Newest Reviews
Morfalous, Les
Everything Went Fine
Lux AEterna
Rum Runners
Fairy and the Devil, The
Mad God
Outside the Law
I Remember Mama
Superman Unbound
Lawrence of Belgravia
House Across the Lake, The
Wonder Park
Hornsby e Rodriguez
Operation Mincemeat
5 Kung Fu Daredevil Heroes
Peau Douce, La
Double Indemnity
Na Cha and the Seven Devils
Deep Murder
Superman vs. the Elite
Adam Project, The
Osamu Tezuka's Last Mystery of the 20th Century
Horse, La
Train Robbers, The
Let Sleeping Cops Lie
Funeral, The
Burning Sea, The
Godzilla Singular Point
Ace of Aces
Innocents, The
Beast and the Magic Sword, The
Last Hard Men, The
Found Footage Phenomenon, The
Night Trap
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
  Let's Go Crazy Ready Pre-Goon
Year: 1951
Director: Alan Cullimore
Stars: Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan, Wallas Eaton, Tommy Manley, Florence Austin, Freddie Mirfield, Keith Warwick, Jean Cavall, Pat Kaye
Genre: Comedy, MusicBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Here is a selection of variety acts for your pleasure, beginning with Freddie Mirfield and his Garbagemen, a novelty dance band who make their way anarchically through a tune as all the while the harpist fires missiles from her strings and the pianist gets his face caught in his keys. In between the musical bits and pieces, there are comedy sketches courtesy of Mr Peter Sellers and Mr Spike Millligan, with the former demonstrating his mastery of character and disguise in what would be his first ever onscreen appearance in a film.

Not that this is a very long film, or even a particularly substantial one, but for showing two of the soon-to-be Goons in a half-hour short of their own devising it is historically important if nothing else. Sadly, there isn't much else, as the humour is very much typical of the variety circuit of the day, just as much as the musical performers are, and while it's amusing enough on a low level, low expectations kind of way it's not something you can imagine watching more than once, and only then out of curiosity as Sellers appears for about half of it, and Milligan even less.

Still, when they do appear it's interesting to see the beginnings of the character comedy that Sellers made his stock in trade, and the nonsense humour that Milligan embraced. All Spike really gets to do in the service of that is shave a man with his cutlery while he's at the restaurant table, but his comic partner in crime is offered - or was offered by himself, as he and Milligan scripted their sketches - far more opportunity to show off his range. He appears as Groucho Marx (the voice isn't great, but the mannerisms are there) and in drag as a patron, and gets to exercise his accents as the Italian head waiter who despairs of having to serve boiled beef and carrots.

Legend has it that Let's Go Crazy (was Prince perhaps inspired by this? Maybe not) came into being because the first feature this team made - Penny Points to Paradise - was rustled up in so brief a time that there was a week of studio access left over, so this short was the result. It undoubtedly wouldn't have been given a second glance were it not for the Goon relevance, as the supporting acts, while perfectly competent, are largely unremarkable. Pleasant crooners mostly, although the finale does involve a bizarrely violent double act of a man and a woman who dance their way through acrobatic physical brutality as if it was perfectly reasonable that you could go to a nightclub in 1951 and enjoy this served up as entertainment. Nothing Sellers and Milligan do here is as way out as that.

[This is included on the BFI's DVD and Blu-ray of Penny Points to Paradise, along with another Sellers-connected rarity.]
Reviewer: Graeme Clark


This review has been viewed 3020 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

Review Comments (0)

Untitled 1

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
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Graeme Clark
Enoch Sneed
Mary Sibley
  Desbris M
  Sheila Reeves
Paul Smith


Last Updated: