HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Great White
Spy Who Came in from the Cold, The
Raya and the Last Dragon
Letter from Paris
Behind the Mask
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
   
 
Newest Articles
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
   
 
  Best Pair of Legs in the Business, The Life's A Drag
Year: 1973
Director: Christopher Hodson
Stars: Reg Varney, Diana Coupland, Lee Montague, Jean Harvey, David Lincoln, George Sweeney, Clare Sutcliffe, Penny Spencer, Michael Hadley, Bill Dean, Reginald Marsh, Karen Kessey, Johnny Briggs, Geoffrey Chater, Clare Kelly, Jane Seymour, Claire Davenport
Genre: Comedy, DramaBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Sherry Sheridan (Reg Varney) is a comedian and compere in a holiday camp, tonight judging the Knobbly Knees Contest in front of the holidaymakers, and during the show he is knocked off the stage, landing on his back with his feet in the air which gets the biggest laugh of the evening. His wife Mary (Diana Coupland) observes this from behind the bar and retreats to the back room where the manager Charlie Green (Lee Montague) remarks Sherry will likely include that tumble in every routine now, he's that desperate. But maybe the comedian doesn't know how desperate he really is, or will soon become...

The old cliché about every clown wanting to play Hamlet never held truer than in this adaptation of a television play which had starred Reg Varney, who around this time was a megastar in Britain thanks to his leading sitcom role in On the Buses. That series was made into a short franchise of three movies, and such was their success that Varney found himself a film star for a few years in the early seventies, appearing in a small handful of vehicles (not just buses) of which The Best Pair of Legs in the Business was one. He had obviously become quite attached to the role, probably thanks to the range it allowed him to demonstrate.

So Reg got to camp it up as Sherry's stage persona, then go to the other extreme as the character's life falls apart and he grows ever more miserable, with his wife seeing another man, Charlie, and his son Alan (Michael Hadley) embarrassed by him so much that he doesn't want him to attend his upcoming wedding (to Jane Seymour the same year she was romanced by James Bond, apparently). The notion that behind the laughter was always tears was what writer Kevin Laffan (creator of long-running soap Emmerdale Farm, later abbreviated to Emmerdale) was emphasising, and the setting of a holiday camp was ideal, just rundown enough in this case to pull back the curtain and reveal the true dejection of the British holiday.

The implication being that the entertainers at the camp are no less morose than those who visit it to be entertained, which spoke to a wider, modern life is rubbish sense that everyone was living a dreadful existence and a few jokes from a man in a frock was never going to obscure the gaping abyss in their souls. Basically, living in this world is equivalent to waking up in Hell, and the less than sunny mood of the movie did not make for a particularly encouraging viewing, no matter how much we were intended to sit back and admire Varney's performance. To be fair it was clear why he wanted it captured in a movie rather than a more ephemeral TV play, because he did prove he could have played more serious parts.

Not that he was asked, and come the end of the seventies his career was winding down, not helped by health problems, although the item of trivia that everyone knows about Reg Varney would keep him satisfied, that he was the first person to use a cash machine in Britain (this makes a good double whammy of comedy act trivia with the fact Ernie Wise was the first person in the UK to make a mobile phone call). Back at the plot it's character study time as Sherry's flaws are exposed, his wife leaving him, his son disowning him, the career going down the pan, and all he has left are heavily embellished memories of meeting the Queen. In a subplot two lads try to get lucky with two terminally unimpressed girls, leading to humorous asides with trying to buy condoms from female chemists and failing, which builds up to their prejudices setting on Sherry who gets on better with the ladies in spite of (in the lads' opinion) his apparent homosexuality. But this is just his act, and if there's redemption ahead, the sight of Varney regularly stripping to his underpants is not one to relish. Music by Harry Robertson.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 3153 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 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
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: