andy-20656-62037

IMDb member since August 2018
    Lifetime Total
    25+
    IMDb Member
    2 years, 5 months

Reviews

Riviera Police
(1965)

Exotic Locations, Charismatic Actors, Beautiful Actresses, Great Theme Tune, Original Storylines, with Good Plots - Yet Only Survived One Season
I remember this series when it came out in 1965, but unfortunately it was not very well received. It was not amongst the shows that everyone at school was talking about.

I can only really say that it was not as popular as: 'No Hiding Place', 'Gideons Way', 'The Avengers,' and all the other detective programmes that pioneered the great crime procedural dramas that we watch today.

The programme had a very catchy theme tune, an envious view of beautiful and exotic locations, and had an array of many popular actors. Therefore, it is uncertain as to why this show only survived one series and thirteen episodes. However, as with a lot of programmes of the 1960s and late 1950s, the cancellation of a second and third series could have been due to it being shown at a time when there was a more popular show on BBC 1 or BBC 2 ( I think Terry Scott was on BBC 1 at the same time; and "The Virginian" on BBC 2).

It is ironic that a show with well-known actors and exotic locations, does not always make a programme popular. Maybe viewers prefer to watch programmes that mirror their own lives; or are based in locations that they have visited; or filmed in areas where they have lived.

Pardon the Expression
(1965)

Leonard Swindley - Great Character - Worthy of Dickens, Shakespeare, Chaucer and Many Others
This is the first comedy series that established Arthur Lowe in a leading role as a very good character actor, with a wonderful flare for humour.

The character of Leonard Swindley was first seen as one of the regulars on the famous soap opera "Coronation Street", and "if you'd pardon the expression" was one of his catchphrases.

In "Coronation Street" Leonard Swindley worked with Miss Emily Nugent (played by Eileen Derbyshire) in the Streets own outlet for Gamma Garments. I remember him saying things like: "Mr. Papadopulos won't like that!" and "What is Mr. Papadopulos going to say?".

(The character of Mr. Papadopulos was never seen in "Coronation Street").

"Pardon the Expression" was basically about Mr. Leonard Swindley taken on a management position at "Dobson and Hawks", and the difficulties he had with comic union disputes and other such humourous antics with the staff, which mostly consisted of women.

I remember one of the characters kept saying: "It was not like this in Sauchiehall Street". The character, Miss Sinclair, was the boss's secretary and was Scottish, and she was talking about where she worked before in Glasgow. I think the character was played by Joy Stewart, a reliable character actress of many television productions.

Another character was Wally Hunt, Swindley's boss, who was played by Robert Dorning.

There is also a connection with the singer and actress, Betty Driver who played Mr. Swindley's "right hand woman", Mrs. Edgeley. She later went on to play Betty Williams (nee Turpin), the barmaid at the Rovers Return, in Leonard Swindley's old stomping ground, "Coronation Street".

The character of Leonard Swindley also appeared in the shows spin off, "Turn Out The Lights", where Arthur Lowe and Robert Dorning, both played comic "ghost hunters".

Leonard Swindley was a great English character, worthy of Dickens, Shakespeare, Chaucer and many other literary geniuses. Arthur Lowe could breathe life into any part that he played. Even the small part he played as a reporter who tried to interview Dennis Price at the end of "Kind Hearts and Coronets" will always be remembered.

Kraft Television Theatre: Patterns
(1955)
Episode 20, Season 8

A Film That Shows How Big Business Works - Without Making Indictments
Having recently watched this version of "Patterns" on YouTube, I suppose I should not have been surprised that a year later it was made into a major film, with a Hollywood actor in one of the lead roles - Van Heflin instead of Richard Kiley as "Fred Staples". Everett Sloane and Ed Begley played the same parts that they did in the television play, although the name of Ed Begley's character was changed from "Andy Sloane" to "Bill Biggs". The name of Everett's Sloane's character stayed the same.

Anyone who wants to watch this film on YouTube, or look it up on IMDB, the title for the film version is: "Patterns of Power". It was also ably directed by Fielder Cook, better known for such films as: "Big Deal at Dodge City", "Prudence and the Pill", "How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life", and many other good television productions.

The studio knew they could do more with the production. But despite having more backing and could afford more cutting-edge production values and camera work - this was shown in the style of acting and the camera angles used in the film - one should not forget about the original teleplay of the Kraft Theatre version, which was first broadcasted live on NBC in January 1955. This was the pioneer version, which was able to prove that such a good story could work quite well in film.

This, the original play, opened as another working day at "Ramsay & Company." But it is to be no ordinary working day. A new, younger executive is joining the company. A man who has been headhunted from a failing company that been taken over.

At a board meeting, it soon becomes clear that the characters played by Everrett Sloane and Ed Begley both hate each other. They seem to have been with the company right from the start, having known each other for 24 years, and they both resent each other's position. Begley frowns at Sloane's ruthless, undeserved rise to the top; and Sloane despises what he sees as Begley's more practical and compassionate views being a disguise for weakness and lack of vision.

Later it also becomes clear that Everrett Sloane intends to use "Staples" to replace the Ed Begley character, by making the atmosphere more difficult for him to work in, forcing him to resign. All this results in Begley collapsing from overwork, and pressure caused by Everett Sloane's constant bullying.

Although every story has a moral, this story seems to have two:

One moral is: that no matter how long and hard you work, there will always someone that will say that it is not good enough.

The other moral is: that business does not always allow practicality nor compassion. There is always a bigger picture to consider.

Sometimes there is a need to sacrifice the jobs of 200 workers in order to save 2000 (usually in one of the Board of Directors home town). However, the play suggests that greed, selfishness and a lust for power are more nearer the truth.

Apart from the invention of the Internet, photocopiers, emails, laptops and mobile phones, very little has changed in business since this play was first broadcasted in 1955.

Both the play and the film provide a lesson to us all, especially those who been in a similar situation at work.

I have given the 1956 film 10 out of 10 for its production, and I give this television play 10 out of 10 as well.

Kraft Television Theatre: Patterns
(1955)
Episode 16, Season 8

A Television Play That Exemplifies How Big Business Works - Without Making Indictments
Having recently watched this version of "Patterns" on YouTube, I suppose I should not have been surprised that a year later it was made into a major film, with a Hollywood actor in one of the lead roles - Van Heflin instead of Richard Kiley as "Fred Staples". Everett Sloane and Ed Begley played the same parts that they did in the television play, although the name of Ed Begley's character was changed from "Andy Sloane" to "Bill Biggs". The name of Everett's Sloane's character stayed the same.

Anyone who wants to watch this film on YouTube, or look it up on IMDB, the title for the film version is: "Patterns of Power". It was also ably directed by Fielder Cook, better known for such films as: "Big Deal at Dodge City", "Prudence and the Pill", "How to Save a Marriage and Ruin Your Life", and many good television productions.

The studio knew they could do more with the production. But despite having more backing and could afford more cutting-edge production values and camera work - this was shown in the style of acting and the camera angles used in the film - one should not forget about the original teleplay of the Kraft Theatre version, which was first broadcasted live on NBC in January 1955. This was the pioneer version, which was able to prove that such a good story could work quite well in film.

This, the original play, opened as another working day at "Ramsay & Company." But it is to be no ordinary working day. A new, younger executive is joining the company. A man who has been headhunted from a failing company that been taken over.

At a board meeting, it soon becomes clear that the characters played by Everrett Sloane and Ed Begley both hate each other. They seem to have been with the company right from the start, having known each other for 24 years, and they both resent each other's position. Begley frowns at Sloane's ruthless, undeserved rise to the top; and Sloane despises what he sees as Begley's more practical and compassionate views being a disguise for weakness and lack of vision.

Later it also becomes clear that Everrett Sloane intends to use "Staples" to replace the Ed Begley character, by making the atmosphere more difficult for him to work in, forcing him to resign. All this results in Begley collapsing from overwork, and pressure caused by Everett Sloane's constant bullying.

Although every story has a moral, this story seems to have two:

One moral is: that no matter how long and hard you work, there will always someone that will say that it is not good enough.

The other moral is: that business does not always allow practicality nor compassion. There is always a bigger picture to consider.

Sometimes there is a need to sacrifice the jobs of 200 workers in order to save 2000 (usually in one of the Board of Directors home town). However, the play suggests that greed, selfishness and a lust for power are more nearer the truth.

Apart from the invention of the Internet, photocopiers, emails, laptops and mobile phones, very little has changed in business since this play was first broadcasted in 1955.

Both the play and the film provide a lesson to us all, especially those who been in a similar situation at work.

I have given the 1956 film 10 out of 10 for its production, and I give this television play 10 out of 10 as well.

Patterns
(1956)

A Film That Shows How Big Business Works - Without Making Indictments
Having recently watched the original version of "Patterns" on YouTube, I suppose I should not have been surprised that a year later it was made into a major film, with a Hollywood actor in one of the lead roles - Van Heflin instead of Richard Kiley as "Fred Staples". Everett Sloane and Ed Begley played the same parts that they did in the television play, although the name of Ed Begley's character was changed from "Andy Sloane" to "Bill Biggs". The name of Everett's Sloane's character stayed the same.

The studio knew they could do more with the production. The film makers also knew that with more backing, it could afford better direction and camera work. This was shown in the style of acting and the camera angles used in the film. But, despite this, one should not forget the original teleplay of the Kraft Theatre version, which was first broadcasted live on NBC in January 1955. This was the pioneer version, which was able to prove that such a good story could work quite well in film.

The original play opened as another working day at "Ramsay & Company." But it is to be no ordinary working day. A new, younger executive is joining the company. A man who has been headhunted from a failing company that been taken over.

At a board meeting, it soon becomes clear that the characters played by Everrett Sloane and Ed Begley both hate each other. They seem to have been with the company right from the start, having known each other for 24 years, and they both resent each other's position. Begley frowns at Sloane's ruthless, undeserved rise to the top; and Sloane despises what he sees as Begley's more practical and compassionate views being a disguise for weakness and lack of vision.

Later it also becomes clear that Everrett Sloane intends to use "Staples" to replace the Ed Begley character, by making the atmosphere more difficult for him to work in, forcing him to resign. All this results in Begley collapsing from overwork, and pressure caused by Everrett Sloane's constant bullying.

Although every story has a moral, this story seems to have two. One moral is: that no matter how long and hard you work, there will always someone that will say that it is not good enough.

The other moral is: that business does not always allow practicality nor compassion. There is always a bigger picture to consider.

Sometimes there is a need to sacrifice the jobs of 200 workers in order to save that 2000.

However, the film suggests that greed, selfishness and a lust for power being nearer to the truth.

Apart from the invention of the Internet, photocopiers, emails, laptops and mobile phones, very little has changed in business since this film was made.

Jezebel ex UK
(1963)

Jezebel Ex UK - A Good Entertaining Series
I remember this series being shown on ITV on Saturday night in 1963 at around about 7 'o' clock in the evening.

It was an anthology series, set aboard an ocean liner, which would have made it easy to film, due to having to build only a few sets to work on. It had different guest stars in leading roles each week.

The first episode starred Pete Murray, the disc jockey, before he started presenting. He played the part of a man who the script writers cleverly made tv audiences think that he had committed a crime. I think his love interest was Heather Sears.

This was one of Pete Murray's rare and overlooked acting rolls. He was, and still is at the age of 92, a great personality.

I also remember the haunting music that accompanied this series. The music suggested a mixture of romance and suspense. I am surprised it did not become a hit record and the composers were not able to do more with it.

Anthology series were quite popular on ITV in the 1960s and early 1970s - not seen so much on television these days.

I think the only reason why it only survived one season was that it may have been in competition with what was being shown on BBC at the time. This was the problem with many series, with only two TV channels being in existence and recording devices not being commercially available in those days.

Die letzte Chance
(1945)

A Very Realistic War Film
The Last Chance - Swiss Film - 1945

I first watched this film on BBC Television when I was about 11 years old in 1962.

I remember thinking about how realistic it was, leaving nothing out of place as a good film production. On IMDB, I notice that no "goofs", anachronisms, or continuity flaws are listed. That is because there weren't any.

What inspired me about the films authenticity, was how the escaped prisoners of war overcame the language difficulty - one of the men had a working knowledge of the Italian language that he would have picked up as a prisoner of war.

Language problems are always something that more commercial War films often seem to short cut - as if the film audience is supposed to believe that everyone in Europe speaks English.

I searched for years to see if I could find any reference to this film and eventually found it in a copy of Leslie Halliwell's Film Goers Companion. The advent of the Internet allowed me to watch the film again on YouTube.

What is also quite unusual about the film is that the leading roles are played by actors who, themselves, had served in the Second World War, had been captured, and had escaped to Switzerland - very brave men.

It is also interesting that the supporting cast consisted of many well-known European actors and actresses. Performers such as Luisa Rossi and Therese Giehse were very famous at the time. The latter was once described as the greatest actress in Europe.

It is surprising that I have never seen the film shown again on the television since 1962.

The film has many poignant moments, which adds to the whole defined aura of the film.

The Last Chance neither glamorises, nor comes over as an anti-war film, but serves as a reverent tribute to the brave men and women who served in such a conflict where so many people suffered and died.

I give it 10 out of 10.

The Time Machine
(1960)

In a strange place? In a strange time? Where people wear strange clothes and seem to speak a different style of English?
The Time Machine - Rod Taylor - 1960 Version

This film first inspired my interest in Time Travel and I am always on the look out for books and films on the subject.

Rod Taylor's performance of a man travelling through Time is very convincing. I have often thought about what it would be like if one had suddenly found oneself in a strange part of Time, where the people wear different clothes and talk in a different style of English.

As a man totally perplexed by his new and different surroundings, Rod Taylor gives us some idea of how confused we would all be in the same situation.

The film was deservedly given an Academy Award in 1960 for the Special Effects, but the sets and Mr. Taylor's and the lovely Yvette Mimieux's performances were worthy of such awards in themselves.

The Lady Vanishes
(1979)

The Lady Vanishes (1979)
It would be wrong of me to say that this film is better than the original 1936 Alfred Hitchcock version, because both films do have their own merits.

Admittedly, this version is in colour and the inevitability of a Second World War is played more topically, but one must remember that in 1938, the prospect of another war was something that was still tentative and the Munich Agreement on the 29th September of that year would have provided some hope with appeasement - controversial as it would have been.

It was a good idea to change the delightful performance of the lovely Margaret Lockwood to a brash, excitable and more feminist character in the guise of an American heiress (Cybill Shepherd). Changing the male lead to that of American war correspondent (Elliot Gould), instead of a British musician researching European folk compositions, was also a good idea, even though the part in the 1938 film was smartly played by Michael Redgrave, in his debut film role.

The rest of the casting is very much true to the 1938 version, and all the parts were played beautifully, especially Herbert Lom and Daphne Anderson, playing the Nazi doctor and the politically motivated Baroness.

Also, I should not forget Arthur Lowe and Ian Carmichael as the characters of Charters and Caldicot, respectively, who were originally played by Basil Radford and Naughton Wayne in the 1938 version. It should be noted that these two characters were featured in three more films (Night Train to Munich, Crooks Tour and Millions Like Us), and were even featured in a 1985 BBC Television series, where they were played by Robin Bailey and Michael Aldridge.

It was unusual to see Gerald Harper in a less heroic role as the character of Todhunter, when we are used to seeing him in such roles as Adam Adamant, Hadleigh and various other roles as a more intrepid character. The character was originally played in the 1938 version by the ever-reliable character actor, Cecil Parker.

All in all, this was a very good and exciting film and I always enjoy it every time I watch it.

The Mask of Janus
(1965)

The Mask of Janus - 1965
I remember watching this series in 1965. As a spy series, it was lot different from among such great series as: "Danger Man", "The Avengers", and "The Man from Uncle". The series dealt with the more topical accounts of the Spy Game.

There were no tough, good looking secret agents, wining and dining beautiful female allies, and going about their daily business of saving the World. Nor were there any nasty, megalomaniacs, mercilessly and inexorably set on World denomination - and there was no hand to hand combat fighting or exciting car chases. Nor were there any big shoot outs at the end of each episode.

Instead, the storylines relied on clandestine conversations, blackmailing defectors, and putting the other side into a stalemate. If there were any female allies, they were usually plain, timid little women who wanted their families released from some Gulag or other.

The arch villains were very rarely seen. The series usually only dealt with the pawns in what was shown to be a very nasty little business, which can only be compared to a dangerous version of the work carried out by any group of sedentary civil servants.

In 1965, when the series was shown, I was only fourteen, and as with most teenagers, I liked fast paced, all action movies. However, if I watched such a series now, I would probably have found the series more interesting. It would be appealing to know what really goes on in the dark, dismal World of espionage.

Dinsdale Landen was very good as an embassy official, whose job was more than just general administration and advising senior attaches - jobs he would have officially been designated for. The character he played was more of a vulnerable "everyman", who was constantly being beaten up, locked up and was generally being chased around by his enemies and - ironically - his own side.

I think the small Mediterranean Island of Malta played the part of the fictional European country of Amalia.

All in all, it was a well scripted and had a well put together storyline, but I think it only lasted one season, due to the lack of action and the absence of more "James Bond-like" characters. Its spin off: "The Spies" I do not remember being on, probably because it "clashed" with "The Avengers" on ITV; or because it was on too late at night, as with a lot of classic television shows of the 1950s and 1960s.

I do believe that this a "lost" series, but the scripts must be still available. Therefore, a remake might be popular with viewers who enjoy good spy films. Also, a vulnerable character like the one played by Dinsdale Landen, could be someone that viewers would identify with.

Benny Hill
(1962)

The Benny Hill Show - December 1962 to January 1963
Even though I was born in 1951, I do not remember seeing a TV show until 1960, when my mother and father and I returned from living abroad for three years, and we did not start renting a television set until December 1962 - and even then, it was only for a few months, over the Christmas period.

The rest of the time, I sometimes was able to watch shows at friend's houses, after playing together.

In those days, a lot of parents still considered the television to be a bit of nuisance and had a detrimental effect on social and family life.

However, I do remember watching the Benny Hill Show at 10 minutes to 9 on a Friday night in December 1962 and January 1963.

At this point, I would like to invite you to read my reviews on two episodes that I remember watching. They are: "The Time Bicycle" and "The Shooting of Willie the Kid".

I hope this might be useful to prospective comedy producers. Anyone who manages to get a copy of these two shows, should be aware of "spoilers". If copies of this wonderful show are still available would love to watch them again.

Also, if any other users of IDMB remember the plots to some of these shows, I would love to read their reviews.

Benny Hill: The Shooting of Willie the Kid
(1963)
Episode 6, Season 2

The Shooting of Willie the Kid - Benny Hill Show - Friday 4th January 1963 - 20:50
This is possibly where Benny Hill started to appeal to United States audiences in this satire of the American Western. Benny probably got this idea from one of John Wayne's great Classic Western films, "The Man Who Shot Liberty Vallance", which was released earlier in April 1962.

It all starts when the titled character of, "Willie the Kid" (played by John Bluthal, who we know better as "Frank Pickle" in the "Vicar of Dibley") comes into town, terrorizing the towns folk and frightening everybody. I remember Benny playing three parts in this show. One character is: "Whitaker T. Wildfoot", the saloon owner; the second character is: "Deputy Dan" - I cannot remember what happens to him - but I do remember a third character. He is Whitaker's twin brother, called: "Clarence", a naïve, good natured, country boy, who is duped into challenging Willie the Kid into a gunfight.

Another character who is significant in this story is the undertaker (played by Graham Stark) who, whatever the odds, stands to benefit financially from the outcome of the dual between Clarence and Willie the Kid, even though he is a good friend of Clarence and his brother, Whitaker.

So, a plan is hatched: Clarence will face Willie the Kid in the street, and as soon as they reach for their guns, Whitaker, armed with a rifle, from a bedroom window at the top of the saloon, overlooking the street, will himself shoot Willie the Kid, before the bad guy can even fire a single shot.

At the fateful moment, the women and children look on, and the men all timidly poke their heads over the swing doors leading into the saloon. Among the men in the saloon is the town undertaker (played by our ubiquitous actor, Graham Stark).

Two shots are fired, and the townsfolk, along with the men in the saloon all shout out in relieved joy.

'He shot Willie the Kid! Clarence killed Willie the Kid!' the men rejoice, before going back to the bar for a celebratory drink.

The only one who does not rejoice and does not go back to the bar for a celebratory drink, is the town undertaker. Instead, he looks out of the saloons swing doors in a despondent manner. He is saddened by the scene before him. I remember wondering why the undertaker looked so sad.

The scene then changes to upstairs in the top bedroom of the saloon, where Whitaker is putting away the rifle. Someone else is in the room with Whitaker, I think it might have been Lulubelle (played by Maggie Fitzgibbon). This is where we find out why the undertaker looks so sad after the gunfight.

'Why did you fire two shots, Whitaker?' shouts Lulubelle.

Whitaker turns around and laughingly says:

'Unfortunately, the first shot hit Clarence.' (This gets the laugh)

He says this so lightheartedly, that it looks as if he thought it was just a simple mistake and very little harm was done.

It was a bit of "black humour", but even at 11 years old, I knew it was only pretending, because Benny Hill was not only playing the part of Whitaker, but he was also playing the part of his twin brother, Clarence.

Benny Hill: The Time Bicycle
(1962)
Episode 3, Season 2

The Time Bicycle - The Benny Hill Show - 14th December 1962 - 20:50
I have a recollection of watching this show in my early childhood. Benny Hill was very popular on television as far back as the early 1960s.

On reflection, I should imagine Benny Hill got this idea for this parody from the film, "The Time Machine" made in 1960, starring Rod Taylor, and the lovely Yvette Mimieux.

I remember the show being set, either in the late 1890s, or about 1900. The show starts with Benny Hill, dressed in a deerstalker cap, a checked suit with knickerbockers, being shown "The Time Bicycle" by the professor (who I think was played by that great actor, Graham Stark, who appeared throughout the series with Benny Hill). As Benny mounted the bicycle and started peddling, to the professor's surprise, he disappears. In the next scene we see Benny cycling through a misty atmosphere, which would have been meant to suggest a mysterious "time cloud", during this time Benny is narrating the story with a voice over. He looks down at the "time monitor" on the handlebars and, to his amazement, he sees that the year is now: 1914.

I have a recollection of him touching down in this part of time and meets a young girl and her father.

The father affronts him, shouting:

'Why aren't you away fighting Germans?"

Benny replies:

'I couldn't tell you. I don't know any!' (This is the line that gets the laugh).

The father, who is armed with a small, hand pistol, points it at Benny as he mounts his bicycle and, again, starts pedalling. Luckily, Benny disappears into thin air before the first shot is fired. The father ends up shooting angrily at an empty space.

The scene, again, shifts to Benny cycling through his mysterious "time cloud". As before, he looks down at his "time monitor" and sees that it is now the year: 1940.

When he sets himself down in this part of time, he finds himself inside a dilapidated house, with what we all know to be an Air Raid Warden, shouting at him to put the light out, and trying to remind him that there is a war on. Of course, Benny is totally perplexed by all of this, (at this point, the viewer has to remember that Benny is now far into the future, and his character would have no knowledge of a war in the year: 1940).

However, as soon as he hears the sound of bombing going on outside, he decides to back pedal the bicycle to his own time of: 1900.

The last part of the show that I remember, was Benny doing a voice over narrating about another invention that the professor has been working on. The voice over is accompanying Benny walking along a path away from the house, reading book as he strolls along, but this time he is invisible, and all you can see is the lonely image of a book, at arms height, making its way along the path.

This scene is supposed to remind the viewer of H.G. Wells's other science fiction novel: "The Invisible Man".

The Adventures of Francie and Josie
(1962)

The Adventures of Francie and Josie - 1962 to 1965
The Adventures of Francie and Josie - 1962 to 1965 Although I am English, I went to school in Scotland, and this show was the talk of the whole school, when it was first broadcasted. Even the teachers, who usually watched more intellectual programmes, were talking about it, and often used to compare these two characters to some of the more difficult pupils. The phrase: "Who do yoos 'hink yoos are? Francie and Josie?", springs to mind. The series was first shown on Scottish television, the station we not have a television aerial for at the time, and then later it was shown on Grampian TV, which we were able to tune into. My mother and father did not always understand what was being said, as the Scottish people are famous for their comic dialect. I understood what was said because I played and went to school with Scottish children. So, sometimes I was able to translate for my parents. It was not long before everyone in the school was quoting these two innovative comedians. "Well, hal lar there, Francie," and "Well, hal lar there, Josie. How's it goin'?" Soon the whole school was walking around saying phrases like this - which were the two characters catch phrases. This was probably was probably one of the first comedy shows, produced in Scotland, that was shown on the TV, proving that the Scots did have a sense of humour and were capable of laughing at themselves. It was also a show that the Scots could identify with. Like the poems of Robbie Burns, it was in a dialect that ordinary people could understand. Rikki Fulton, who played "Josie", was awarded an OBE in 1992 for his services to entertainment and appeared in many TV shows and films during his busy career. Where Charlie Chaplin was identified by his bowler hat and little moustache, the character of "Josie" was identified by his Beatle styled haircut, with a comic little twirl in the middle of his head. This was one of "Josies" main features that was always copied by many of my school friends. Jack Milroy, who played "Francie", was awarded an MBE in year 2000, and as well as appearing with his long-time partner, Rikki, did much pantomime and stage work. He even had his own show at the Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen.

The Adventures of Francie and Josie
(1962)

The Adventures of Francie and Josie - 1962 to 1965
The Adventures of Francie and Josie - 1962 to 1965 Although I am English, I went to school in Scotland, and this show was the talk of the whole school, when it was first broadcasted. Even the teachers, who usually watched more intellectual programmes, were talking about it, and often used to compare these two characters to some of the more difficult pupils. The phrase: "Who do yoos 'hink yoos are? Francie and Josie?", springs to mind. The series was first shown on Scottish television, the station we not have a television aerial for at the time, and then later it was shown on Grampian TV, which we were able to tune into. My mother and father did not always understand what was being said, as the Scottish people are famous for their comic dialect. I understood what was said because I played and went to school with Scottish children. So, sometimes I was able to translate for my parents. It was not long before everyone in the school was quoting these two innovative comedians. "Well, hal lar there, Francie," and "Well, hal lar there, Josie. How's it goin'?" Soon the whole school was walking around saying phrases like this - which were the two characters catch phrases. This was probably was probably one of the first comedy shows, produced in Scotland, that was shown on the TV, proving that the Scots did have a sense of humour and were capable of laughing at themselves. It was also a show that the Scots could identify with. Like the poems of Robbie Burns, it was in a dialect that ordinary people could understand. Rikki Fulton, who played "Josie", was awarded an OBE in 1992 for his services to entertainment and appeared in many TV shows and films during his busy career. Where Charlie Chaplin was identified by his bowler hat and little moustache, the character of "Josie" was identified by his Beatle styled haircut, with a comic little twirl in the middle of his head. This was one of "Josies" main features that was always copied by many of my school friends. Jack Milroy, who played "Francie", was awarded an MBE in year 2000, and as well as appearing with his long-time partner, Rikki, did much pantomime and stage work. He even had his own show at the Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen.

The Adventures of Francie and Josie
(1962)

The Adventures of Francie and Josie - 1962 to 1965
The Adventures of Francie and Josie - 1962 to 1965 Although I am English, I went to school in Scotland, and this show was the talk of the whole school, when it was first broadcasted. Even the teachers, who usually watched more intellectual programmes, were talking about it, and often used to compare these two characters to some of the more difficult pupils. The phrase: "Who do yoos 'hink yoos are? Francie and Josie?", springs to mind. The series was first shown on Scottish television, the station we not have a television aerial for at the time, and then later it was shown on Grampian TV, which we were able to tune into. My mother and father did not always understand what was being said, as the Scottish people are famous for their comic dialect. I understood what was said because I played and went to school with Scottish children. So, sometimes I was able to translate for my parents. It was not long before everyone in the school was quoting these two innovative comedians. "Well, hal lar there, Francie," and "Well, hal lar there, Josie. How's it goin'?" Soon the whole school was walking around saying phrases like this - which were the two characters catch phrases. This was probably was probably one of the first comedy shows, produced in Scotland, that was shown on the TV, proving that the Scots did have a sense of humour and were capable of laughing at themselves. It was also a show that the Scots could identify with. Like the poems of Robbie Burns, it was in a dialect that ordinary people could understand. Rikki Fulton, who played "Josie", was awarded an OBE in 1992 for his services to entertainment and appeared in many TV shows and films during his busy career. Where Charlie Chaplin was identified by his bowler hat and little moustache, the character of "Josie" was identified by his Beatle styled haircut, with a comic little twirl in the middle of his head. This was one of "Josies" main features that was always copied by many of my school friends. Jack Milroy, who played "Francie", was awarded an MBE in year 2000, and as well as appearing with his long-time partner, Rikki, did much pantomime and stage work. He even had his own show at the Tivoli Theatre in Aberdeen.

The Rikki Fulton Show
(1960)

Review entered in error.
See above. Review entered in error................................................

The World of Wooster
(1965)

P.G. Wodehouse's -The World of Wooster - 1965 to 1967
I remember watching this delightful series in 1965. It was usually televised on a Sunday night at ten to nine, after the Sunday film and "Doctor Finlay's Casebook".

It was the programme that first introduced me to the hilariously funny novels of P.G. Wodehouse and the inimitable acting style of Ian Carmichael, playing the dithering, monocled Bertie Wooster. His aristocratic manner and posh accent allowed him to be the perfect personification of a well-meaning, aristocratic man about town in the 1920s. The way he stuttered gave his stammer an admirable quality, rather than being pitifully viewed as a nervous impediment.

Dennis Price played the character of Wooster's manservant, Jeeves, impeccably.

I would like to know where P.G. Wodehouse acquired the idea of a well-off man of infinitely wealthy means, who was always unwittingly getting into trouble. Towards the end of the show, it always looked as if Wooster's trouble would never end and he saw himself plunging into a bottomless pit of inexorable suffering - sometimes even meaning that he may have to get a job. However, at the very last moment, Jeeves would step in with an ingenious solution that would bring his masters troubles to an end.

As with most of the P.G. Wodehouse stories, the series was set in the 1920s, and the show gave the era a touch of glamour. It was as if poor people did not exist in those days.

As with most television period dramas and comedies made in the 1960s, the atmosphere was very authentic. The clothing design and the incidental music really made you think that you were really living in that era.

Each episode was only 30 minutes long, so a lot of editing was involved to make it adaptable for television. Despite this, although the later series of "Jeeves and Wooster", starring Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie, was transmitted in colour and had better sets and production values, I still think I enjoyed this version of the P.G. Wodehouse stories more.

It is a pity that out of the 20 episodes of this brilliant series that were made, only one or two still exist, as I would love to watch them all again.

Comedy Playhouse: Sam the Samaritan
(1965)
Episode 10, Season 4

Sam the Samaritan - Comedy Playhouse - Thursday 5th August 1965 - Wilfred Brambell
I remember watching this story in 1965. It was part of the Comedy Playhouse series, which was always the highlight of Thursday nights on BBC Television at 10 to 9 in the evening, and it spawned such great comedy shows as: "Steptoe and Son"; "Meet the Wife"; and "Till Death Us Do Part".

"Sam the Samaritan" was set in Edwardian England and was adapted from a short story by W.W. Jacobs.

It starred Wilfred Brambell, Roy Kinnear and John Junkin, as three merchant seamen, and starts with them queuing up for their pay and embarking on a well-deserved run ashore in an English port, to spend some of the money that they had earned whilst at sea.

The scene shifts to where the three merchant seaman leave the ship and head for the nearest ale house. Ginger Dick and Peter Russet (played by Roy Kinnear and John Junkin, respectively) bet the character, Sam Small (wonderfully played by Wilfred Brambell as the title character of "Sam the Samaritan") that he cannot drink a flagon of strong ale in one go.

As Sam begins to sup the ale, Ginger Dick (played by Roy Kinnear) says to Peter Russet (played by John Junkin):

'Do you think we should have told him about the rat at the bottom of the flagon?'

At this, Sam immediately stops drinking and spews out the remains what he had just drunk.

His two guileful companions start laughing derisively and ask Sam to pay up. In their eyes, he has lost the bet. Sam remonstrates demonstratively that the bet should be started again, as he should not have been asked to drink a flagon of ale when his shipmates already knew that there was a rat at the bottom of the flagon.

His two shipmates are quite adamant that they had won the bet fair and square, as there was no rat at the bottom of the flagon. The landlord backs them up on this and poor Sam is forced to forfeit the bet.

I cannot remember how much money the bet was for, but it may have been for as little as the sum of one shilling, which would have represented a lot of money in the Edwardian era - in those days, the average wage for a merchant seaman would been about 30 shillings (£1-50) per week.

Whatever amount the bet was for, it still left Sam very short of money, and unable to enjoy the night ashore in the same way that his shipmates did. Later on, that night, the three seamen manage to find board and lodgings in a cheap doss house, where they all have to share a room with a strange character. During the night Sam wakes up and discovers the stranger going through their pockets and stealing all their money.

He manages to apprehend the stranger before he disappears out of the door and relieves him of all the money that he had stolen from Sam and his two shipmates. Rather than wake the others up, or report the man to the police, Sam decides to let the miscreant go, but keeps all the money for himself. In the morning, Ginger Dick and Peter Russet wake up to find that all their money has been stolen. In an effort to feign his own worry, Sam checks his own pockets and manages to fake his own relief that none of his money had been stolen.

What follows is Sam being able to get his own back on his two shipmates who cheated him out of a shilling when they first came ashore. This takes the form of him enjoying hearty meals whiles his two hungry companions look on. This is where the locals start to call him "Sam the Samaritan", because he always leaves his two companions some left over scraps from his hearty meal, as well as some dregs of some beer that he smarmily sups in front of them.

There is also a scene where Sam is smugly walking along the cobbled streets of the seaport, smoking cigars, and being followed by his two envious companions. As he finishes each cigar, Sam throws the butt behind him and laughs slyly as he hears them both scurrying and fighting over the smoking remains of the cigar.

His two companions start to try and goad some pity out of Sam, but he just laughs.

'Have you been for a nice walk?' says Sam.

'No!' says Ginger. 'We are too frightened of working up an appetite.' This line, spoken by Roy Kinnear, just illustrates how badly off himself and John Junkin's character, are.

However, "Sam the Samaritans" luck starts to run out, as Ginger and Peter Russet, by chance, come upon the stranger who they thought had stolen all their money.

'You got your money back!' the stranger cries out, expecting absolution. I think the show ended there, as Ginger Dick and Peter Russet turn around and look peevishly at Sam. What followed was probably left to the viewers imagination.

The show did not have much laughter in it, as it was more a comic drama than a jokey comedy. No date was given as to what era the comedy was set in, but the way the sailors were dressed, and the austere atmosphere and the cobbled streets suggested it would have been in about 1910, which was when most of W.W. Jacobs's stories were set in.

As with most television shows in the 1960s, it was transmitted in Black and White. I always thought period dramas and comedies looked more authentic in the 1960s. It was as if one was watching a "reality tv show" of the time.

ITV Play of the Week: Tarnish on a Golden Boy
(1964)
Episode 13, Season 10

Tarnish on a Golden Boy - Play of the Week - 30th November 1964
I remember watching this play in 1964. Of course, being such a long time ago, my memories of it are very patchy, but I am absolutely sure that the play was set in England, during the First World War.

Peter McEnery played the part of Captain Richard Travers, a decorated hero, who was on leave back from the Front. Despite being a decorated hero, I think he was disillusioned by what was going on at the Front - something his family could not understand or relate to. At the time there would have been a lot of public support in England for the War, despite the publics lack of understanding, regarding the horror that the soldiers were suffering at the time.

The performance that did stand out was that of the actor, Thomas Heathcote, who I think played the part of the family manservant, Barrage, and also acted as a friend to Captain Travers.

The scenes that do stand out are, when the play begins someone is playing a piece of classical music on the piano - I think it might have been an excerpt from a concerto by Wagner. When the recital finishes, the Reverend Bennett, played by Peter Barkworth, makes a comment about the Germans not being able to enjoy such delightful music in the same way that themselves in England do.

Sir John Travers, played by Richard Vernon, mildly vexed at the vicars naivete, reminds him that the music was composed by a German. To which, the Reverend covers up his embarrassment by laughing mirthlessly and changing the subject.

Throughout the play, Barrage, is constantly making small talk with Captain Travers about how glorious it must be to be part of what is going at the Front, serving ones King and Country. Such exhilaration is only met with negative comments from Captain Travers, suggesting that his manservant dispelled any ideas about volunteering to be part of such carnage.

Another scene I remember is when Captain Travers and Barrage are in an open topped carriage, travelling around London. As they pass along Regent Street, Barrage, who has obviously never been to London before, asks who the statue at the top of a column represents. The Captain says that it is the Duke of York. At this, Barrage sounds quite surprised, as he makes a comment suggesting that he only knew of the Duke of York existing in a nursery rhyme.

I remember the play ending with Captain Travers overseeing a volunteer recruiting drive, and despite the Captains negative comments and trying to talk his manservant out of volunteering, the first man in the queue to volunteer is Barrage himself. They look despondently at each other and the play ends.

With the exception of the Director, John Llewellyn Moxey, who now lives in America and whose age would now be about 93; Peter McEnery himself; and the great Jean Marsh, there are very few people in the cast and production team who would be still alive. Therefore, any other information about the play would scarcely be available. However, the above is what I can remember about the play and I hope it is of some use to connoisseurs of great television programmes of the 1960s.

The play can only be described as one of the great plays that ITV was able to produce in the 1960s - the type of production that we rarely see on television today - full of social comment and mildly entertaining.

The Wednesday Thriller: The Travelling Companion
(1965)
Episode 4, Season 1

The Travelling Companion - Lyndon Brook - The Wednesday Thriller
This was a very tense thriller which kept you watching and guessing throughout the show.

Lyndon Brook played a character called Lucas, and the whole play takes place in a railway train compartment.

The second character to appear on the scene is "The Girl" played by a very young-looking Priscilla Morgan (wife of Dad's Army actor, Clive Dunn, known better as Corporal Jones).

They are later joined by two mysterious characters (played by Murray Melvin and Keith Buckley).

All through the play my mother and I were wondering who these two mysterious men were, and what had the character of Lucas got to hide. Towards the end of the play, all starts to be revealed, as Lucas becomes a little more sinister, and the two mysterious characters are not the villains they appear to be.

The Dick Powell Show: Up Jumped the Devil
(1961)
Episode 10, Season 1

Up Jumped The Devil - Hugh O'Brian - Dick Powell Theatre
I remember watching the 1965 showing of this episode. I think it was on a Sunday night after a film myself and my mother had just watched on BBC. Hugh O'Brian played the part of Jack Farmer, who tries to murder his boss, Chandler Handford - (played by Otto Kruger), by pushing him over a cliff, just at the back of his home.

Before O'Brian performs this evil act, he reminds Kruger of an expression: "Up Jumps the Devil". I can't quite remember how O'Brian explained the meaning of the expression, but I think it was something to do with having a run of good luck, then things suddenly going wrong.

Fortunately for Kruger's character - and unfortunately for O'Brian's character, the victim survives the murder attempt, although Kruger is confined to a wheelchair. This worries O'Brian until he finds out that Kruger now suffers from amnesia - he cannot remember anything that happened before the murder attempt.

Towards the end of the show, during a conversation with O'Brian, Kruger uses the expression: "Up Jumps the Devil". He then explains the meaning of the expression, just as O'Brian had done before he tried to murder him. In a fit of remorse, O'Brian tries to confess to the attempted murder, but no one believes him. This is due the alibi that he had created for himself. O'Brian becomes convinced that Kruger can remember more that he is letting on and is now slowly trying to drive him mad.

This was a very clever and well thought out play, which you very rarely see on television these days.

Alcoa Premiere: The Fortress
(1961)
Episode 3, Season 1

Alcoa Premiere - The Fortress - Lloyd Bridges
I remember watching this programme with my mother in 1963. It was shown on BBC Television on a Thursday evening at 8:25, after the TV soap opera, "Compact" and the popular comedy show, "Steptoe and Son".

It is one of the few television shows that I do remember watching as a child. It starred Lloyd Bridges as Lieutenant Wallace Brown, who was incarcerated as a Prisoner of War in Communist China, during the conflict with North Korea in the early 1950s.

In places, the show was narrated, and was broadcasted on the BBC for a period of 50 minutes.

The show opened with Lieutenant Wallace Brown being shot down over enemy territory and being caught by franticly public-spirited peasant workers in a Korean farming area. I remember the scene shifting to Lieutenant Wallace Brown's prison cell, where he was taken out and interrogated at various intervals.

The interrogation scenes were not particularly harrowing. If the show been produced now, some of the scenes would probably have been more horrific and realistic. The programme was broadcasted quite early in the evening - before the watershed. There were no torture scenes to speak of - it was more mental torture, rather than physical.

Wallace Browns lonely scenes inside his prison cell seemed to reflect a gentle technique in how to mentally survive such an ordeal - he was given no pencils or paper to amuse himself with. To stop his mind from focussing on the worse things that could possibly happen to him, he was able to affix his imagination to putting together a blue print of a house that he was planning to build, before he was sent to Korea.

Special effects technicians were, cleverly for the time, able to show the image of what he was thinking - and the way he was building his house - as if it was appearing of the cell wall. There were also flash back scenes to where he was at home in America, awe inspiring his wife and telling her where the house was going to go.

I cannot quite remember how the show ended. It was obvious that he was eventually released. If this was not the case, he would not have been able to write a book about his ordeal, nor assist in its adaption for television. The show would have been a shortened adaption from Captain Wallace Browns book: "The Endless Hours: My two and a half years as a prisoner of the Chinese Communists - published in 1961.

This is one of the very earliest unique tv shows that I can remember watching as a child and I do hope it is of some help to anyone interested.

Kraft Mystery Theater: The Fortress
(1963)
Episode 6, Season 3

Kraft Theatre - The Fortress - Lloyd Bridges
I remember watching this programme with my mother in 1963. It was shown on BBC Television on a Thursday evening at 8:25, after the TV soap opera, "Compact" and the popular comedy show, "Steptoe and Son".

It is one of the few television shows that I do remember watching as a child. It starred Lloyd Bridges as Lieutenant Wallace Brown, who was incarcerated as a Prisoner of War in Communist China, during the conflict with North Korea in the early 1950s.

In places, the show was narrated, and was broadcasted on the BBC for a period of 50 minutes.

The show opened with Lieutenant Wallace Brown being shot down over enemy territory and being caught by franticly public-spirited peasant workers in a Korean farming area. I remember the scene shifting to Lieutenant Wallace Brown's prison cell, where he was taken out and interrogated at various intervals.

The interrogation scenes were not particularly harrowing. If the show been produced now, some of the scenes would probably have been more horrific and realistic. The programme was broadcasted quite early in the evening - before the watershed. There were no torture scenes to speak of - it was more mental torture, rather than physical.

Wallace Browns lonely scenes inside his prison cell seemed to reflect a gentle technique in how to mentally survive such an ordeal - he was given no pencils or paper to amuse himself with. To stop his mind from focussing on the worse things that could possibly happen to him, he was able to affix his imagination to putting together a blue print of a house that he was planning to build, before he was sent to Korea.

Special effects technicians were, cleverly for the time, able to show the image of what he was thinking - and the way he was building his house - as if it was appearing of the cell wall. There were also flash back scenes to where he was at home in America, awe inspiring his wife and telling her where the house was going to go.

I cannot quite remember how the show ended. It was obvious that he was eventually released. If this was not the case, he would not have been able to write a book about his ordeal, nor assist in its adaption for television. The show would have been a shortened adaption from Captain Wallace Browns book: "The Endless Hours: My two and a half years as a prisoner of the Chinese Communists - published in 1961.

This is one of the very earliest unique tv shows that I can remember watching as a child and I do hope it is of some help to anyone interested.

See all reviews