Reviews written by registered user
richardclarke13

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15 reviews in total 
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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
MAGNIFICENT! The comedy classic of the seventies!, 17 February 2007
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Make no mistake Rising Damp is the best t.v comedy of the 70's and of all-time! The programme revolves around the most lecherous, cantankerous, nasty, racist, rude mannered person you are ever likely to see on British television. Yet despite all this it's hard not to feel sorry for landlord Rupert Rigsby (played to perfection by the late Leonard Rossiter) as you certainly get the feeling that he is a victim a circumstance and this leads to his sometimes tactless approach to life.

Rigsby was very much in love with Miss Jones (one of his tenants) and this led to some of the show's most hilarious scenes with him trying and failing miserably to get her attention romantically. Thankfully the scriptwriters didn't go the same way that most most forthcoming American t.v shows would go with the two leads eventually getting together after many mishaps (Moonlighting, 6 Million dollar man and Lois and Clark to name but few) as this would have done to rising damp what it did to them (effectively killed them off).

Another key part of the programme was the relationship between Phillip (Don Warrington playing a fellow tenant at rigsby's flat) and rigsby. Phillip used to flirt like mad with Miss Jones (mainly to annoy Rigsby) and miss Jones adored Phillip whilst Rigsby was always left being sidelined but still defiant and trying everything in his power to come between them. Also living in rigsby's place of residence Was Alan (played superbly by the late Richard Beckinsale who died far too young) who was a student with many opposing views to rigsby's. This led to many great comedic arguments (mainly about the permissive society) between them and created some of the programme's greatest moments (and there were many). A semi-regular character was next door neighbour Spooner an ex-army boxer who also from time to time would but rigsby in his place. All in all this is a fantastic ensemble comedy with marvellous spot on performances from the main leads and is a comedy that should be treasured for years to come.

3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Yootha stole every scene she was in, 16 February 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

George and Mildred (the 1st and best spin-off off man about the house) was the story of the ropers (the landlord's from man about the house) and their move to a much posher area. Next door live the fourmile's Ann, Geoffery and their irritating little boy Tristram. The fourmile's are a very posh family (especially the rather pompous Geoffery) and are usually one the receiving end of one of Georges scams.

George and Mildred was produced at a time when the class structure in the U.K was very much still in existence and enjoyed poking fun at the middle class style 'tory twits' as George would say that were in existence at the time. The main battle was always between Geoffrey and George and always ended up with a minor victory for George.

That though was the series strong point. The acting was nothing short of superb and the programme spawned a further M.A.T.H spin-off the rather dire robin's nest which examined what had happened to robin Tripp but the sad news was that Yootha Joyce Died on August 26th 1980 from liver failure before filming a sixth series. Her character was easily the strongest in the show and the way she always had the upper hand on George was hilarious. Recent repeats on digital show that the comedy hasn't dated and is still as fresh as ever. All 5 series are available on the network DVD label.

2 out of 4 people found the following review useful:
A personal favourite comedy., 16 February 2007
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Man about the house is a true situation comedy in every sense of the word. The comedy concerns a character called Robin Tripp (played by the great Richard O' Sullivan) who finds himself after a wild party, ending up at the home of two ladies called Jo and Chrissy. Ironically the party was held to say goodbye to their old flatmate. The obvious ends up happening as he moves in.

Man about the house was a pre-cursor to Cooke and Mortimer's spin off show George and Mildred which featured the 2 characters who were landlords to Jo, Chrissy and Robin. These two characters would actually turn out to be the linchpins of man about the house with Mildred (the late and much missed Yootha Joyce) in particular getting some of the best lines of the series. A semi-regular character was Larry (Doug Fisher) a useless person who was always on the scrounge and only ever came round when he wanted to borrow something (and never to return it).

The American's did a version called three's company but it doesn't stand a chance when compared to this far funnier original. Thames took a risk in producing a comedy about a man sharing a flat with 2 women at a very conservative time but they should worry as the ratings at the time suggest that around 20 million people just wanted to watch a good old fashioned bit of comedy with inspired casting and a sharp script. What a pity modern comedy can't reach that high standard.

This programme is available on network DVD

13 out of 15 people found the following review useful:
A television classic! The best television soap ever, 16 February 2007
10/10

I was four years old when i first viewed Coronation Street (the episode being Stan and Hilda's second honeymoon in 1977) and immediately (even at such a young age) I hoped that this show would run forever (and by the looks of it, it will!). Im 33 now and during the past nearly 3 decades I have witnessed many changes to the soap. characters have gone (Annie Walker, Elsie Tanner and Hilda and Stan Ogden to name but few) but despite many more adult story lines one key thing remains the same and thats that essentially this is a programme about a huge nucleus of people living in the same community dealing with their own problems and being there for each other (a good example of this is the relationship between the Barlow's and Emily Bishop who is always there for them).

Sure it shows the negative side of life as there have been many baddies walk the weatherfield cobbles (Alan Bradley, Charlie Stubbs and of course Richard Hillman amongst others) but mixed with that is plenty of humour like when Jack (Vera's husband) tried dating several years ago only for Vera's to find out of bet lynch and use her handbag to clobber him out of the rovers return.

The rovers return is the focal point of the programme. Everybody meets here and it is here that some of Corrie's finest acting moments have took place. There have been many fights in the rovers but the best ones have to be the fights between Ken Barlow and Mike Baldwin. Mike had an affair with Ken's wife Deidrie in 1983 and right up to Mikes death last year Ken never really forgave him. Story lines like this are what keeps Corrie firmly stuck in reality and may it be part of our reality for many years to come. God bless Corrie.

"Tiswas" (1974)
3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Absolutely utterly the greatest show on earth ever!, 31 January 2006

And it was too! With classic features such as flan your folks, compost corner, the dying fly "there's people lying on their backs kicking their arms and feet in the air!", Matthew butlers legendary rendition of bright eyes, the bucket of water song and a fabulous theme tune Saturday certainly was tiswas day.

Presented in a very loose style by Chris Tarrant, Sally James, Lenny Henry, Bob Carolgees (with spit the dog and the largely hated cough the cat), John Gorman and many more the show largely consisted of utter chaos and stupidity (which was the shows strength) bought to you in a well organised chaos sort of way. Characters such as Trevor McDoughnut, Clive 'the wizard' Webb and many others were present to give the show its mad edge. The shows main strength is that nobody seemed to know what was happening and nobody seemed to care as long as they were having fun.

A classic moment came in about 1980 when Sally James doing one of her tricks decided to do the walk through a postcard trick. Chris Tarrant who was sat next to her went into a hilarious tirade starting with "A POSTCARD! Its a postcard everybody! Its a trick with a postcard in YEAAAHHH!" and ending with him having run an entire lap of the studio (even the broadcasting galleries) Before exclaiming "no wonder Noel Edmonds is out of work!" before sally completed her trick. This and many other things are what makes tiswas my no1 programme of all time and its probably made me the person I am today (Oh god!).

According to a recent t.v programme there were 372 tiswas episodes made but only 12! still exist in the Atv/Central archive. Criminal!

THIS IS WHAT THEY WANT! Tiswas the best of is now available on network video!

Weblink: www.tiswasonline.com is actually partly run by Matthew lewis (a.k.a butler) and is very good.

4 out of 7 people found the following review useful:
A true masterpiece and an excellent swansong for sergio, 29 January 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It is very rare that I see a film that me and my parants both have the same opinion on but once upon a time in America is one of those rare times. The story is a true study of betrayal, greed, corruption and violence in all its ugly forms yet its message is simple NEVER BETRAY YOUR FRIENDS AS YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN THEY'LL COME AND GET YOU! The acting is magnificent with the central character noodles played by both Robert De Niro and Scott Tiler (playing him during childhood) being every inch the despicable little swine but yet still creating a character that rather strangely you can warm too. The film features a stellar cast including Eliabeth McGovern, Joe Pesci, James woods and tuesday weld in a tale that twists and turns but all the way though makes perfect sense. The people in this film are nasty pieces of work and you can understand why noodles does what he does but you can also understand why people dislike him (largely because he is after them all). There are not one but 2 scenes of rape in the film (1 on Weld and the other McGovern) and these just go to show the utter vileness of the characters (there's also a memorable scene in a garage).

What Sergio Leone managed to do in this his final film is to create a society where the gangster rules (as in deed was very much the case in America during that time period) but he also puts you there in the thick of it with them and makes you hope for the happy ending which you inevitably don't get. A true masterpiece.

RoboCop (1987)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A tough and brutal film with a hard message, 29 January 2006
10/10

I remember being about 15 and going to my local store and getting this film for the first time from a store that was known for giving films of a certain certificate to under age people (let's face it most of them did) and my 1st thought being what a fantastic film.

Its only since i've got older that I have realised the message in the film is quite a bleak one. It is saying that if we continue in the direction we are taking as a world we will end up with lawless societies and basically global Armageddon. The story is directed by Paul Verhoeven (who else for such a task) and told in a dark and uncompromising fashion with excellent performances from Peter Weller and Nancy Allen (until then mainly known for being the chief bitch in Carrie) but all involved play their parts extremely well.

The directors cut is the definitive version of this film as it adds more depth to the story and explains it better. It really is a classic of its genre and many films have tried to copy it but none can compare. Fantastic.

1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
An excellent family movie. Spielberg triumphs again!, 29 January 2006
10/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember as a little 8 year old boy sitting down at my sisters and watching a dodgy pirate video of a well advertised film called E.T. The picture was jumping all over the place and hard to watch like most most pirated videos but through all that even as a little boy I could see how magical this film was.

Its essentially a film that appeals to the child in all of us and is about someone who is reaching out to be loved and cared for though despite being classed as different in a world that from time to time treats people with disdain just for being different. The story concerns a young boy named Elliot and his family who's live's are transformed when an alien being enters their lives having crash landed on earth. The story is then essentially about the aliens attempts to return home and this results in one of the saddest endings in cinema history (if you haven't seen it yet you'll need Kleenex) but E.T preaches nothing to no-one except to say that people (or in this case aliens!) should never be treated with disgust just because they are different. It is one of the best films I will ever see in my lifetime and though Henry Thomas's career has curtailed since it not only introduced us to Drew Barrymore but it also helped the careers of many of its stars and on the 20th anniversary DVD there is a great documentary that backs this up. All in all excellent.

Jaws (1975)
1 out of 2 people found the following review useful:
A true classic, 29 January 2006
8/10

Jaws is a modern masterpiece from a a legendary director and producer. The story moves at a fast pace as (as was unusual at a time when most horror films had a lot drawn lead up to the 1st killing) the 1st death is within the 1st 5 minutes. The acting especially from Schneider and shaw is tremendous and for his 1st film Spielberg really pulled out all the stops.

The film relies heavily on the build up of suspense and does this perfectly and will entertain legions of people for years to come. A highly recommended and enjoyable piece of film-making (bar the plastic shark!)

Titanic (1997)
3 out of 6 people found the following review useful:
A film that never fails to tell a difficult story in an interesting and tragic way, 29 January 2006
10/10

The critics had the knives out for James Cameron's masterpiece long before its release. They were going to criticise its for being too long, too boring, badly acted, Badly directed etc. But when Cameron released this film (about a subject that has been a lifelong fascination of mine and his) the critics were silenced and the film did all the talking.

And boy did it talk! It become the first film in history to make 1 billion dollars and no other film has quite caught the publics imagination like it. It tells a simple story set against the backdrop of the biggest maritime disaster yet. Rose Dewitt Bukater (kate winslet) is unhappily boarding the titanic with her overtly snobby partner Cal (Billy Zane) and her family and while attempting suicide meets Jack Dawson (Leonardo DiCaprio) and straightaway falls in love with him as though he is from a different class he shows her a different more enjoyable life than the one she is having with Cal.

Titanic shows you triumph over disaster in all its shapes and forms. Titanic is also a story about the great class divide which used to exist (some people say it still does) and though you know the outcome watching this film for the 1st time or the hundredth time doesn't fail to intrigue. Although factually incorrect in parts (especially in the case of officer William Murdoch who despite his portrayal in the film as a bad guy who shot himself actually was a good guy who went down with the ship) this is the most true adaptation of this story. It won 11 Oscars in 1998 (equalling the haul of all about eve and Ben hur!) including the biggie, best picture and has won universal praise from cinema-goers but not so from some of those critics who have largely lambasted it (showing once and for all that there is a world of difference between critic and cinema goer) the acting (particularly from DiCaprio, Winslet and Zane) is exemplary and earns titanic the film as much a place in history as the event itself. A modern masterpiece.


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