A race-car driver whose life, both personal and professional, is in a rapid downfall is invited by her ex-husband's new wife to stay at their plush estate. The two women form a bond, and ... See full summary »
Roman slave Lurcio (Frankie Howerd) inadvertently becomes the possessor of a scroll naming the proposed assassins of the Emperor Nero (Patrick Cargill). Administering to the participants of... See full summary »
Second theatrical spin-off from the popular 1970's police series. Regan and Carter head a Flying Squad investigation into a series of bank raids by a team of well-armed villains who are flying in from the continent.
Some movie posters were partially styled in true music hall tradition inviting "ladies and gentlemen" to see this picture "for your horrification". Moreover, jokingly, the posters also advertised the film by saying "Don't See It Alone - Bring The Children". See more »
The smoke gun had plainly be heard squirting on the soundtrack when Foster is in the hall once Reggie has carried his daughter out. See more »
Frankie Howerd had a successful but oddly variable career. A big name comedian/comedic actor from the '50's to the '70s then a decline. His career though ended on a triumphal high as a national treasure in the 1990s when a new and discerning audience showed their appreciation for his unique comic talents, the last in a line which extended back to the high traditions of the Victorian Music Hall. For those who appreciate Frankie Howard, this film was never equalled. Somehow the script, the direction and the other players combined to give him the best of platforms for his talents. And even the respected supporting players, playing their typical roles, were at their very best: Hugh Burden the blustering ex-soldier, Rosalie Crutchley of the dark, forbidding look (I received a warmer version once) even John Bennett. All were at the top of their games and allowed space to individually shine.
The presence of a real Hollywood star is often a bolt-on affair, done to get entry into the American market, the rest of the cast crushingly obligated to flatter the star's ego. Here though the great Ray Milland positions himself almost as a supporting player, amused, tongue-in-cheek, observing others fully blossom. The final blessing was a script which had Frankie Howerd as a rather hammy actor who made a living out of Dickens readings. It gave him the perfect platform for his considerable talents.
I had never seen the film before, seemingly its only airing on the most obscure of British satellite channels. But these channels have become the only place where excellent British films that would otherwise disappear without trace, their very existence unsuspected, can be seen. Our self-regarding public service broadcasters for some reason serve up a mixture of 30% Westerns, 20% war films, 20% endlessly repeated famous old British classics and modern British clone violent heist films - all in continuous loop. Wit, charm and talent are rare. The best of British post '60s even to as recent as 2011 meanwhile is reduced to appearing on obscure channels looking to fill their schedules as cheaply but as interestingly as possible. It is as if the best of British film have been condemned only to be found in the manner of remaindered books in a high street bargain book shop. By an odd coincidence where some of the best books are to found.
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