7.2/10
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Doing Time (1979)

Porridge (original title)
This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
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Brian Wilde ...
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Bainbridge
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
Governor
Christopher Godwin ...
Beal
...
Oakes
Daniel Peacock ...
Rudge
...
Ken Jones ...
Philip Locke ...
...
Dines (as Gordon Kaye)
Oliver Smith ...
McMillan
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Storyline

This prison comedy is based on the popular British television series of the same name. Long time Slade prison inmate Fletcher is ordered by Grouty to arrange a football match between the prisoners and an all-star celebrity team. Fletcher is unaware that the match is only a diversion so that an escape can take place. When Fletcher and his cell mate Lennie stumble on the escape, they are taken along, and find themselves having to break back into prison to avoid getting into trouble. Written by measham

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

Fletcher's inside story - even funnier as a film.

Genres:

Comedy | Crime

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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

10 August 1979 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Doing Time  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Eastmancolor) (uncredited)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The officers and prisoners played by Julian Holloway, Christopher Godwin, Barrie Rutter and Daniel Peacock were new characters created for the film. However regular character 'Lukewarm', played by Christopher Biggins, was missing. See more »

Goofs

During the football game, all shots of the game itself are in heavy overcast weather. Shots of Fletcher, the Governor and the substitute bench, however, occur with a clear blue sky behind them and the sun in their eyes. See more »

Quotes

Fletcher: Morning, Atkinson. Sleeping better are we?
Atkinson: I slept like a top 'til some stupid cretin started shouting.
See more »

Connections

References The Basil Brush Show (1970) See more »

Soundtracks

Praise, My Soul, The King of Heaven
(uncredited)
Written by John Goss and Henry F. Lyte (as Henry Francis Lyte)
Trad.
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User Reviews

 
Genius TV show translates well for fun packed movie.
4 March 2008 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Porridge is a spin off film from the successful TV series of the same name that aired on British BBC1 between 1974 and 1977. It's directed by Dick Clement who also co-writes with Ian La Frenais. It stars Ronnie Barker, Richard Beckinsale, Fulton Mackay, Brian Wilde and Peter Vaughn.

Lets face it, and lets be honest here, for many Brits who grew up with the TV show, Porridge is simply one of the greatest shows Britain has ever produced. Sharp and on the money in writing and characterisations, and boasting a cast that were always irresistible, it still manages to enthral millions today during continuous reruns on cable and satellite TV. In light of the regard and popularity the show had, it was perhaps inevitable that a film production was just a matter of time, because, well, all the great British comedies of the past had feature films made. But of course not all were particularly any good.

So it's with much relief to find that the film version of Porridge is a very decent offering. The plot sees Fletcher (Barker) involved as the manager of the prison football team, to which, unbeknown to the wily old lag, is being used as a front for an escape attempt by Oakes (Barrie Rutter), and naturally the smarmy menace of Grouty (Vaughn) is pulling the strings. Fletcher & Godber (Beckinsale) then accidentally get caught up in the escape and thus have to break back into the prison before anyone catches them! This set-up is wonderful and makes for some very funny comedy, executed with aplomb by Barker, Mackay and co. True that taking the characters out of the confines of the prison strips away much of what made the TV series so special, but the characters are so strong, the actors chemistry so evident, film stands tall enough to not sully the reputation of the show.

It's a delightful way to spend an hour and half with your feet up, as a stand alone film it entertains those not familiar with the TV show. While for us fans? It sits nicely alongside the show as an extended viewing of comic genius behind and in front of the camera. 8/10

RIP fellas, your legacy lives on always.


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