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13 user 6 critic

Stella Street (2004)

R | | Comedy | 22 October 2004 (USA)
Trailer
1:45 | Trailer
As the Beatles did in the 1960s, Michael Caine convinces Jack Nicholson, Joe Pesci, Al Pacino, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards to move to Stella Street, an unassuming residential area of Surrey. But along with the new neighbors come hoods and thieves, all determined to make off with the stars' cash. Based on the BBC sketch comedy series.

Director:

Peter Richardson
2 wins. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Phil Cornwell ... Jack Nicholson / Mick Jagger / Michael Caine / Jimmy Hill / Barry Saddler / Muthatrucker / Len McMonotoney / Vince Crush / Tour Guide / Nick Duggan / Costumier / CNO Bob / David Bowie
John Sessions ... Mrs. Huggett / Keith Richard / Jeremy Hickman / Joe Pesci / Dean Baraclough / News Reader / Jack Flatley / Johnny Van Damm / Muthatrucker / Lord Tony Stanford / Dustin Hoffman / The Vicar / Policeman / Al Pacino
Ronni Ancona ... Tara / Madonna / Posh Spice / Penelope Cruz / Jerry Hall / Vicar's Wife / Check-out Girl / Stephanie Giraffe / Jenny Saddler
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Saleh Chaudhri Saleh Chaudhri ... Mr. Chundri
Zoofishan Chaudhri Zoofishan Chaudhri ... Mrs. Chundri
Chickpea Chickpea ... Policewoman
Sandra Cush Sandra Cush ... Sally
Carl Dalby ... Casino Card Player
Gregory Dow Gregory Dow ... Perry (as Gregory Dow)
Guy Green Guy Green ... Tourist
Rachel Harrowell Rachel Harrowell ... Tasha
Dave Haskell Dave Haskell ... Milkman
Ned Richardson Ned Richardson ... Tourist
Sophie Rix Sophie Rix ... Papergirl
Anna Sanczuk Anna Sanczuk ... Supermarket Checkout Girl
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Storyline

A satirical glimpse at the early 21st century in which impressionists Phil Cornwell and John Sessions send up celebrity culture, including: Keith Richards and Mick Jagger, who run a corner shop; Jack Nicholson and Al Pacino, who rub shoulders in a leafy lane in suburbia; and David Bowie, who has his underpants starched and ironed by an uptight cockney charlady named Mrs. Huggett. Megastars come and go, but nothing escapes the watchful eye of their long-suffering neighbor, Michael Caine. Written by Sujit R. Varma

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Comedy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and some drug material | See all certifications »
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Did You Know?

Connections

References Goodfellas (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

SEE YOU AT THE CORNER STORE
Music by Simon Brint
Words by Phil Cornwell and Peter Richardson
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User Reviews

 
A neighbourhood that's well worth a watch
21 March 2004 | by stellastreetSee all my reviews

In the beginning, there was a cleaning woman called Mrs Huggett. She's lived in Stella Street since it was built, and was bombed in the war. One day, in the 1960s, she took in some lodgers. In a clip from series 4 (introduced by a voice that sounds remarkably like an uncredited Harry Enfield)*, we are shown the Beatles running down Stella Street pursued by hyper-hormonal teenagers, much to the aggravation of their co-lodger Richard Burton. At once we are aware, Stella Street is no ordinary thoroughfare.

Michael Caine, just making a name for himself, is the first celebrity to set up home on the Street. Jimmy Hill isn't far behind him.

We jump to 2001, when Michael tells Jack Nicholson of Stella Street's charms. After this, the word spreads and soon detached houses are changing hands for £3million, which is quite expensive even for Surrey. The Stones come to run the shop, and the stage is set.

A notable addition to the original cast is Ronnie Ancona. She has a few brief appearances as an American reporter, Madonna, Victoria Beckham and an evil Irish girl. Sadly, I don't think the film really benefits from her presence; if anything, Sessions and Cornwell dressed as women are funnier.

With the exception of a couple of clips in flashback scenes, all the material for the movie has been freshly shot, and any previous Surbiton happenings have been long since forgotten. Except for the interior of the corner shop, the location has changed from London, W12, to an anonymous cul-de-sac in Surrey. This made filming easier (so the commentary tells us) due to less traffic, although the grander the houses get, the less absurd Stella Street's core conceit becomes.

Those already familiar with Stella Street will find the opening scenes of the movie a little slow, as they are reintroducing the set-up that the first 30 seconds of episode 1 did so well. You will also miss Dirk Bogarde, Roger Moore, Alan Rickman, Jimmy Saville, Patrick Moore, John Hurt, Marlon Brando and The Slurreys, all of whom have been omitted. Strangely, Jack Flatley (graduating from Mr Gale's Honey Bee), Mike Duggan and Vince Chuff have survived the suburbanite cull to become the villains of the piece. The enigmatic Dave Haskell has a speaking part as a milkman (including a great feed-line for Jack Nicholson), and Dean Barraclough remains intact. Another generic TV character to make it through is Len MacMonotony, who is more overtly bonkers than his original incarnation. (In my view, Len was funnier when there was some doubt of his mental stability.) John Sessions' Scottish policeman also makes a brief appearance.

The style is different to the TV show, although there are still examples of the fast editing and use of stand-ins that make the original work so well. It's clear the pace has been slowed to carry the story over 80 minutes (not long for a feature these days), and the film is very even by modern standards, where so often a film descends into by-the-numbers mechanics after the first dazzling 2 reels.

Gone is the Art of Art theme tune that welcomed each episode of the original series. In its place, we have a superb Frank Sinatra impression taking off tracks such as `The Good Life.' I do not know who this singer is, but I believe he also sang the introduction to Armando Iannucci's Friday/Saturday Night Armistice on BBC2. Also, on the Bowie parodies, there are some excellent impressions of the guitar work of Robert Fripp.

Whilst shot on video, the movie is in Panavision (an aspect ratio of about 2.35:1).

My view has always been that Series 1 was the funniest. Whilst it had the lowest production values, being shot on Hi8, it had an energy, speed and freshness (not to mention a cinema verity look) that left most other TV comedy of the time standing. Series 2 built on 1's strengths, and was also very funny, with more characters and a bit more money spent. Series 3 was the first attempt at a feature-length episode, but when broadcast as 10 minute chunks, the rhythm of the piece suffered. Series 4, on the whole, wasn't very good. With the movie, the style appears to be midway between the quickfire series 2 and the extended series 3. As this movie is not intended to be watched in 10 minute chunks, the problems with series 3 do not arise. The movie also has some of the finest impression work of any of Phil and John's output to date.

All in all, the Stella Street movie is very good, and if you've enjoyed the series you'll get something out of it. If you've never seen Stella Street before, you're in for a treat.

Finally, as a fan myself, I urge you to buy the DVD of this movie, as the more sold, the better the chance of a DVD release of the first two series!

* Harry Enfield is involved in Peter Richardson's current project Churchill: The Hollywood Years. This makes it far more likely that Enfield is the voice-over artist.


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Details

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

22 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Filming Locations:

Banstead, Surrey, England, UK See more »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,574, 24 October 2004

Gross USA:

$4,119

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$4,119
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Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby | DTS | Dolby Digital | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
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