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The Music Box (1932)
He doesn't want me,he wants the other monkey...YOU!!
Rarely, if ever,has any comedy film, or duo come within a country mile of Stan and Ollie in pure fun,genius and slapstick.
We all know the story, getting the piano "up thurr, right on top of the stoop."
Inventive without being repetitive or gimmicky.
What puts the boys above all other comedy duos,or teams, is the fact that WE CARE about them and feel for them in their time of need.Ollie's look to camera as he sits in the pond,or surrounded by chaos draws us in to share his suffering.
Add a supporting cast such as Billy Gilbert and Charlie Hall and the result is heaven!!
An earlier, silent version of this film, using a washing machine instead of piano, was made by the boys but is unfortunately a "Lost Film."
Sit back and prepare to laugh 'til your sides ache!!
In Loving Memory (1969)
In Loving Memory
This is a classic British comedy. It's about an undertakers business run by Auntie Ivy ( Thora Hird ) and her nephew, Billy Unsworth ( Christopher Beeny).
The pilot episode featured Freddie Jones as Jeremiah Unsworth ( Ivy's husband). He died in that episode and Ivy took over when the series proper began. The early series were excellent but the later ones became weaker particularly after Billy got married. The location filming practically disappeared at this point and was studio bound, which caused the series to lose a lot of its appeal and charm.
It was filmed in the village of Luddenden near Halifax in West Yorkshire.
Bringing The House Down!
Another of the boys films that takes an everyday situation and escalates it to destruction on a grand scale.
Here Ollie has been having a wild party in his wife's absence. Now she is returning early and so, with the help of "the other monkey", Stan, he must tidy up. A simple task? Well not quite, as one mishap after another reduces the house to rubble, and Ollie has to wear an admirals uniform, it being the only-items left in his wardrobe.
Although having many slapstick and physical moments, Helpmates also has more than it's fair share of wordplay.
Perhaps the best is a little argument in which Stan loses his cool; Stan; " If I had any sense i'd walk out on you!" Ollie: "Well it's a good job you haven't any sense then isn't it" Stan;"It certainly is!"
As the action continues we get numerous shots of Stan trying to work out who had the last word!
Yet another winner from this two horse stable!!
The Seven-Ups (1973)
Bite the Bullitt, this overtakes effortlessly!
This film is a classic seventies cop flick that for some reason has been sadly overlooked. It is basically French Connection meets Bullit.
Roy Scheider plays the head of an elite group of detectives, known as the "Seven Ups"
One of their men is discovered during an undercover op and is killed.
Scheider and his team must find his killers. They become involved in a battle with the mob.
The highlight of the film has to be the car chase, obviously included to cash in on the success of Bullit. However, this car chase outshines Bullitt due to its length, speed and sheer excitement.It's a breathtaking roller-coaster ride that ends rather unexpectedly and spectacularly. Don't miss this little gem !!
The Godfather (1972)
This must rank as the best film (along with part 2)of all time.An ensemble performance that has no weak spot.
Particularly, John Cazale ( Fredo) and Richard Castellano ( Clemenza) give wonderfully understated performances. You just have to believe that Castellano WAS Clemenza, he brings a real touch to his role.
John Cazale brings the troubled Fredo to life, and you can see the weak Fredo desperately trying to live up to the family reputation but knowing that he can never be what his father wants.
The story of one man's reluctance to be drawn into the murky family business,and his gradual change through circumstance, paints a vivid picture of this violent period of US history.
Do not miss this film!
Battle of the V-1 (1958)
Boys own Adventure
This is a simple, boys own adventure that is hard to believe.
Two resistance men are deliberately captured and sent to a labour camp so that they can spy on the scientific experiments.
They stand out from the rest of the inmates like two sore thumbs, always wearing their suits even when "breaking rocks!"
They use clumsy methods of communicating with the resistance and by some miracle the German guards don't suspect a thing.
The V1 rocket is being made and tested at this camp and our two spays successfully send information back to base resulting in the works being bombed out of existence.
This film is of interest only for two things.
Firstly, Christopher Lee appears as the Camp Commandant.
Secondly, and perhaps most interesting, It features an uncredited early appearance of Rod Steiger as a bespectacled German officer.
A Touch of the Sun (1956)
A surprisingly low key (for him!) performance from Frankie Howerd as a hotel concierge. He longs for the quiet life on the French Riviera and when he inherits some money off he goes.
However, despite his best efforts, he can't get any rest and decides to go back to the hotel. He then has to save the hotel from closing by persuading three "ey up, reet grand" northern businessmen to invest in the hotel. Of course he succeeds and gets the girl.
A cheerful British comedy helped along with able support from, Denis Price, Gordon Harker, Richard Wattis, Alfie Bas and Colin Gordon. Just enough laughs to cheer you up on a wet weekend!
Murder at 3am (1953)
Neat Murder mystery
This thriller has Dennis Price, unusually, playing the part of a detective. He is in charge of a case of a serial killer attacking women in the early hours of the morning, as they leave various nightclubs.
Dennis Price plays Inspector Lawson who enlists the help of his best friend to help unravel the case.
His friend, Edward King, played by Phillip Saville, comes up with a theory that the murderer is using the initials from various nightclubs to spell out the name of his next club.
After following numerous red herrings, including suspecting the inspectors closest friend, the murderer turns out to be his friends long lost twin brother!
A cheap and cheerful quickie spoilt by the overuse of organ music that belongs to the silent era.
Booby Trap (1957)
This pen will self destruct ,ding dong!
A novel idea of an exploding pen is the flimsy premise of this film. An absent minded professor invents a pen that will detonate when it hears the sound of bells. He leaves the pen in a taxi which is found by Hary Fowler. Harry plays the "go-for" to dodgy nightclub dealer Mr Hunter, played by Sydney Tafler. Tafler, would you believe, sells drugs which are hidden inside pens!
The professor, with help from Harry Fowler, alert the police to Sydney Tafler's drug dealing. Tafler escapes with the pen, and whilst driving away he switches on the car radio. When the news comes on the chimes of big Ben set off the pen, blowing up the car and taking Mr Hunter with it.
A likable film mainly due to the comic cockney barrow boy, 'aving a larf Harry Fowler!
The Master of Bankdam (1947)
Trouble at t'mill
The life and times of a Yorkshire mill owner and his family.
Tom Walls plays Simeon Crowther who owns Bankdam Mill.
His two sons, Joshua, played by Dennis Price, and Zebediah, played by Stephen Murray, clash over the running of the mill. Zebediah's reckless attitude causes the death of his brother in an accident at the mill. Joshua's son, played by Jimmy Hanley, sets out to prove his father was killed by his Uncle Zebediah.
As you would expect, he triumphs and gets to run the mill his way.
A potboiler of a story with a lot of mutton chop whiskers and thee and thy dialogue. Likable all the same. Look out for a young Nicholas Parsons in a minor role.