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The Likely Lads (1976)

 -  Comedy  -  2 April 1976 (UK)
6.7
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Ratings: 6.7/10 from 517 users  
Reviews: 14 user | 2 critic

Terry is divorced from his German wife and has a Finnish girlfriend Christina. At Thelma's suggestion they join her and Bob on a caravan holiday but due to a mishap the men get separated ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Rodney Bewes ...
...
Brigit Forsyth ...
...
Christina
Sheila Fearn ...
Zena Walker ...
Laura
...
Dawn (as Anulka Dubinska)
...
Tommy - Milkman
Judy Buxton ...
Iris
...
Glenys
Penny Irving ...
Sandy
Michelle Newell ...
Alice
Susan Tracy ...
Edith Collier
Gordon Griffin ...
Cyril Collier
...
Les Ferris
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Storyline

Terry is divorced from his German wife and has a Finnish girlfriend Christina. At Thelma's suggestion they join her and Bob on a caravan holiday but due to a mishap the men get separated from the women. Thelma mistakenly accuses Bob of infidelity and their row is heard publicly as they are in a van with the P.A. still switched on. Bob and Terry then holiday without the girls and,in a hotel at Whitley Bay,score with both the landlady and her daughter but have to make a hurried,trouserless,exit. Terry decides to emigrate and Bob joins him for a farewell drink on board his ship. However Terry changes his mind at the last minute and disembarks, realising too late that Bob is still on board and heading for Bahrain. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Emotion blazes across the big screen as Bob and Terry knock down the frontiers of human knowledge and Newcastle ale.

Genres:

Comedy

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Release Date:

2 April 1976 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

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(Technicolor)
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Alun Armstrong (milkman) would later star with James Bolam in New Tricks (2003) in the early 21st Century. See more »

Goofs

The Fat Ox pub in being demolished as drinks are served There is no way that they would pull down the pub whilst it was still open and serving drinks. See more »

Quotes

Bob: I think I'm going through what psychiatrists call an identity crisis.
Thelma: Is that what Alan Pooley had?
Bob: I think Alan just liked dressing up in women's clothes.
See more »

Connections

Spun-off from The Likely Lads (1964) See more »

Soundtracks

Remember When
Lyrics by Ian La Frenais, music by Mike Hugg
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User Reviews

Superior television spin-off
6 January 2003 | by (England) – See all my reviews

During the 1970s, a number of successful television sitcoms were given the big-screen treatment with varying degrees of success. THE LIKELY LADS is one of the best examples of the genre, and for my money it's actually superior to the television series, which did suffer somewhat from an obviously miniscule budget, occasionally poor acting from the supporting cast and a vaguely under-rehearsed feel.

Drinking partners Bob Ferris and Terry Collier, lifelong friends since their schooldays (and juvenile court appearances), are both somewhat disturbed at the sweeping changes being made to the city where they grew up. Terry's street has recently been demolished and his family rehoused in a high-rise apartment block in a crime-ridden area; Bob is depressed because one of his favourite pubs is being knocked down. The grimy streets and houses of their youth are fast being replaced with concrete canyons, car parks and motorways. Add to this startling social upheaval the fact that 'respectable' Bob is undergoing a bout of existential angst akin to a severe mid-life crisis, and eternal wastrel Terry is equally unsure of his future beyond the next pint and the next passionate encounter with his latest "conquest", and you have the backdrop for one of the most thoughtful and unusual comedy films of the 1970s, mixing extremely funny set-pieces (Bob's flight of fancy during the bridge game, Terry's noisy urination up the side of the caravan, the loudly-broadcast argument in the washing powder promotional van) and genuinely witty dialogue with a genuinely sobering undercurrent of bleakness and despair. If you can imagine Saturday Night And Sunday Morning redrafted by Mike Leigh, then The Likely Lads is a similar sort of proposition.

Technically, the film is a cut above the usual low-budget Britcom fare, with snappy direction by Michael Tuchner and a good use of locations old and new, though some of the dialogue is oddly muffled (and some viewers may have trouble with the broad Northern dialect) and Tony Imi's cinematography, whilst certainly crisp, seems to render all the flesh tones a somewhat startling shade of pink - seemingly a minor quibble, but Imi's linking footage of Barbara Windsor and Kenneth Williams in the disappointing THAT'S CARRY ON (1977) was similarly garish.

All in all though, a great way to spend a slow evening, and there's another catchy theme tune from ex-Manfred Mann musician Mike Hugg to get your teeth into along the way.


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