Movies: 19854 | TV Series: 3309 | Added today: 8 | Storage: 74862 GB
|IMDB Rating:||5.6 out of 10 (475 votes)|
|Up Pompeii (iPod)||Resolution: 480x368 px||Total Size: 317 Mb||
|Up Pompeii (DivX)||Resolution: 512x384 px||Total Size: 691 Mb|
Roman slave Lurkio inadvertently becomes the possessor of a scroll naming the proposed assassins of the Emperor Nero. Administering to the participants of his masters orgy guests seems small compared to the trouble the scroll brings - but all are in for a nasty shock when Mount Vesuvius decides to erupt.
This silly period comedy lives or dies depending your taste for FrankieHowerd. Me, I quite like him: I love his asides to the camera, hisconstant exasperation, his little quips and wisecracks. Others may findhis humour stale and repetitive, and they'll be in trouble because thisfilm is the Frankie Howerd Show in all but name.A movie version of a once popular TV series (which I never saw), UPPOMPEII is a bawdy spoof of the Roman costume drama. Howerd playsLurcio, a slave who finds himself being chased by various ne'er dowells after a mix up involving a cucumber and a scroll (no, I'm notmaking this up). The film is an excuse for a parade of actors toembarrass themselves or amuse the audience, depending on how much youlike smutty, silly and slapstick humour, and rarely a scene goes bywithout a scantily clad woman in sight.As with most British comedies of the 1970s, a lot of the fun these dayscomes from spotting the star. There's Bernard Bresslaw as a champion,there's Hammer starlet Julie Ege as a noblewoman. Michael Hordern isfairly good as a politician who wanders around thinking of his nextspeech, as is Lance Percival as the heavy constantly on Howerd's tail(oo er). Watch out for Hammer players Maddy Smith and George Woodbridgein minor roles, a bit part for Darth Vader himself, Dave Prowse, andBarbara Murray as Howerd's alluring owner.
There was a time when the Americans took their movies and turned theminto TV series, and the British took their TV series and turned theminto movies. This happened a lot with situation comedies, and UpPompeii! was one of those.And, as was often the case with such movies, the conversion wasn't 100%successful. The main reason, in most cases, was the absence of a studioaudience, and that is certainly true here. The other reason, withspecific reference to this particular comedy vehicle, is that much ofthe reason why the TV series worked so well, was Howerd's directinteraction with the audience.Up Pompeii! is probably unique in terms of the way that the 4th wall isnot so much transparent as completely non-existent as far as Howerd'snarrator/protagonist/chorus/victim Lurcio is concerned. The events ofthe plot amble along and Lurcio dips in and out of them, keeping theaudience in his confidence all the while - for the rest of the cast,the 4th wall is completely intact.This conceit works brilliantly in the TV studio with a live audience,but less well, when Howerd's intimate asides are made to a movie cameraand picked up by a cinema audience or, these days, a home DVD audience.Having said that, this movie conversion, with a higher saucinessquotient than the TV series and a small amount of nudity, is a fairlyhappy remembrance of a unique contribution to UK screen comedy.
The late great Frankie Howerd pouts and leers his way in inimical style through this 90 minute bawdy romp set in the famous doomed Roman city. This big screen adaptation of the much loved TV series is noticeably naughtier than the small-screen version, with 15-rated nudity aplenty and double-entendres (and a few blatant single-entendres) in almost every scene.Although only Frankie as Lurcio, the slave, and the innocent young master (with the not-so-innocent odes to his latest love) seem to have survived the transition to cinema, most of the other characters are played by familiar faces from British cinema and all the usual plot elements are still there. This is pretty well classic English farce, in similar vein to some of the historical Carry On films made around the same time. Some of the gags are pretty lame, whilst others may make us wince a bit in today's politically correct climate. I defy anyone not to laugh out loud at least a couple of times during the movie though.Corny? Yes Hammy? Sure, but just go with the flow and enjoy. As a testimony to happier, more innocent days, Up Pompeii is definitely worthwhile.Salute!
This review is from: Frankie Howerd - The Comic Icons Collection (Up Pompeii and Up The Chastity Belt) [Region 2] (DVD) A wonderfully daft movie based on the hilarious television series. Frankie Howard couldn't be more effeminate if he tried. Madeline Smith is gorgeous and the jokes come thick and fast.
Spin off from the 70's sitcom of the same name this film spins out thesame gags over an hour and twenty minutes run time and gets away withit but only just. Frankie Howerd is again Lurcio the roman slave inancient Pompeii getting involved in the evil machinations of theemperor Nero (Patrick Cargill) and the evil Brutus and his henchmen(Lance Percival).If you liked the TV series you'll like this is the basic rule here, toa modern audience I doubt it would play well, Frankie Howerds routineis very much of it's time and place. But its very entertaining some ofthe gags are sign posted miles away but Frankie's personality, playingto the audience and comic timing are what make this entertaining. The movie feels too much like a stretched out episode to be a classiclike many TV shows spun off into movies in the 70's (On the Buses,Rising Damp, Porridge etc.) but its certainly worth a look for UpPompei or Frankie Howerd fans.Mostly funny, occasionally hilarious 7/10
This film quite simply says everything about Frankie Howard, helped bythe way that it is basically him talking for a great deal of the film.the bawdiness level in this is simply outstanding, a veritable treatfor anyone who feels like smirking at jokes about cucumbers andfountains with wine emanating from the member of a male statue via themanipulation of 'his' hand in the middle of a Roman orgy. The filmdoesn't really offer anything more than this, but then unless a lot ofit has been lost the evidence shows it could never have been intendedto provide any more. To say that there are acting performances in thefilm to criticise would be very unfair, what can be seen is that everyindividual aspect of the film works effortlessly to enhance the singletheme, comical romping British style in Roman clothes. This it achieveswonderfully, exploiting old jokes and introducing a few new 'uns'whenever someone bothered to try. This stunning level of un-originalityreally is a charm, the gags are predictable and harmless but manage tosort of 'fall out' of the film as it potters along quite effectivelyand regularly with few lapses into 'boring farce' which wreck manysimilar offerings. If the film is approached sympathetically it willreward all the way until the final credits like no-other I have everhad the fortune to view.
This film is rubbish! I know - I've seen it 23 times! Perhaps you need tobeBritish even to understand it. Just reading the names of the charactersmakes me smile.The film has its origin in a British TV Series and was certainly muchbetterin 30 minute chunks but, at least when they made the film, they took theeffort to come up with a plot, puerile though it is. The cast is prettywellunchanged from the TV Series too.Frankie Howerd (Lurcio) based his whole theatrical career on dodgy doubleintendres and this film is full of them. His habit of making asidesdirectlyto the audience via the camera is hilarious. In fact, most of the comedylies in those two attributes. The visual side of the film, the physicalcomedy, is more or less one long chase scene with breaks and is not reallythat funny.There are some very funny scenes though. The orgy and its aftermath andthewrestling match stand out. The ending is very clever too.Worth a watch and far better than the two sequels it spawned, 'Up TheChastity Belt' and 'Up The Front'.
Frankie Howerd will be forever remembered as the creator of the knowingglance. He develops a relationship with the audience that lets us know thathe thinks this stuff is bad too. Somehow that allows us to forgive the cornypuns, lame jokes and sexist humour. "Just bear with me," he seems to besaying, "It'll all be over soon." Somehow it all worked, and Up Pompeiimanaged to rise above its seventies comedy contemporaries to become aclassic.The film perhaps lacks the freshness of the TV series due to the loss of thestudio audience. Howerd was able to react to them in a way that made thewhole show appear to be improvised. This was of course down to his genius,as everything was very well rehearsed. Despite this it's still a veryenjoyable film. My only complaint is that Hammer starlet Madeline Smith isnot in it more!
I saw Frankie Howerd in 1991 in the West End of London in a one-manshow that he had been doing intermittently since the 1940s. This is theentire act (minus some ad-libbing): "Oooh No. No don't. No please. You're mocking - MOCKING Francis. Ooh,poor soul. No, don't - DON'T, missus! Ooh! Ahh! It's wicked to mock theafflicted." He got nearly 50 years of work out of stringing the above out in thevarious films and shows he was in.And it worked. Sir Frankie is a lugubrious Comedy God, and Up Pompeiihis finest cinematic hour.
This review is from: Up Pompeii [DVD] (15) (DVD) Although I received this DVD prior to the estimated delivery date, I was expecting the "Up Pompeii" TV series and not the movie version. This was a randy romp though a semi-Roman extravaganza. I'll be crunching this DVD for sure!!!
As a fan of Frankie Howerd and the Up Pompeii TV series in particular,I have to admit to being disappointed by this big screen outing for hischaracter, the slave Lurcio.A brave attempt to transfer the TV series to the bigger screen it ishampered by a lacklustre plot, a lack of the glorious puns and filth,and an entire change of cast (apart from Howerd himself).Howerd's priceless reactions to his studio audience and comments tothem had to be omitted, of course.Lance Percival crops up in an over-the-top and unfunny role as a Romansoldier. After 5 minutes of his performance you just can't wait for thevolcano to blow! Patrick Cargill hams it up as Nero. Julie Ege lookssuitably Voluptuous but does little else of note. And was she dubbed???And why does Lurcio keep turning down Scrubba's advances? In the TVseries he was always after the girl, but never got her. Here she iswaiting on a plate for him at any opportunity. Only at the end does herelent, and the funniest visual gag takes place as the senatedisintegrates.It's not a bad film by any means. But it cannot and does not compare tothe TV series.There are a couple of gems in it: Frankie's disappointment at the beginning at the size of the titlescreen.... bigger....bigger... etcThe theme song is a hoot, sung by Frankie himself.And Lurcio choosing the orgy girls is good for a laugh...Watch and enjoy, then pick up the DVD of the TV series and have a muchbigger laugh.
In the early seventies, the British film industry was in the doldrums,with many of the major backers pulling out, studios closing down anddirectors being poached by Hollywood, and when you look at the typicaldomestic product of that time, it's not at all surprising. UP POMPEIIsuffers from the usual problems you encounter with televisionspin-offs, in that it's overstretched, under-plotted, insufferablypadded with tedious sequences that lead nowhere, and is considerablycoarser than the original series. Sally Douglas and Madeline Smithprovide the eye candy, whilst the rest of the cast ham it up and lookrather embarrassed. The production values never rise far above average,and the dreadful music-hall style opening song just demonstrates howbackwards-looking the worst of British comedy was during a time ofsupposedly all-embracing upheaval and change. Incidentally, UP POMPEIIwas made the same year as A Clockwork Orange, Straw Dogs and TheDevils.
I know I'm going against the tide with the above heading but itaccurately sums up the movie and I will put forward arguments toexplain why.Many British sitcoms were transferred to the big screen in the 1970s.The main company involved was HAMMER (famous for producing cheesy yettop quality horror movies from the 1950s to the mid-1970s). The purposebehind such ventures was to keep high-profile British film companiesalive in the face of fierce competition from American and Italiancounterparts as far as horror productions go. Some transfers (i.e. ONTHE BUSES, STEPTOE AND SON, RISING DAMP and PORRIDGE) were successful,mainly because the characters were kept in familiar settings andsituations. Whilst others (GEORGE AND MILDRED, ARE YOU BEING SERVED?)are looked upon as complete disasters, mainly because the writers tookthe characters outside of their familiar settings for most of themovies.The plots of "spin-off" movies from a British sitcom usually revolvedaround sending the familiar characters on holiday (these movies floppedor are widely considered disastrous) or keeping the characters in theirmain settings and using the medium of film to expand the scope of thehumour. I think UP POMPEII actually falls outside these two categories.Indeed, I believe the UP POMPEII movie brings the Lurcio character andthe Pompeii setting to life in a way the TV series never could. Uponreading other comments about this movie, I've read complaints about thesets. Well, the sets on the TV series were far worse - they looked likecardboard (no exaggeration here!). Not even Frankie Howerd coulddistract me from the terrible sets of the TV series. At least the moviedid attempt to build some convincing sets and I thought the producersdid OK given the budget.The TV series itself was very bland and relied entirely on the lategreat Frankie Howerd to carry the proceedings. The supporting actors inthe TV series were simply not funny. I found the TV series unwatchablewhen Frankie was not on the screen.In contrast, the movie helps Frankie by giving him first-rate talent tosupport him in the form of Bill Fraser, Julie Ege, Patrick Cargill,Barbara Murray, Madeleine Smith and Bernard Bresslaw. Special mentionshould be given to Michael Hordern, whose portrayal of Ludicrus Sextusis far superior than that played by Max Adrian in the TV series. Butthe best supporting actor in this movie by far is Lance Percival, whoreally comes into his own with the Captain Bilius character. Theexchanges between him and Lurcio are hilarious and had me laughing sohard it hurt! The movie is a lot bawdier than the TV series but Iactually think this is the way the franchise was meant to be anyway. Itwasn't meant to be just puns, double-entendres and sexual innuendosalone (we had the CARRY ON movies, the ON THE BUSES series and numerousother places to look for that), it was meant to be all of those thingsbut also done cheekier and more direct. With that in mind, I would saythat the medium of film was the best way to present the aims of the UPPOMPEII franchise.As has been mentioned before, many of the jokes are very corny but thesuperb delivery by Frankie and his supporting cast make themlaugh-out-loud hilarious. The slapstick elements were also telegraphedwell in advance but again work due to the actors involved and someexcellent one liners that followed each gag.As others have pointed out on the comments page, Frankie Howerd built along-lasting career on a very limited repertoire. Catchphrases such as"ooh ahh", "er missus", "titter ye not" and "it's wicked to mock theafflicted" were the main scope of his acts. Yet he did it so perfectlyevery time that he stayed for decades whilst other comedians came andwent. Also unlike the work of other comedians, Frankie's comedy was notoffensive in the least, instead being just harmless fun.This movie contains what is perhaps Frankie Howerd's best performanceoutside his starring roles in CARRY ON DOCTOR and CARRY ON UP THEJUNGLE. I'd go as far as to say this was his singularly bestperformance, period!So if you like British comedy and want something that surpasses theblandness of the TV series, check out this movie. It's bawdier thanmost forms of British comedy but still inoffensive harmless fun. Giveit a try. You'll probably have a good time!
After watching this film, I've come to the realisation that GregorFisher must have taken a lot from Frankie Howard for the character ofRab C. Nesbitt. The constant looks to the camera as he chums us alongare great, and will keep you company through this typically sexy 70'sBritish comedy.The acting is good, the babes are just beautifully British (how I wishthey still made 'em like that!) and the sexual innuendo will give you agood old giggle.It's pretty meh at times but the silliness of it all makes up for it.Makes you wish you were there! Overall, a good bit of fun to watch if you have an open mind and Iimagine it would be better with a friend in tow. 6/10
I like Frankie Howerd and I like 'Up Pompeii', but I detest this horridmovie version from 1971. Directed by Bob Kellett ( who also made thefilm of 'Are You Being Served'? ), it is about as funny as beingcovered from head to foot in molten lava. Talbot Rothwell, writer ofthe television original, was presumably too busy working on the 'CarryOn' films to pen this spin-off, so the job went to the normally reliantSid Colin. In case you do not know what it is about, the historicalfarce stars Frankie as 'Lurcio', slave to 'Ludricrus Sextus' and hisfamily - the sex-mad 'Ammonia', the sexy 'Erotica', and naive'Nausius'. Each episode usually started with Lurcio talking to camera,about to recite 'The Prologue', only to be interrupted by a hag-likesooth-sayer with a habit of constantly wailing "Woe! Woe! Thrice woe"!.It was basically 'A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum' on aB.B.C. sitcom budget.Colin's script is packed with jokes that would have been corny evenback in the days of the Roman Empire. Alright, so Rothwell's jokes werenone too fresh either, but on television you can get away with thingslike that. Apart from Frankie, no-one in the cast appeared in theseries. Some very good comic actors - Patrick Cargill, Michael Hordern,Royce Mills, Bernard Bresslaw - are completely at sea. Furthermore, theproducers ( Ned Sherrin and Terry Glinwood ) appear to have realisedthat because this is a film we can see lots of naked girls, hence weare treated to endless bare breasts ( including Maddy Smith's ) andbuttocks ( yes, Julie Ege is around ). The net result is to negate whatlittle comedy there is. With all the orgies and nude saunas going on,it sometimes seems that Lurcio has wandered by mistake into TintoBrass' infamous 'Caligula' ( 1980 ).The plot - such as it is - revolves around Lurcio stumbling across aplot to assassinate Emperor Nero, climaxing in the destruction ofPompeii when Vesuvius erupts. There is a coda set in modern times withFrankie as a tour guide showing tourists around the remains of thecity. The film proved successful enough to generate two sequels - 'UpThe Chastity Belt' ( 1972 ) and 'Up The Front' ( 1973 ), neither ofwhich was particularly brilliant but managed to be far funnier. Luckilythe series is on D.V.D. and I would recommend that you see thatinstead.
Up Pompeii relies on British prudishness for its humour to work. At thetime of its release it was during a time of social upheaval, and peoplebeing credited as being ready for more adult humour that didn't rely onthe double - entendre, but on more extreme suggestiveness, to the pointof directness.This revolutionary period of British culture, reflected by comedyreformation has culminated in a new era of comedy genius. One suchgenius of the moment, with a glorious career in front of him is noother than the great Russell Brand. Styling himself as a 'camp'comedian who has reinvented the Howedesque style of comedy.Therefore, it would be most interesting to see an up-dated version ofUp Pompii, with Brand playing Howard's part in it. This could come offif Brand gets his apparent yearning of a Hollywwood career fulfilled. Ican't imagine what Up Pompeii would turn out like, let alone a RussellBrand influenced by Hollywood: it seems unnatural! Anyway, if you likesuggestive comedy, and Roman orgies then this film could be up yourstreet.
The British cinema, despite the occasional excellent film such asJoseph Losey's "The Go-Between", was generally at a low ebb during the1970s. Even more than the American cinema, it seemed to be fighting alosing war against television. Its two main staples were the two thingsabout which British television executives were even more censoriousthan British film censors and were therefore not available on eitherthe BBC or its commercial rival ITV- sex and horror. The only Britishfilms which seemed to make any money were either Hammer horror films orsmutty comedies along the lines of the "Carry On" series.Occasionally, however, the television companies joined forces withtheir rivals in the cinema to produce a film version of a populartelevision programme. Situation comedies frequently lent themselves tothis treatment. Sometimes, as with "Dad's Army" or "Porridge", the filmwas a fairly straight equivalent of the series it was based on, butsometimes the film-makers took advantage of the relative freedomoffered by the new medium to turn the television programme intosomething bawdier."Up Pompeii", a sitcom set in the days of the Roman Empire, was apopular TV show in the early seventies. The film version follows theadventures of the main character, the slave Lurcio, as he gets involvedwith a plot to assassinate the Emperor Nero shortly before thedestruction of Pompeii in the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD. Classicalscholars would, of course, point out that Nero had been dead for over adecade at the time of the eruption, but this is not a film likely toappeal to classical scholars, except to adherents of that school ofclassical history which holds that the average Roman citizen spent mostof his time attending orgies and the rest engaged in such pursuits asfeeding Christians to the lions.The name Lurcio is pronounced "Lurkio", which gives a good idea of hischaracter (as well as showing that the scriptwriter knew somethingabout Latin pronunciation). Most of the characters, in fact, havesuggestive pseudo-Latin names which hint at their personal failings;Lurcio's master is called Ludicrus Sextus, his wife Ammonia and theirchildren Erotica and Nausius. There is a soldier called Captain Biliusand a slave-girl called Scrubba, "scrubber" being British slang for"prostitute". The humour, like that of the original television series,is almost entirely based upon sexual innuendo and doubles-entendres,although here the sexual references are more direct and less innocentthan they were on TV. The film also shows rather more female flesh thanwould have been permitted on television at the time.Contrary to what is sometimes stated, Frankie Howerd was not a "CarryOn" regular, appearing in only two films in that series, but his styleof humour was very much in the same tradition. Like some of the morefrequent "Carry On" actors, such as Kenneth Williams or CharlesHaughtrey, he delivers his innuendo-laden lines in an exaggeratedlycamp, effeminate manner. ("Titter ye not!") Despite this, however, anddespite the fact that Howerd was gay in real life (as were Williams andHaughtrey), his character Lurcio is supposed to be a red-bloodedheterosexual, always chasing after any pretty girl who takes his fancy.I have often seen comments on this board about films from the seventiesto the effect that they look "dated", largely because the clothes ofthat era can seem eccentric to modern eyes. Fashions in comedy,however, can change just as quickly as fashions in clothing, andoutdated humour can make a film seem even more old-fashioned than candetails such as platform shoes and kipper ties. This film is a goodexample. Although campness has not altogether died out in Britishcomedy (think, for example, of Julian Clary), the humour of "UpPompeii" seems very dated today. Even with such lame material, however,Howerd was always a highly professional comedian, and his timing anddelivery here prevent the film from becoming totally unwatchable. Thisis far from being the worst British sex comedy of the seventies. Forall its classical setting, "Up Pompeii" is no classic. Compared to thelikes of "Carry on Emmannuelle", "Percy's Progress" or "Holiday on theBuses", however, it looks like Moliere. 5/10
This review refers to the two-video boxed set of the 1970 British comedy series Up Pompeii starring Frankie Howerd (ASIN 6304269544). I mention this as there is also a 90-minute movie, and reviews are posted next to both items, regardless of the one to which they actually refer. Having only ever "experienced" Frankie Howerd once before (in 1978's ill-fated Sgt. Pepper movie), my expectations for this series were none too high. Well, I was very pleasantly surprised to find such a cute series as this one. Frankie Howerd is (in my view) simply unsurpassed as a comedian, and in my opinion this series is quite hilarious. On the one hand, it is a situational comedy, and as such it is extremely zany and light but with an abundance of wit (mostly in the form of puns, double entendres, and other such wordplay). On the other hand, the series also has elements of stand-up comedy, with Howerd frequently speaking in asides to the audience in addition to addressing them outright. One example of the type of jokes to expect: Howerd says to a messenger who`s been stabbed, "You can`t die here, it`s the living room." It`s the type of humour that would have one groaning in less skilled hands (okay, it has one groaning even here), but Howerd is able to carry it off. This example notwithstanding, the humour is generally fairly bawdy, though in the nicest possible way. In other words, any bawdiness is usually the result of the viewer/audience "catching" a second meaning for a word or phrase! (I have, by the way, also seen the Up Pompeii movie, which I also enjoyed although I found it to be somewhat more sexually explicit (with some nudity) and the bawdy humour seemed a little more daring in places. Although personally I preferred the series, the movie is certainly worth seeing if you enjoy bawdy British humour). Each video in this set consists of three 30-35 minute episodes for a total of six episodes. The plots of each episode are very simple and usually of the "comedy of errors" variety, and as is typical of many British comedies, variations of the same jokes appear in each episode. Finally, an interest in classical Roman history is not required, for the setting (and indeed the story-lines themselves) are merely a vehicle for Howerd's talents and for the jokes. As a point of interest, some of the episodes were produced by David Croft, and those familiar with Are You Being Served? may (or may not!) recognise Mollie Sugden (Mrs. Slocombe) and Larry Martyn (Mr. Mash) who make a very brief guest appearance. A very slim and young Lynda Baron (Nurse Gladys from Open All Hours) also briefly appears in an episode.Personally, I really enjoyed this light, zany series. If you enjoy bawdy puns, innuendo and double entendres, I really do recommend checking it out.
I saw this film for the first time on DVD for my birthday present, and considering it was made before I was born, I haven't laughed so hard for a long time.
Poor Frankie didn't have a lot of luck in the world of film - making astring of Norman Wisdom type of comedies in the 50's, two Carry Ons inthe sixties, and then this, the first of a trilogy of "Up..." films.This is probably his best starring vehicle. Scripted by Dave Freeman,Sid Colin and Talbot Rothwell, this, at least fairs better than theaverage sitcom-to-film venture; for this doesn't rely on the string ofhalf-hour stories lifted from the television show to support the 90mins. The reason is simple, all the writers were already experiencedwith writing films. All that has been lifted from the show is themajority of double entendre groan-worthy gags which, thankfully, whenperformed by Howerd, still raise a titter. With fine support fromPatrick Cargill, Michael Hordern, Bernard Bresslaw, Hugh Paddick, JulieEge etc. this is bound to make you laugh... even if it's just a bit.