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Eric & Ernie (2011)

A telling of the fledging careers and early days of the comedy duo that was Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise, from their dance-hall performances of northern England to cult status.

Director:

Jonny Campbell

Writers:

Peter Bowker, Victoria Wood (idea)
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7 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Reece Shearsmith ... Harry Wiseman
Josh Benson Josh Benson ... Little Ernie
Tom Atkinson ... Little Eric (as Thomas Atkinson)
Victoria Wood ... Sadie Bartholomew
Thomas Aldersley Thomas Aldersley ... MC
Vic Reeves Vic Reeves ... George Bartholomew (as Jim Moir)
Ted Robbins Ted Robbins ... Jack Hylton
Jonah Lees ... Young Eric
Harry McEntire ... Young Ernie
Ria Jones Ria Jones ... Landlady
Pam Shaw Pam Shaw ... Lily
Daniel Rigby ... Eric Morecambe
Bryan Dick ... Ernie Wise
Hannah Steele ... Doreen
Esmé Bianco ... Lola
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Storyline

In the run-up to World War Two, Ernie Wiseman, a precocious and confident child performer, is signed up by influential impresario Jack Hylton. In Morecambe, pushy stage mum Sadie Bartholomew drags her slightly reluctant son Eric, an eccentric dancer, from one audition to the next until he too becomes a client of Hylton. The boys do not get on at first but Sadie sees a way to exploit their cross-talk and they form a bantering double act as Morecambe and Wise. After war service they become successful on stage and on radio but their attempt to crack the new medium of television is a disaster because they have been forced to accept a script which will make their Northernness acceptable to Southern viewers. They split up. However Sadie knows the formula that once worked and pushes Eric, now married to dancer Joan, into contacting Ernie. They decide to reform, on their own terms, into the act that would become one of the most successful television pairings ever. Written by don @ minifie-1

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Drama

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

official site

Country:

UK

Language:

English

Release Date:

1 January 2011 (UK) See more »

Also Known As:

Morecambe and Wise See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.78 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Reece Shearsmith plays young Ernie's father and there's a little nod to him playing Papa Lazarou (The League of Gentlemen (1999)) as he puts make up on towards the beginning. See more »

Quotes

[following their notorious TV show, Morecambe and Wise are now being placed *lower* on theatre bills than they were beforehand]
Ernie Wise: [ironically] Fourth on the bill. That's the magic of television.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Let's Do It: A Tribute to Victoria Wood (2016) See more »

Soundtracks

Positive Thinking
Music by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent
Words by Tony Hatch
Sung by Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise over end credits
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Clichéd Biodrama About a Great Comedy Duo
23 May 2014 | by l_rawjalaurenceSee all my reviews

Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise were for decades Britain's best-loved comedy duo. From humble beginnings in the last years of variety, they worked their way up through the theater, then on to television, radio and stardom. Jonny Campbell's biodrama contains two remarkable impersonations of the two comedians from Daniel Rigby (as Morecambe) and Bryan Dick (as Wise). They have both the vocal and physical mannerisms spot-on, and make an admirable double-act in their own right. As a piece of drama, however, ERIC & ERNIE founders on its clichés; during the wartime sequences, we have to hear snatches of Winston Churchill and King George VI speaking, complete with the obligatory air-raid siren; in the variety theaters where the comedy due ply their trade, there has to be the smoke-filled dressing-rooms and the fat theater manager (Ted Robbins) smoking a cigar. And don't forget the extracts from the classic backstage musical from 1933 - FORTY-SECOND STREET. And to cap it all, we have Victoria Wood playing Eric Morecambe's mother as a dominant figure incorporating every single stereotype about the Northern English woman, complete with full-strength cigarette hanging from the side of her mouth. She washes the front steps of a house, makes Sunday lunch and bosses her hapless husband George (Jim Moir aka Vic Reeves) around. The quintessential Nora Batty-type figure (from Roy Clarke's LAST OF THE SUMMER WINE), all she lacks are the cheap stockings and the pinafore permanently strapped round her waist. It's a shame that such potentially suggestive material should have been approached in so slipshod a manner; there was ample opportunity for the director and production team to recreate the world of the last days of variety, in which touring acts toured Britain to unappreciative audiences, most of whom were more interested in the nudes that often came on between the comedy acts.


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