Category Archives: British

Nobody Does It Better – The Cult Film Crazy James Bond Quiz

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Here’s a new quiz to excite and delight you all featuring your favourite James Bond escapades. 1 point for each correct answer!:

  1. Scaramanga was played by which sadly now departed actor?
  2. What was the character’s unusual feature?
  3. A Goldeneye is a type of which creature?
  4. What was the name of the huge henchman with large metallic teeth in Moonraker?
  5. Name the Bond girl who comes out of the water in Dr No?
  6. Which Bond flick features voodoo activity?
  7. In which James Bond movie does Bond get embroiled in a fracas with a South American drug cartel led by Franz Sanchez?
  8. Odd Job was the brilliantly evil sidekick with a deadly spinning hat in which movie?
  9. Who played Bond’s nemesis Blofeld? (1 point for each!)
  10. Name as many actors as you can who’ve played James Bond. (1 point for each!)

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The Bed-Sitting Room (1969)

Director – Richard Lester

Writer – Spike Milligan, Charles Wood and John Antrobus

If you’re looking for odd movies, you’ve come to the right place. This film is in a class of its own. In fact, if it was in school, it would probably be in detention, or even expelled for insubordinate behaviour! ‘Post-Apocalyptic Surrealist Nightmare’ is a start to describing what it features, but doesn’t do it enough justice at all. This is an illumination of the darkest recesses of Spike Milligan’s 20th Century-addled mind. It gives us a disturbing view of a world after the nuclear Holocaust, with a very British take on it, in that people attempt to return to their dull daily routines. It is quite believeable in its absurdity. Heading the cast is the ever-watchable Arthur Lowe, depicting what could be considered as what Captain Mainwaring would do after nuclear Armageddon. He would maintain decorum and a stiff upper lip, of course, despite the wreckage and carnage around him, and despite any kind of common sense.

The radiation has caused strange mutations to occur, including a reference to the titular bedsitting room itself, with some bizarrely brilliant scenes, imagery and jokes that deliniate Spike’s sheer comic genius through and through, alongside his total insanity, or perhaps ultra-sanity, in his exasperation and disbelief at the everyday insanity that regular people possess in being able to ignore the devastation and problems around them. Enjoy the show! It’s a very harrowing laughter in the darkness, but what else can you do in the face of absolute nuclear annhialation?

TL-R

Sir Henry at Rawlinson End (1980)


Director – Steve Roberts

Producers – Martin Wesson (Executive Producer), Tony Stratton-Smith

Writers – Vivian Stanshall and Steve Roberts

A more exquisitely quirky, quintissentially English film there never has been than Sir Henry at Rawlinson End. The End quivers with delightful antics and charming delights. Sadly the sound quality could do with an overhaul, as a lot of the lines seem to be spoken off mic, unlike the crisp, crystalline, cut glass bark of the original version that Viv Stanshall recorded on the radio with John Peel. Still, the vivacious visuals and parade of peculiarities make for a heady concoction, like Pimms with an extra helping of gin and a soupcon of parrot’s spit on a cool summer’s day. If you go with it, you will embrace and devour some giddy, gorgeous Rawlinson madness.

The disappointing sound quality does distract from the exquisite performances at times, Trevor Howard doing a sterling job as the rambuntious Sir Henry, alongside Patrick Magee as the Reverend Slodden, Viv Stanshall playing the wonderfully exhuberant Hubert, Liz Smith as Lady Phillipa of Staines, and a host of other hatstand mad hatters. Attempts are made to exorcise the ghost of Humbert (Michael Crane), Sir Henry’s dead brother who was accidentally shot after being mistaken for a duck (it all makes sense in the film, sort of).

The mansion gardens come replete with PoW camp for Germans and huge pond in which Hubert fishes for unusual things. Strange incantations and wicker men aplenty beset the attendees, including Aunt Florrie (Sheila Reid), Mrs E. (Denise Coffey), Lord Tarquin of Staines (Ben Aris), Peregrin Maynard (Jeremy Child), all waited upon by the disgruntled and wrinkled family retainer known as Old Scrotum (J.G. Devlin), while strange skullduggery ensues. This is a terrific phantasmagoria of the excesses of the decadent upper classes as they reach their Rawlinson End. Baffling delights!

TL-R

The Ladykillers (1955)

Director – Alexander Mackendrick

Writer – William Rose

If you thought that 1950s films were full of fluffy, stuffy, genteel sentiment, then you were very wrong indeed. Check out The Ladykillers to find an ice cold satire that takes a group of five sinister gangsters who rent rooms in the house of a sweet old lady under the illusion that they are rehearsing musicians.

The plot, both in the film and of the gangsters, neatly unravels, with each malevolent participant getting dispatched in a particularly gruesome and unexpected way. The laughter comes from far deep into the darkness, but is performed exquisitely by a pitch perfect cast that couldn’t ever be topped. These include Alec Guiness as the icy mastermind Professor Marcus, Peter Sellers as the stiff, sultry Teddy Boy Harry, a wickedly brooding Herbert Lom playing Louis, Danny Green as the threatening One-Round and Cecil Parker as the fusty Claude, otherwise known as Major Courtney to give himself an air of respect (star-spotters might want to look out for a young Frankie Howerd as a barrow boy in the background during the proceedings!). Our grim criminal visions are counterpointed by the eminently sweet, yet ultimately sassy Mrs Wilberforce, performed perfectly primly by Katie Johnson, who we wonder is going to be duped or done over by the dirty denizens, but we have a sneaking suspicion that she might just get wind of their little operation and outwit the mob. How this could happen is one of the most charming, chuckle-packed outings in British cinema.

TL-R

The Cult Film Crazy Classic British Film Title Quiz

Try our quiz to guess the classic British film from the clues we’ve given:

  1. This film was made by Alfred Hitchcock and starred Cary Grant and Grace Kelly. The main character was an anti-hero who used to steal jewels, but wants to stop his life of crime, only he gets accused of a robbery and has to find the real criminal who stole it.
  1. A film featuring The Beatles, this phrase was one that Ringo used to say that meant that he had had a long, tiring day.
  1. This film by Guy Ritchie features a group of guys who get involved in a card game that they lose a lot of money on and get in a lot of trouble trying to make the money back.
  1. A James Bond classic set in New Orleans with a secret organisation involved in voodoo activities and a beautiful yet dangerous Tarot card reader.
  1. In the bleak days of the Cold War, espionage veteran George Smiley is forced from semi-retirement to uncover a Soviet agent within MI6.
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