6.5/10
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If There Weren't Any Blacks You'd Have to Invent Them (1974)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Ken Wynne ...
Geoffrey Bayldon ...
John Nightingale ...
Lewis Fiander ...
Donald Gee ...
James Grout ...
Michael Bryant ...
Karen Boyes ...
Pam Scotcher ...
Mary Henry ...
John Welsh ...
...
Nurse
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3 March 1974 (UK)  »

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1.33 : 1
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Being different is alright I suppose, but I don't think it works
1 July 2010 | by (Denmark) – See all my reviews

This and the earlier broad-casted version both came on the same bare-bones DVD. They are overall about the same, but there are some differences. Other than the obvious one of this being in color, the music in this is pretty silly, and, like a bit of the acting(particularly that constantly chuckling doctor), over the top. It also details things that weren't as clear, and goes into one or two new aspects, and this one is meant to be laugh-out-loud funny to a greater extent than the original. A couple of things fall flat or are excessively goofy, but it does genuinely work most of the time. There is black comedy in this. They are both allegorical plays, not meant to be taken literally, set entirely at a cemetery. The editing and cinematography are minimalistic, simple and subtle, and we get long takes(including one which is the effective juxtaposition of a physical and a confession), with the writing, dialog and performances being the driving forces, just as if it was on the stage. There is a little talking to the camera. This satire discusses racism(note that there is terminology and references used that are offensive), religion, gender and the problems that arise from the differences. Speight, the man behind this is known for controversy and commentary(best known for the character of Alf Garnett), and his talent shines through here. As the back of the cover puts it, this poses the question: Is the desire for segregation an inherent human trait? Keep your eyes very open for Bob Hoskins and especially Vicki Michelle(from 'Allo 'Allo). On that note, this is a tad lewd. This has a running time of 55 minutes with credits. I recommend this to anyone mature enough to appreciate it, and it ought to work for educational purposes, as it challenges and entertains without talking down to anyone. 9/10


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