HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Kat and the Band
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Party Hard: Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
   
 
  Last Remake of Beau Geste, The Join The Legion To Remember
Year: 1977
Director: Marty Feldman
Stars: Ann-Margret, Marty Feldman, Michael York, Peter Ustinov, James Earl Jones, Trevor Howard, Henry Gibson, Terry-Thomas, Roy Kinnear, Spike Milligan, Avery Schreiber, Hugh Griffith, Irene Handl, Sinéad Cusack, Henry Polic II, Ted Cassidy, Burt Kwouk
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Our story does not begin in the Sahara Desert, although that is where it ends up, but let us travel back a few years to the English country manor of the Geste family, where the head of the house, Sir Hector (Trevor Howard), is anxiously awaiting the birth of his son. But the doctor has both good tidings and bad: the wife has died - "What are the bad tidings?" asks Sir Hector - and he is now the father to a bouncing baby girl. He is outraged, he has no use for a daughter, so is forced to visit the local orphanage to find a son to adopt, and settles on the one who looks to be the best fighter. He shall become Beau Geste (Michael York)... and he has a twin brother too.

Except that though they are identical twins, Beau is more identical than Digby, because Digby is played by Marty Feldman, the brains behind this spoof of P.C. Wren's classic novel of adventure. Feldman had been doing well in Hollywood thanks to his association with Mel Brooks and some well-received television work there, so naturally he would be awarded a movie of his own to create. The result was this, an irreverent to a fault send up that stuck as close to the original as packing in all those gags would allow, but sadly it was not as welcomed as Feldman had hoped, as it garnered some pretty terrible reviews and the public did not exactly flock to it, though it did respectable business otherwise.

Feldman blamed post-production interference by the studio for this, as the film was re-edited against his wishes, but what did survive was not a bad effort by any means. If anything, more jokes hit the mark than fall flat, and if not every punchline or item of slapstick strikes the funny bone, then there is an abundance of truly hilarious bits that make this well worth your while, especially if you count yourself as a comedy fan. Feldman cast himself as the idealistic but put upon hero, always in the shadow of Beau who he looks up to, and the only character in this who has a sense of integrity as everyone else is a few sandwiches short of a picnic, as if any thoughts of honour or probity will hold you back.

Or get you into all sorts of trouble should you tread the moral path, anyway. This could have resulted in a cynical work, but Feldman's British sensibility worked up a sense of sympathy for the little guy he played, who was always endeavouring to do the right thing while those around him saw through the sham of heroism. The Foreign Legion looms large, naturally, as Beau enters their ranks after the precious sapphire owned by the family goes missing and he is forced to act out of shame until it is returned (and when we find out who took the gemstone, this bit of the plot makes no sense if you think about it). Digby refuses to talk about his brother's whereabouts, and winds up in prison.

Though he does escape to join his sibling in the Legion, and all the jokes about the desert that here are done so much better than they were in Carry On Follow That Camel ensue. Feldman amassed an impressive array of talent, with Ann-Margret as the Gestes' opportunistic stepmother relishing the chance to be funny, Peter Ustinov as the sadistic Markov, leader of the troops with a false leg (which doubles as a gun, thirty years before Rose McGowan's in Planet Terror), Spike Milligan as the elderly and possibly demented butler, and James Earl Jones sporting an excellent cut glass English accent as the leader of the attacking tribe. Every cast member was on top form, and Feldman rewarded them with some engagingly daft humour, giving himself some pretty good scenes as well (his bit with Gary Cooper in the original Beau Geste is a nice sequence). It's a pity that he felt stung by the way this turned out, because more often than not it was one of the funniest things he ever did. Music by John Morris.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2512 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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 is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: