personality (at least in this incarnation); Spike Milligan is a private whose dopey countenance and voice seems to have been inspired by Goofy, the canine star of Walt Disney cartoons!; Peter Sellers, surely the Goon with the most prominent subsequent career (I've just acquired a number of his work from the 1960s and 1970s), is reasonably impressive – if basically playing it straight – as an elderly Major.

The plot has to do with a secret gas formula devised by Bentine, which is coveted by enemy agents who infiltrate the camp (looking out for him is a female member of M.I.5 passing herself off as Sellers' daughter); Secombe, then, is the everyman hero who unwittingly finds himself 'drafted'. Unfortunately, most of the second half (the film runs for a mere 71 minutes) is taken up by a putting-on-a-show routine showcasing a number of resistible song-and-dance performers – though the busy climax, at least, shows three of The Goons all dressed in similar outfits to confuse the villains (a gag probably lifted from The Crazy Gang's THE FROZEN LIMITS [1939], which I've recently watched)...while Sellers, somewhat irrelevantly, does a couple of impersonations on stage (a great talent he possessed and which he would constantly fall back on for the rest of his career).


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