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  Confessions of a Driving Instructor Men And MotorsBuy this film here.
Year: 1976
Director: Norman Cohen
Stars: Robin Askwith, Anthony Booth, Sheila White, Doris Hare, Bill Maynard, Windsor Davies, Liz Fraser, Irene Handl, George Layton, Lynda Bellingham, Avril Angers, Maxine Casson, Chrissy Iddon, Ballard Berkeley, Suzy Mandel, Sally Faulkner, John Junkin
Genre: Comedy, Sex
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Timmy Lea (Robin Askwith) is taking his driving test today, but it's not any old driving test, as this is his examination to become a driving instructor. He is introduced to his tutor, who turns out to be a young woman, and not only that but as they drive along it grows clear that she is interested him as more than a pupil. With Timmy doing everything right, the examiner tells him to pull into a layby and starts to seduce him, the effect of this being that their passion is so torrid that the car falls to pieces. Still, it all works out well in the end even if the car doesn't, as Timmy passes with flying colours - now he and his brother-in-law Sid (Anthony Booth) can open their own driving school.

After the comparative highs of Confessions of a Window Cleaner and Confessions of a Pop Performer, the series that had become the most famous of all the British sex comedies of this era began to settle down into looking a lot more like its peers. There may be a caption at the end which informs us that the Confessions films are the genuine article, as if to say "accept no imitations", but as there were so many of this type of thing it was difficult for many audiences to see what the difference was. I'd imagine the producers thought they secured a better quality of guest star, or enjoyed a higher standard of jokes.

However, while there are a few decent enough chuckles with ...Driving Instructor, it was obvious they were running out of ideas, although Christopher Wood was still turning out the original novels and indeed provided the script here. The concept of women so sex-starved that they would resort to shagging their driving instructors, not even to pass their tests, mind, seemed a lot more desperate than a quickie with the window cleaner or being caught up in the lower echelons of showbiz. Perhaps for this reason the whole driving school premise doesn't take up a huge part of the story, mainly reduced to sketches in the main plot.

That main plot sees, somewhat surprisingly, Timmy take on the British class system as a working class crusader breaking down the barriers between the toffs and the hoi polloi. The main object of his affection is, therefore, Mary (Lynda Bellingham, then-wife of the producer) who is the posh daughter of the owner of the rival school next door, played by Windsor Davies somewhat bizarrely not with his Welsh accent, but as a Scotsman complete with kilt (but equally oddly, without any "Is anything worn under the kilt?" "No, it's all in perfect working order" style of gags). Davies' Mr Truscott has a sidekick in George Layton playing Bender, who is also vying for Mary's affections.

There are hints that the producers might have liked to stage some Death Race 2000 stunts, but were lacking the money to pull them off, so when Irene Handl gets behind the wheel as a little old lady who has failed her test forty-three times, she careers around the road to some extent, but the crashes that result are minor. Although they do get her to drive the wrong way up a motorway, we don't see how she ends up parking the car on top of a transporter, just as we don't see Timmy's car landing in a pond when he accidentally lets the handbrake off when he finally gets close to Mary. Class differences raise their head when Timmy is seduced by a Lady whose Lord is out fox hunting, or when the family goes to a posh restaurant and feel out of their depth, but while this could have been mined for better laughs, this instalment settles for average most of the way. Music by Ed Welch.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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