HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
True Don Quixote, The
Babymother
Mitchells vs. the Machines, The
Dora and the Lost City of Gold
Unholy, The
How to Deter a Robber
Antebellum
Offering, The
Enola Holmes
Big Calamity, The
Man Under Table
Freedom Fields
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
   
 
Newest Articles
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
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Sands of the Desert A Proper Charlie
Year: 1960
Director: John Paddy Carstairs
Stars: Charlie Drake, Peter Arne, Sarah Branch, Raymond Huntley, Rebecca Dignam, Peter Illing, Harold Kasket, Marne Maitland, Neil McCarthy, Derek Sydney, Alan Tilvern, Martin Benson, Eric Pohlmann, Paul Stassino, Tutte Lemkow, Roger Delgado, Judith Furse
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: The tourist company of Mr Bossom (Raymond Huntley) has been hit with a snag recently when it tried to open a holiday camp in the deserts of Africa. This plan has met with a degree of opposition, especially from one of the local sheiks, El Jabez (Peter Arne) who sees this as an affront to his realm, and has soured relations with his great rival in the area who is more happy with the scheme. So much so that Bossom's representative in the deal has been blown up in an assassination bid, a successful one at that, and the boss must find a replacement to head out there and oversee the completion of the camp. Unfortunately for them, the only available employee is Charles Sands (Charlie Drake), a bumbler of the first degree...

This wasn't Drake's movie debut, but it was the first film to try and capitalise on his popularity that he had attained in the musical hall and after that, television. He would go on to make a handful of comedy films, none of which exactly set the box office alight as audiences were more keen to see him on the small screen until that success waned in the seventies after his children's production Professor Popper's Problems, where he was shrunk and had various adventures. What tended to dog his reputation was the notion that he was difficult to work with, which may have harmed his career: the famous incident where he was knocked out on live TV was rumoured not to have been an accident after all.

That said, there have been a fair few showbiz monsters, and Charlie's clumsy innocent persona was sure to generate the gossip that he wasn't anywhere near as decent in real life (a selection of far younger girlfriends didn't do much to endear him either), but he was a hard worker, as befitting the title of his most famed sitcom, The Worker. However, there was another small man casting a far longer shadow over Drake, and he was considerably better liked in the industry: step forward Norman Wisdom, who in Sands of the Desert was a blatant inspiration for the antics, only on a far lower budget. No matter that this was set in the desert as the title awkwardly suggests, it was plain to see how stuck in the studio the whole thing was.

Nevertheless, Charlie was put through some very Wisdom-esque paces, so much so that if it had not been written and directed by John Paddy Carstairs, Norman might have had reason to complain. Carstairs was the man responsible for most of Albania's favourite movie star's screen outings, and had guaranteed his hits with elaborate slapstick and mournful pathos, so the formula was slavishly adhered to here to lesser effect. Drake was even ignored by the love interest that wasn't, model Sarah Branch making one of her few appearances as an actress, who barely notices him after their initial encounters, as if to acknowledge that Norman may have got away with charming the ladies, but Charlie was a different kettle of fish. Notably when you had a sequence slap bang in the middle that came across as one of the star's sexual fantasies that had somehow ended up being filmed.

He is in a sheik's palace when he is surrounded by his scantily clad harem, who end up coaxing Sands into a bath: well, almost, as before he has completely stripped off he is interrupted by a larger, less personable lady in a feeble move to say, hey, you didn't think we'd really see Charlie serviced by the young women, did you? Ha ha ha... er, of course not! Mind you, that's only a small part of a film that is more intent on sentimentalism with a little orphan girl (Rebecca Dignam) who hangs onto Sands as a surrogate father, call it the Charlie Chaplin influence that Wisdom was not immune to either. Altogether odder was Neil McCarthy, appearing in brownface as a lot of the actors did here, who acts as Sands' bodyguard but seems to have an unhealthy interest in donkeys. Call a different era, but what they were aiming for is something of a mystery there. Of perhaps more note was a horrible feast sequence Steven Spielberg appeared to have ripped off for Temple of Doom, sheep's eye and everything. All in all, this wasn't actively offensive, but it was derivative. Music by Stanley Black (Charlie sings, too).
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2450 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: