Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Every Home Should Have One (4½ Stars)

How did this happen? How have I gone 48 years without watching this marvellous film? I had never even heard of it until a few weeks ago. I would have given it five stars, if not for the awful song "Think Dirty" which plays at repeated intervals in the first half hour. It's a disgrace that an otherwise perfect film should be spoilt by bad music that hurts my ears.

I'm amazed that the picture quality is so good, considering the film was made in 1970. My assumption is that it's been given a high quality remastering in recent years. The indoor scenes are crisp and faultless. The outdoor scenes show minor faults, but they're still very clear.

The film is about Teddy Brown, a junior assistant in an advertising company. He's entrusted with creating an advertising campaign for McLaughlin's Frozen Porridge. He decides that the best idea is to show that porridge is sexy, and he starts a nationwide campaign to find a beautiful, sexy woman for the television commercials. He doesn't realise that the perfect woman is right in front of him, his family's voluptuous Swedish au pair girl Inga. His work brings him into conflict with his wife, who is the member of a decency group that is campaigning to remove sex from British television.

The film starts off with slapstick, then adds social commentary about the hypocrisy in British society, leading up to a hilarious fight to the death. Like most films made in England in the 1970's, it's a few years out of date. The people of London's high society are dressed in the flashy bright colours of the mid-1960's, in contrast to the decency campaigners who wear dull colours or grey suits.

The film was obviously written for Marty Feldman to boost his career. He was already popular in television comedy series, but this was his first feature film. It helped him gain popularity in America, leading to his collaborations with Mel Brooks, "Young Frankenstein" (1974) and "Silent Movie" (1976). His early death at the age of 48 was a tragedy. At least we still have films like "Every home should have one" to remember him by.

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