Frankie Howerd stars in this comedy as a lowly boot-boy who is a terrible coward. He only goes to war in 1914 after he has been hypnotised to 'save England'. With the German master plan ... See full summary »
The British National Health System is skewered in this comedy set in a rundown London hospital. The hospital is filled with wacky staff members and patients, and the film strives to get all... See full summary »
London, 1940. Aspiring jazz musician and future comedy legend Terence "Spike" Milligan reluctantly obeys his call-up and joins the Royal Artillery regiment at Bexhill, where he begins ... See full summary »
An eight-year-old girl is an unwilling and disturbed witness of parental quarrels in her home, and when the parents finally secure a divorce, the judge decrees that the young girl live with... See full summary »
The episodic story of a composer of operettas, Rudi Kleiber, in in old Viennese days, and the two women in his life; Maria Zeitler, his sweetheart, later mistress, lost love, an operetta ... See full summary »
Taxicab driver Tom Banning is led to an abandoned bomb-site by an eight-year-old girl as an April-fool prank. The girl is later found murdered and Manning is picked up by Scotland Yard for ... See full summary »
Frankie Howerd stars in this comedy as a lowly boot-boy who is a terrible coward. He only goes to war in 1914 after he has been hypnotised to 'save England'. With the German master plan tattooed on his backside (this is the only way he could get the plan back to the British), he goes to the British headquarters, with the Germans in hot pursuit, to try and 'hand over the plans'!!! Written by
Graeme Huggan <email@example.com>
Forgettable conclusion to the Frankie Howerd trilogy
Well, we had UP POMPEII - a Roman comedy based on his popular television series, and its sequel UP THE CHASTITY BELT (which updated the format to the Middle Ages), so now comes UP THE FRONT, featuring the same kind of shenanigans except this time taking place during WW1.
I was in two minds about this film before watching it, purely because I wasn't sure how a comedy set during one of the most tragic wars in history would play out. I needn't have worried; UP THE FRONT is as trivial and frivolous as ever, a series of lame gags just about held together by Howerd's front man.
I like Howerd, but this material is definitely beneath him. When a running gang about a goat is the highlight of your movie, you know you're in trouble. He blusters and shams his way through a series of painful, originality-free gags while a series of supporting actors (Bill Fraser, Dora Bryan, Lance Percival and Stanley Holloway) mug shamelessly. Even Zsa Zsa Gabor shows up (playing Mata Hari!) along with a youthful Bob Hoskins in his first film outing.
The paucity of both budget and imagination is evident in the uselessness of the script, which involves a secret map tattooed on Howerd's behind (interestingly, the idea was later borrowed for the spaghetti western, THE STRANGER AND THE GUNFIGHTER). At the end of the day, this is a comedy with unfunny jokes, so it's not really worth sitting through.
2 of 3 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?