14 September 2003 | KEVMC
Thank heavens for Pete 'n' Dud.
In the 1920's several international characters gather to compete in the gruelling Monte Carlo Rally. Some will employ fair means or foul to ensure victory.
This film was a follow up of sorts to 1965's 'Those Magnificent Men In Their Flying Machines', although it also bares similarities to 'The Great Race'(in which Tony Curtis once again starred). Sadly it is not in the same class as either. It lacks the coherence, wit and spectacle of 'Flying Machines', despite Ken Annakin being at the helm once more. In fairness to him the main problem is the screenplay - its simply not that funny. This causes an over reliance on the visual gags, and here again the film falls short. The effects aren't terribly special even for 1969. Some of the characters are also downright irritating - I'm thinking particularly of the Italians - bulging eyed, flailing armed, noisy oafs.
There are some compensations however. Dear old Terry-Thomas and Eric Sykes repeat their double act from the previous film to some effect, and Susan Hampshire is every inch the English Rose. But its Peter Cook and Dudley Moore who steal the show as a British Army Officer/Inventor and his Batman respectively. They have all the best lines and manage to deliver them in a typically deadpan and upper class manner. Example:- As their car hurtles down a snowy hillside out of control, and having tried every concievable method of stopping it to no avail, Cook calmly announces "This simply won't do at all!" Priceless.
Not a total disaster then, but considering the talent involved, with better writing and more careful work all round it could have been, and indeed should have been, so much better.