HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Wind, The
Holly and the Ivy, The
Atlantique
Now, Voyager
Wolf's Call, The
Nostalghia
Nightingale, The
Eighth Grade
Irishman, The
Betrayed
Lords of Chaos
Operation Petticoat
Dead Don't Die, The
On the Waterfront
Last Faust, The
Moonlighting
Art of Self-Defense, The
Ironweed
Booksmart
Prisoners
Beach Bum, The
Kill Ben Lyk
Into the Mirror
Support the Girls
Werewolf
Little Monsters
Spider-Man: Far from Home
Horrible Histories: The Movie - Rotten Romans
Pentathlon
Anna
Moulin Rouge
Ray & Liz
African Queen, The
Helen Morgan Story, The
Golem, Der
Yentl
Finishing Line, The
Triple Threat
Mysterious Castle in the Carpathians, The
Driven
   
 
Newest Articles
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
Shit-Eating Grim: Salo, or the 120 Days of Sodom on Blu-ray
Stallone's 80s Action Alpha and Omega: Nighthawks and Lock Up
Python Prehistory: At Last the 1948 Show and Do Not Adjust Your Set on DVD
You Could Grow to Love This Place: Local Hero on Blu-ray
Anglo-American: Joseph Losey Blu-ray Double Bill - The Criminal and The Go-Between
   
 
  Rising Damp Myyy God!Buy this film here.
Year: 1980
Director: Joseph McGrath
Stars: Leonard Rossiter, Frances de la Tour, Don Warrington, Christopher Strauli, Denholm Elliott, Carrie Jones, Glyn Edwards, John Cater, Derek Griffiths, Ronnie Brody, Alan Clare, Pat Roach, Jonathan Cecil, Bill Dean
Genre: Comedy
Rating:  6 (from 2 votes)
Review: Rigsby (Leonard Rossiter) is a landlord of a boarding house afflicted with impoverished conditions and home to a collection of tenants who really cannot do any better, so have to put up with both the cramped surroundings and his intrusive, pontificating attitude where he thinks nothing of walking into their rooms and telling them what's on his mind. Those tenants are currently Miss Ruth Jones (Frances de la Tour) and Philip Smith (Don Warrington), the latter taking the damp-ridden top flat and the former being the unrequited object of Rigsby's affections, a spinster who had designs on medical student Philip. Into this atmosphere arrives John (Christopher Strauli), an art student who is unwittingly forced by the landlord to share with Philip...

The history of ITV sitcoms in Britain, when they were still making a substantial amount of them, is not generally regarded as impressively as the ones on their rival channels at the BBC, yet if you look back you will see they enjoyed many big hits with the public even if those efforts are largely forgotten today. One writer who remained loyal to the third channel was Eric Chappell, who concocted a run of successes from Rising Damp through to Only When I Laugh, Duty Free and Home to Roost, but it was the first of those which is seen as the real classic. One of the dingiest sitcoms ever made, taking place on pokey, cluttered sets in front of an appreciative studio audience, it looked cheap but the quality of Chappell's scripts and the performances which rose to the occasion generated the laughs.

Of course, it remains controversial for the bigoted attitudes of Rigsby who barely let an episode go by without some racist remark directed towards the elegant Philip, though crucially the show never took Rigsby's side: he was always a figure of ridicule and the butt of the jokes. Not that Rossiter got the lion's share of the laughs, as this was very much an ensemble piece, though it was he who would be remembered thanks to the star's dedicated playing. In all it ran for four series, also sustaining the celebrity of Richard Beckinsale who played the character more or less essayed by Strauli in this movie, and therein lay one of many problems this had. Although Beckinsale had bowed out of the last series on television, tragically he had died before the film was made.

Therefore what you had was Chappell warming over extracts of his old scripts for television in a sort of compilation of highlights, only with the specific mood of the original lost thanks to being shot on locations - now they seemed less like amusing characters and more like pale imitations, this even with three of the stars reappearing. And when Strauli was given lines well known from his late friend Beckinsale's delivery, the whole affair rang desperately false, that in spite of John not supposed to be the same character as the Alan one. Veteran comedy director Joseph McGrath was at the helm, but all he could do was try to corral the actors into replicating their past glories, something they conspicuously failed to do; it was a strange experience, you could see why it had been funny before but were acutely aware it wasn't funny now.

There were instances of fresh material, but when they were relegated to bits and pieces here and there such as two fantasy sequences where Rigsby imagines taking Miss Jones out for a meal, leading to embarrassing scenes of them dancing the tango (holding onto one another's arses because presumably arses=amusing) and Rigsby dressed up as a leather-clad fifties rocker in what is supposed to be a spoof of Saturday Night Fever, assuming you had never seen that blockbuster and only heard about it second hand. The dated modernisation even extended to replacing the rickety piano theme of the source with a disco tune ("Rising Damp's gonna get us all!" trill the singers), yet for a sitcom so fixed in the previous decade, the results were hopeless and crass. Strauli, one of the stars of Chappell's Only When I Laugh, for one counted this as one of the worst roles of his career, mostly because Rossiter was insistent he reproduce Beckinsale's performance, and there lay the issue, they were missing the seedy appeal of the original by miles since lightning couldn't strike twice. Music by David Lindup.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1725 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Joseph McGrath  (1930 - )

Scottish director of film and TV comedy who debuted as one of four directors on the chaotic James Bond spoof Casino Royale. The Terry Southern-penned Magic Christian was a bizarre comedy whose cast included Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, while 1973's Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World is a much-loved kids favourite. McGrath also helmed The Great McGonagall, another oddball Milligan comedy, and big screen version of Rising Damp.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star do you think makes the best coffee?
Emma Stone
Anna Kendrick
Michelle Rodriguez
Sir Patrick Stewart
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
  Rachel Franke
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: