This is a pantomime about two construction workers, who discover that a plank is missing from the floor they are just building. They discover that two children have taken the plank and use ... See full summary »

Director:

Writer:

Reviews
1 win. See more awards »
Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

The Plank (1967)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Classic short British comedy, full of stars, about two workmen delivering planks to a building site. This is done with music and a sort of "wordless dialogue" which consists of a few ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Sykes
Stars: Tommy Cooper, Eric Sykes, Jimmy Edwards
Comedy | Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A police inspector and a vicar blow off work to play a game of golf at the Royal Rhubarb Golf Club. The inspector is preparing to cheat: he even got one of his subordinates to help him ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Sykes
Stars: Eric Sykes, Jimmy Edwards, Bob Todd
Macken (TV Series 1986)
Comedy | Musical
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The local authority wants to close down Roy and Roger's gas station and instead build a motorway where it is positioned. Roy and Roger try to stop it, of course. Will they succeed? Will ... See full summary »

Stars: Anders Eriksson, Jan Rippe, Knut Agnred
Ivanhoe (TV Movie 1982)
Adventure | Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Ivanhoe, a worthy and noble knight, the champion of justice returns to England after the holy wars. He finds England under the reign of Prince John and his henchmen and finds himself being ... See full summary »

Director: Douglas Camfield
Stars: James Mason, Anthony Andrews, Sam Neill
Blakes 7 (1978–1981)
Adventure | Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

A group of convicts and outcasts fight a guerrilla war against the totalitarian Terran Federation from a highly advanced alien spaceship.

Stars: Michael Keating, Paul Darrow, Peter Tuddenham
Action | Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Police lieutenant Nyman is murdered in his hospital bed and Martin Beck and his colleagues have another murder to solve. They discover that Nyman was a very tough policeman who received ... See full summary »

Director: Bo Widerberg
Stars: Carl-Gustaf Lindstedt, Sven Wollter, Thomas Hellberg
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6/10 X  

This is the tale of industrial strife at WC Boggs' Lavatory factory. Vic Spanner is the union representative who calls a strike at the drop of a hat; eventually everyone has to get fed up ... See full summary »

Director: Gerald Thomas
Stars: Kenneth Williams, Sidney James, Charles Hawtrey
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
Lionel Blair ...
...
Harry H. Corbett ...
...
House painter
Robert Dorning ...
Fork-Lift Truck Driver
...
...
Jimmy Edwards ...
Policeman
Liza Goddard ...
Young lady helped across the road
...
Charles Hawtrey ...
Co-Driver
...
Photographer
...
Edit

Storyline

This is a pantomime about two construction workers, who discover that a plank is missing from the floor they are just building. They discover that two children have taken the plank and use it for a seesaw. Instead of taking it back, they decide to go and buy a new one. However, this may not have been a very good idea, for all the troubles and problems they encounter, just by buying a plank, are countless. Written by Anders E Lundin

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

remake | See All (1) »

Genres:

Comedy | Short

Edit

Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

17 December 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Deska  »

Company Credits

Production Co:

 »
Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

This film, like Eric Sykes's other film Rhubarb (1969), includes practically no dialogue because of his worsening deafness. See more »

Connections

Featured in 40 Years of Laughter: The Sitcoms (1995) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

 
I just don't get it, I'm afraid
1 March 2000 | by (paris, france) – See all my reviews

The main appeal of this short is probably the cameos from a certain strata of 60s and 70s British comedy that support leads Eric Sykes and Arthur Lowe

  • Lionel Blair, Harry H. Corbett, Bernard Cribbins, Frankie Howerd, Reg


Varney, Joanna Lumley, the guy from GEORGE AND MILDRED etc. Unfortunately, (with the exception of the great Charles Hawtrey) this is the comedy against which I've always defined my own loves - e.g. MONTY PYTHON'S FLYING CIRCUS, REGINALD PERRIN, WHATEVER HAPPENED TO THE LIKELY LADS, FAWLTY TOWERS etc. - so there isn't much enjoyment for me here. But it's rare that popular TV stars experiment with the riches of short silent comedy, so I gave it a go.

The first barrier to pleasure is not the profusion of performers I have never found funny, but the aggressive laughter track stuck on, telling me how truly hilarious what I'm watching is, when it clearly, bewilderingly, isn't. The gags are so obvious, and are set up so far in advance, and are executed as precisely as you expected, that not only can you not understand why everybody's enjoying themselves; but you get the feeling that you are not watching a comedy, but a lecture in the mechanics of comedy theorems.

The plot concerns two builders, Sykes and Lowe, who are laying the wood foundations of a new house, only to find one plank stolen by children to make a see-saw. They head off to the plankyard (or whatever it's called) in their clapped out old car, and the rest of the film details their chaotic, socially disruptive, attempts to bring it back to the house.

There is some abstract pleasure in seeing a plot dominated not by bewildered comics, but a piece of wood, which probably dramatises some Marxist gubbins about the commodity fetish and the alienation of the worker from his labour. There is an intriguing contrast between the very British cast and their brand of saucy seaside humour, and the very abstract Anywhere-ville that frames their adventures, a new housing estate under construction and some generalsised suburbs.

This, and the pleasing, bouncy music, give the film a HULOT-esque feel, but there is none of Tati's complex struggle between individual and environment (or hilarity). This rush of new building and the profusion of labourers give some sense of 70s Britain, its anonymity and dehumanisation, while the ultimate circularity of the plot calls into question the very progress (eg economic) that allows the film's content.

While the leads are sympathetic in their passivity, the jokes and slapstick are so old, corny and uninventive, stolen from hundreds of better 20s comedies. Men get splattered by paint, hit by the plank, are run into a pond etc. The one genuinely funny sequence is when the great Wilfred Hyde-White tries to cross a busy road and his walking-stick is broken.


7 of 73 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Discuss The Plank (1979) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?