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Up Pompeii (1971)

Up Pompeii poster.jpg

Just seeing Ned Sherrin’s name up as Producer in the titles sequence makes me long for Radio Four a decade ago. But lo! What have we here! Why it’s Frankie of Howerd giving it his lewdest as the upstart slave Lurcio finding himself in the household of Ludicrus Sextus. While preparing a guest list for an orgy he uncovers a list of assassins planning to kill Emperor Nero, due for a visit in the parish. The great and good of Brit acting of the era assemble, dissemble and undress for Carry On-type hi-jinks following the BBC series created by Talbot Rothwell for the genius that was Howerd and ran from 1969. Howerd had done A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum so he was a natural fit for this servile double-talking man slave. The series was repeated at some point in my childhood and indeed it works well even if you don’t get all the sexual innuendo (ooh er missus) – mind you the topless wonders are hard to miss. Then Vesuvius gets all excited and it’s explosive what have yous all over the shop! Howerd’s character was transported into two different eras in follow up films, an idea that bore fruit for a certain character called Blackadder. That’s another pot of poison.Written by Rothwell and Sid Colin, directed by Bob Kellett. Go on. You know you want to.


About elainelennon

An occasional movie-watching diary.

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