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Bachelor of Arts (1971)

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An artist from the Continent arrives in England and runs into a variety of somewhat quirky locals, from a flirtatious policewoman to a sexy barmaid, and winds up in a nudist camp.


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Credited cast:
Michael Bentine ...
Miklos Durti
Norman Vaughan ...
Customs Officer
Melvyn Hayes ...
Mr. Jenkins
Johnny Briggs ...
Police Officer
George Moon
David Lodge ...
Customs Officer
George Woodbridge
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bob Todd ...
Police Officer


An artist from the Continent arrives in England and runs into a variety of somewhat quirky locals, from a flirtatious policewoman to a sexy barmaid, and winds up in a nudist camp.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | Short





Release Date:

27 September 1971 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


Completed and trade shown in 1969, but not released until 1971. See more »

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User Reviews

What language is he speaking?
6 December 2002 | by (Minffordd, North Wales) – See all my reviews

Michael Bentine reminds me of Zeppo Marx and Shemp Howard: like both of them, Bentine was a founding member of a vitally important comedy team (in Bentine's case, the Goons) who is nonetheless not considered to be a 'real' member of that comedy team. In the same way that Zeppo is not considered a 'real' component of the Marx Brothers, and Shemp (who actually preceded his brother Curly as one of the Three Stooges) is not considered a 'real' Stooge, Michael Bentine is traditionally footnoted as someone who spent some time hanging about with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe in the early part of their careers, rather than as a Goon in his own right.

In his post-Goon career, Bentine was frequently associated with charitable works. But he also developed a reputation for spouting bizarre opinions on paranormal phenomena and the subject of life after death. On this level, the performer whom Bentine most closely resembles is Shirley Maclaine. Maclaine's very creditable acting career has been upstaged by her ludicrous pontifications on the topic of reincarnation; in Britain, Bentine's hobby as a ghost-buster has seriously dimmed his reputation as an actor and comedian.

'Bachelor of Arts' is a slow and unfunny comedy short. The colour photography (in bright sunny countryside) is excellent, and there are good performances by comedy stalwarts Melvyn Hayes and Bob Todd ... but the film is centred on Bentine's very bad performance. Bentine plays one of those incoherent foreigners who are meant to be very funny (like Andy Kaufman's character Latka), but whom I find very annoying. (I can't understand what all the fuss is about concerning Andy Kaufman, who was probably the most overrated comedian of all time, and certainly the least funny.)

In this film, Bentine plays a roving artist who goes through Europe in a caravan, speaking some weird incomprehensible dialect. Along the way, he recites several long incoherent toasts which end in the words 'Na zdorovye!', so I guess he's meant to be a Russian ... but his character is named Miklos Durti, which isn't a Russian name. Oh, wait: 'Durti' is a pun on 'dirty'. Ha bloody ha.

The soundtrack features a bouncy little instrumental refrain which sounds vaguely Greek; I wish this music had been used in a better film. I'll rate 'Bachelor of Arts' only one point out of 10, and that's for the performances by Hayes and Todd plus Sam Martin's splendid exterior photography.

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