Futtocks End Ronnie Barker £5.12 @ Selectcheaper
Futtocks End Ronnie Barker £5.12 @ Selectcheaper

Futtocks End Ronnie Barker £5.12 @ Selectcheaper

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Ear trumpets and French maid's outfits, battle-axe cooks and croquet, gratuitous knicker shots and gurgling plumbing: welcome to Futtock's End, Ronnie Barker's 1969 'weekend at a country house' comedy filmed at Sir William Gilbert's former country residence, Grim's Dyke. Barker himself plays the monocled, perenially-bemused General Futtock, with Michael Hordern as his imperiously condescending, keyhole-peeping, motorbike-riding butler. The film also sees the last film performance from Roger Livesey, who plays 'the artist', one of an assortment of guests arriving for the weekend. Dialogue, such as it is, consists entirely of harrumphs, chortles and muted exclamations, and is punctuated with sound effects that reach their height of expression in an inspired hungover breakfast scene that borders on the hallucinatory. Clich?abound - monocle in the fruit salad, tipsy guests, muddy handprints on the back of a skirt - but that's partly the point; the enjoyment is in the material's realisation, and Barker and Hordern, with absolute command of their facial expressions, are born to their parts. Good fun, if rather un-pc now in places. File it next to Eric Sykes' The Plank.

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