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The Boys in Blue
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Reviews & Ratings for
The Boys in Blue More at IMDbPro »

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15 out of 21 people found the following review useful:

Well I liked it

10/10
Author: james hogg (hoggers@hoggers.fsnet.co.uk) from Leeds, England
21 April 2002

I remember going to see this as a kid and at the time (i was 11) I loved it. Having seen it again recently I'm sorry to say that I again loved it. I know it's a bad film but there's something about it (or that period) that fills me with nostalgia and I suppose makes me smile. Ask a Policeman is of course a classic and far superior, however I'm afraid i like them both.....sorry

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17 out of 25 people found the following review useful:

This is underrated!!

10/10
Author: kevinmcelligott from Manchester, england
12 March 2002

I'm sorry but I have to say that this film fills me with so much joy! 20 years ago i watched this film as an innocent, now, whenever this cynical and weary mind needs to remember how good life is, i watch the boys in blue and all is well with the world. Its funny, its slapstick, its cannon and ball! God bless you Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball. I, for one, salute you

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16 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

The Worst Film Ever Made

1/10
Author: MetalMiike from England
18 December 2004

The utter, utter stupidity of this film is legendary. It is in fact known in the UK (to the tiny, tiny, number of people that have ever seen or even remember it) as the worst British film ever. The cast is tiny, Cannon and Ball, God forgive them (no really, they may well go to hell for this) don't even look ashamed! And when I tell you that a major plot device involves... SPOILER WARNING... a van disguised as a flying saucer THAT ACTUALLY FOOLS PEOPLE, you will know the level this film is pitching to. The only thing about the original was Will Hay, and he is very funny. The only thing about this is that someone lost about 75p making it. Hell, that's what? $1.50?

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

The Worst Film Ever Made?

1/10
Author: stashyjon from United Kingdom
16 July 2006

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I can recall the day well. It was the summer of '82. Maggie Thatcher was running rampage through both British Industry and the South Atlantic. The dole queue had just topped 4 million and Arthur Scargill had just declared class war on the monetarists. I was young, reckless and madly in love. Her name was Elizabeth, daughter of a methodist preacher and for our second date we decided to go to the movies.

There wasn't much on at the local flea pit that interested us, but she suggested we go and check out this film. After all, she said, it might be worth a laugh. Now I had my reservations. I didn't find Tommy and Bobby's TV offerings all that entertaining at the best of times (the term puerile springs to mind), but she was insistent, so we paid our money and entered the cinema.

I am still in therapy for what followed. There on the screen was a turgid rehash of every Will Hay film I have ever watched with a large number of Norman Wisdom 'gags' thrown in for good measure. Although I use the term Gags in the loosest possible terms. Will Hay and Norman Wisdom are funny, Cannon and Ball are not. From the wince-some traffic chaos at the start to the contrived slapstick car chase at the end we sat in awkward and embarrassed silence as Tommy and Bobby hammed their way through 50 year old jokes with complete disregard for timing or humour.

I would like to think it was just me having a sense of humour failure, but the cinema was half full at the start, nearly empty at the end and completely devoid of laughter throughout. We left the cinema feeling totally cheated and asked for our money back... and got it thanks to a a very sympathetic and embarrassed deputy manager.

In short, this is the worst film I have ever had the misfortune of watching and would rather eat my own genitalia rather than have to watch it again.

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9 out of 14 people found the following review useful:

those who give it 10 out of 10 - Dear God, please take them away!

1/10
Author: Scotthannaford1 from United Kingdom
28 April 2006

"Ask a Policeman" was Will Hay's third best movie, full of wit and charm with three excellent lead actors. This remake is dreadful and it is a huge shame that it was directed by Val Guest, considering he role in making Hay such a star.

Cannon and Ball - dear God, no! Just get "Ask a Policeman", or better still get "Oh, Mr Porter", "Bones of the River" and "Convict 99" and see how Val Guest and Will Hay combine to make masterpieces of British cinema.

Pass this by - it is dreadful. Please, keep walking...no go on...nothing to see here...

I am disgusted that anyone could give this a 10. I was going to score it 3 simply out of respect to Val Guest, but the fact that people are scoring it 10 - rating it as highly as Citizen Kane, The Godfather Part 2, Shawshank Redemption, African Queen etc is ridiculous. The acting from C&B is atrocious. The script is ludicrous - even the verbatim lines taken from Will Hay's classic seem ludicrous when C&B utter them, and it looks awful. I have to give it 1 to cancel out undeserved 10s.

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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Rock on Tommy!!

5/10
Author: Red-Barracuda from Edinburgh, Scotland, UK
13 December 2014

I first saw The Boys in Blue at the cinema when I was a youngster. Even at that age I wasn't a fan of the comedy duo Tommy Cannon and Bobby Ball, who I found quite clearly unfunny. But my friend was a big fan so I went along to the cinema with him and his granny, with little enthusiasm. But lo and behold, I remember finding it absolutely hilarious, my friend's granny declaring that she was also surprised and that this was definitely the best thing Cannon and Ball had ever did. So I always had a bit of fondness for this film and eventually saw it for the second time a few years ago, unfortunately that time finding it to be one of the worst films I had ever seen; I was staggered and disappointed in my ten year old self for having ever found it such a chuckle-fest. Anyway, recently I saw it once more and feel I can be a little more measured and say that the truth lies somewhere in between. It's a lightly amusing bit of nonsense that really isn't all that bad at all.

In it Cannon and Ball star as two policemen from a small crime-free town. They fabricate a crime in order to safe-guard their jobs but immediately find themselves in the midst of a scheme involving real thieves. The whole point of the film is to give the duo free reign to display their usual comedy thing. In the early 80's these guys were big TV stars you have to remember but the transition to the big screen never really happened for them and I don't think this film did particularly well. It's pretty broad humour to say the least so don't look for subtlety here. But really it's okay in a Tuesday afternoon kind of way. My friend's granny was right; this is the best thing Cannon and Ball ever did.

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10 out of 17 people found the following review useful:

Embarassingly awful

1/10
Author: Tim O'Callaghan from Norwich, England
15 November 2001

This is a truly dreadful film, and must surely constitute great veteran film-maker Val Guest's darkest hour. Terrible predictable dialogue, inept clowning, utterly unfunny. Unfortunately comedy can never be so bad it transcends awfulness (unlike films not intended to be funny, most famously 'Plan 9 from Outer Space'), they either work or they don't. This one was moribund from the start. Even the great duo of Morecambe & Wise never had much success with this type of film project, so imagine the hash the distinctly third rate Cannon and Ball make of things. Unfortunately even the presence of the usually reliable Roy Kinnear can not save this.

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2 out of 2 people found the following review useful:

Watch this? You must be piggin' mental, Tommeh!

2/10
Author: BobbyUK from United Kingdom
6 April 2014

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Sgt Tommy Cannon and PC Bobby Ball are a two-man law enforcement operation working in Little Botham (pronounced 'bottom'). They are successful not because they are good at their job but merely because little to no crime occurs in their sleepy little village. As a result, Ball moonlights (or daylights in this case) as a shop owner while 'romancing' village cook Kim (Suzanne Danielle).

Since Little Botham police station is surplus to requirements and will be merged with other stations in the vicinity under the exasperated supervision of the chief constable (Eric Sykes) Cannon and Ball's jobs as policemen are on the line. After ruining the chief constable's car at the start of the film, Cannon and Ball devise a way to keep themselves employed by looking for crime to justify their pay-packet. They call on new resident Hilling (Edward Judd) and Lloyd the businessman (Roy Kinnear who had the best lines in the film) for inspiration and devise a framing operation involving theft of Lloyd's artwork but find themselves engaged in a real crime involving art smuggling and a UFO...

The film, as previously mentioned by others, was loosely based on 'Ask a policeman' featuring Will Hay and Graham Moffatt. There are similarities to the original but Cannon looked too sophisticated to rival Hay's blustering Samuel Dudfoot and Bobby Ball didn't have the boyhood charm of Albert Brown. The original film had a headless horseman sub-plot and The Boys in Blue used the same plot device but instead opted for a UFO (probably to keep the budget down as the flickering lights from the UFO seemed to reveal a police car underneath if you look carefully). However, The Boys in Blue referred more to the Headless Horseman, including the rhyme from the original film, than the UFO making the whole thing redundant if not absolutely confusing.

The problem with Cannon and Ball's roles as policemen was they didn't really fit their temperaments. I know the double act were trying to show how inept they were in their roles of authority but out of all the characters in the film (including the smugglers) it is Cannon and Ball who come across as the most aggressive, shouting and pulling each other about and Ball threatening to strangle a farmer. He was close to headbutting Cannon twice in one scene! They probably would have been better cast as the smugglers rather than the coppers.

There were various veterans of the day in bit-parts but you probably wouldn't notice them for different reasons. Jack Douglas was superintendent but played his role straight rather than use his Alf Ippititimus persona like he did in the Carry on films. Dr Who veteran and Worzel Gummidge star Jon Pertwee had a small but amiable part as a polite rascal coastguard who puts his lamp on the police station roof. Billy Burden and Arthur English have very small acting roles as sheep and pig farmers. You would barely recognise Arthur English and this leads me into my first issue with the film...

A major problem was the lack of lighting (Arthur English's role occurred in complete darkness and only knew it was him because I recognised his voice). Most of the film was set either in the dimly lit police station or in darkness and I found it unintentionally funny that you could barely see what was going on yet heard this blaring Magnum P.I type action music in the background.

The ending featured a chase between Cannon and Ball and the smugglers which was fairly identical to the original apart from the introduction of passengers that leapt on to the bus during the chase. I was quite surprised they survived as the bus collided with the smugglers car head on before the hapless duo walked off into the sunset.

The soundtrack 'The Boys in Blue' was quite catchy and those lyrics were so profound...Heh heh, a bit of sarcasm on the last bit...

"We're the boys in blue...Woo-woo-woo-woo...We're the boys in blue...Woo-woo-woo woooo..."

The film is an awful mess though despite the very low mark it is watchable in the right mood and typical of what Cannon and Ball provided for people on Saturday nights on their ITV show. I suppose the question ought to be asked why it was made in the first place unless it was just a vehicle to raise Cannon and Ball's profile (which it failed to do).

I place the film The Boys in Blue under arrest for gross incompetence. ;-)

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4 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Is this the worst British film ever

1/10
Author: malcolmgsw from london
29 October 2012

this is a remake of a great will hay comedy "Ask A Policeman".However when they wrote the script for this heap of rubbish they must have edited the humour out.Everything is simply dire.Cannon and Ball simply cannot act their way out of a paper bag.The story is feeble and fine actors such as Roy Kinnear and Eric Sykes are totally wasted.The photography is similar to what you would expect on a TV sitcom and what on earth Val Guest was doing directing this film is beyond my ken.Was he that desperate to make a film that he signed on to this.that the rank Organisation were prepared to distribute it says a lot about their ambition at the time.Little surprise that their distribution arm closed within a short time.Everyone associated with this should be ashamed of themselves.

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12 out of 22 people found the following review useful:

A load of old Cannon and Balls

Author: hugh1971 from London
20 December 2001

Utter tripe - a pointless remake of Will Hay's superb 'Ask A Policeman' starring the unfunny and charmless Cannon and Ball - a straight man and a 'comedian' whose one joke consists of snapping his braces. Don't bother.

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