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The Cricklewood Greats (2012)

TV Movie  -   -  Comedy  -  5 February 2012 (UK)
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 64 users  
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The presenter recalls his boyhood heroes from the Cricklewood film studios,assisted by Tim Dempsey,founder of the Cricklewood Appreciation Society. The studio was established by failed ... See full summary »

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Cast

Complete credited cast:
...
Himself - presenter / Leslie Grangely
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
Jenny Driscoll
...
Joe Hazelhurst
Cavan Clerkin ...
Alec Griffin
Hazel Douglas ...
Agnes Sand
...
Lionel Crisp
...
Himself
...
'Vince'
...
Paulo DeMarco
...
Tim Dempsey - Collector
...
Florrie Fontaine
...
Tommy
Philip Pope ...
Policeman
George Potts ...
Arthur Simm
Georgina Strawson ...
Continuity Announcer
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Storyline

The presenter recalls his boyhood heroes from the Cricklewood film studios,assisted by Tim Dempsey,founder of the Cricklewood Appreciation Society. The studio was established by failed magician Arthur Sims,creator of silent comedy legend Harold the Hobo - alias the Little Drunk - before succumbing to a fatal gag involving a steam roller. In the 1930s chirpy Northern lass Florrie Fontaine became the country's highest paid home grown performer,starring in 'Clog Capers of 1932' and 'Florrie Drives a Lorry',as well as featuring in her own comic strip. In World War II she was the forces' sweetheart,the German forces,leading to a decline in popularity and exile to Benidorm to run a bier-keller.Post war Acton Films'series of horror movies with former Shakespearean lead Lionel Crisp revived studio fortunes whilst the 60s saw perky Cockney lass Jenny Driscoll decorate the cheeky 'Thumbs Up' series of farces (Thumbs Up,Marie Antoinette,Thumbs Up,Uranus) until scandal ended her career.Final ... Written by don @ minifie-1

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Comedy

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5 February 2012 (UK)  »

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Featured in The Wright Stuff: Episode #17.25 (2012) See more »

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User Reviews

Good-natured, gentle comedy to leave you smiling.
17 February 2012 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

This nice, relaxed comedy is one of those you're glad you watched. It does nothing new, doesn't try to shock, has no swearing, and relies on funny characters doing silly things; I loved it for it's simplicity.

It's a mockumentary very much in the style of Garth Marenghi: Peter Capaldi plays himself, as he investigates the history of the fictional "Cricklewood Studios", the kind of studio that makes those stuffy films you watch on late Sunday afternoons, Ealing Comedies and Hammer Horror films. We see footage from some of the films they made, interviews with some of the people involved in making them, and in one surprising moment, Terry Gilliam rears his head, in a sort of send-up of himself.

Like all good mockumentaries, it draws the line very thin indeed between reality and fiction: like Spinal Tap and Garth Marenghi were only slightly exaggerrated versions of what they were spoofing, so too is this, and I have heard several tales of people who actually went to look up the studios, to no avail. It gets this element spot on indeed, and in fact there are a couple of films on here that actually look a bit appealing (the Fly spoof "the Worm" comes to mind).

Peter Capaldi leads it on with grace and charm, and Alex Macqueen as the tour guide through the various artifacts and props from the time is a joy.

This is a fantastically whimsical spoof that doesn't break any new mould but does make you feel slightly happy. The perfect antidote to these sweary, sexy Hollywood comedies that are getting churned out by the dozen these days. A lovely reminder that there is still intelligence and good nature working in comedy today. It might not make you laugh out loud at every opportunity, but it will make you feel all happy and nostalgic on the inside.


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