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  Magnificent Two, The Up The Revolution!
Year: 1967
Director: Cliff Owen
Stars: Eric Morecambe, Ernie Wise, Margit Saad, Virgilio Teixeira, Cecil Parker, Isobel Black, Sue Sylvaine, Martin Benson, Michael Godfrey, Henry Beltran, Tyler Butterworth, Sandor Elès, Andreas Malandrinos, Victor Maddern, Michael Gover, Veronica Carlson
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Eric (Eric Morecambe) and Ernie (Ernie Wise) are two travelling salesmen trying to flog a batch of soldier toys in South America. They have been on the road for some time, and are currently in a train carriage running through a small, almost insignificant country. Eric is feeling the pressure of being on the train for two whole days, and wishes to relieve himself, but the fierce dog blocking the door won't let him past so he resorts to drastic measures: he climbs on the outside of the carriage and clambers his way to the toilet. However, when he opens the correct door, two fighting men fall out to their deaths - Eric doesn't notice, but this will be very significant...

The Magnificent Two might sound like a western spoof, but it's not, it's a parody of all those South American revolutionary films. What do you mean you've never seen a South American revolutionary film? There must be one. Anyway, it was better known as the final film to star British comedy duo Morecambe and Wise, unless you count their last effort, Night Train to Murder made at the end of their careers and barely released. This was probably the least of their trio of sixties big screen efforts, but that's not to say it was completely worthless.

There is something offputting about the production, though, and it's not what you might expect. No, it's not the poor material, worked on by four screenwriters including their two main television writers of the decade, it's the gratuitous violence. It may sound ridiculous to complain about the levels of bloodshed in a Morecambe and Wise project, but not ten minutes goes by without someone being shot or otherwise attacked, and sometimes it's the stars getting hurt. Not only that, but at the end it's them doing the shooting as well, although director Cliff Owen ensures that we never see them kill anyone.

The significance of the men who fell out the train is that one of them was a great leader in waiting and he just happened to be the double of Eric, in a real groaner of a comedy cliché. So naturally Eric ends up being drafted to pose as the new leader of the country after the previous one is deposed in a coup, and there's some confusion about whose side we are supposed to be on, the old President or the revolutionaries. The answer is that we're meant to be on the side of both and neither at the same time, so some of the old government are decent sorts while some of the revolutionaries are worth getting behind too.

Mostly the women, as it turns out, and Eric and Ern aren't fighting over the attentions of one female this time, they get one each. Eric's prospective girlfriend is Carla (Margit Saad), a machine gun-toting equal rights advocate, but it's not long before the plans to stage an assassination of Eric are being but into effect. He thinks it's a set up, but of course the assassins have other ideas, leading to him being floored by a bullet (see what I mean?). There are a few amusing bits, mostly around the television broadcast Eric gives where he refuses to stick to the script and makes extravagant promises that his underlings cannot keep, but this indicates in its way that T.V. was the best place for the duo. Ending with a bunch of women in their underwear saving the day, let's say the film was of its time and leave it at that. Music by Ron Goodwin.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

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