HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  Boys in Blue, The Don't Ask A Policeman
Year: 1982
Director: Val Guest
Stars: Tommy Cannon, Bobby Ball, Suzanne Danielle, Roy Kinnear, Eric Sykes, Jack Douglas, Edward Judd, Jon Pertwee, Arthur English, Billy Burden, Nigel Lambert
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: An elaborate theft of priceless paintings has taken place, and the police are at a loss to explain where they have disappeared to. In the tiny seaside village of Little Botham, Constable Ball (Bobby Ball) and Sergeant Cannon (Tommy Cannon) are the only policemen and the day after the robbery they are more concerned with breaking up a traffic jam. There is a herd of cows in the way, and one of the delayed vehicles is a car pulling a boat, driven by a mysterious French woman. PC Ball helps her out by taking the wheel and manoeuvering the car out of its space, denting a parked car belonging to the Superintendent (Eric Sykes) by mistake. It's another mark against the two coppers, and they will have to find a very good reason not to be closed down with the crime rate being so low. But all that will soon change...

Genius is an overused word when describing great films, but with The Boys in Blue it would be entirely inappropriate. Written by Sid Colin, it was an update to the eighties of an old Will Hay comedy, Ask a Policeman, but the two comedians taking the roles here showed little of the talent of the original stars. On Saturday night television in the early eighties, you had a choice of comic teams to watch: you could switch on BBC1 and see Little and Large, who never made a foray onto the big screen, or you could stick with ITV and watch Cannon and Ball. Both were on about the same level of humour, with catchphrases and sketches abounding, but it's difficult to see what film producers saw in Tommy and Bobby based on their TV material.

The film plays like an overextended sketch with the duo in the guise of bumbling policemen. The catchphrases, such as "You little liar!", "Yer mental!" and the most famous, "Rock on, Tommy!" were transferred intact, as was Ball's habit of wearing red braces which he would intermittently stretch out with one thumb, all presumably to remind audiences of the reason they liked to watch them on TV at the weekends. Cannon was the straight man, the (relatively) more intelligent of the two, who bossed the hyperactive Ball about, usually by grabbing him by the lapels and shouting at him. In truth, the jokes are not much worse than what they used to get away with on the small screen, and the guest stars are of the calibre that would appear on their show, too.

PC Ball and Sergeant Cannon become suspicious of a new arrival in the area, a supposed writer, Hilling (Edward Judd), who may have something to do with those stolen artworks. In one of many laboured scenes, the policemen break into his barn, which includes the falling into a cowpat routine and the falling into a barrel of water routine (twice), but Hilling chases them away. When the news comes through to their station (which doubles as a shop) that they may be transferred, the bumblers decide to create their own crime wave to keep themselves in work, by stealing the paintings of the local rich businessman, Lloyd (Roy Kinnear), with the help of his assistant (Suzanne Danielle), but things don't work out the way they plan.

Even though there are attempts to make the film contemporary, with the headless horseman replaced by a roving flying saucer, and the odd lines like, "Have some Bucks Fizz," "I prefer Adam Ant, meself", The Boys in Blue still looks like a relic of a bygone era, and probably did in 1982, as well. But despite its dire reputation, it's not a demanding watch, and has a certain puppydog charm. I suppose it was easy to kick around when it came out because viewers generally have higher standards for what they go out to see at the cinema of an evening compared to what they watch at home. Now that Cannon and Ball and their brand of working men's club humour have disappeared from the television screens, it's possible to see this film with a vaguely nostalgic glow as the last gasp of British variety on film - the double act even sing the theme song at the end. Rather this than Kevin and Perry Go Large.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 12193 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Val Guest  (1912 - 2006)

British writer, director and producer, best known for his science fiction films, who started on the stage, graduated to film scriptwriting (Will Hay comedies such as Oh! Mr Porter are among his credits) in the 1930s, and before long was directing in the 1940s. He will be best remembered for a string of innovative, intelligent science fiction movies starting with The Quatermass Xperiment, then sequel Quatermass II, The Abominable Snowman and minor classic The Day the Earth Caught Fire.

He also made Frankie Howerd comedy The Runaway Bus, Cliff Richard musical Expresso Bongo, some of Casino Royale, When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth, 1970s sex comedies Au Pair Girls and Confessions of a Window Cleaner, and his last film, the Cannon and Ball-starring The Boys in Blue.

 
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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: