Saturday, April 22, 2017

Dad's Army (1971)

Director: Norman Cohen

Writers: Jimmy Perry, David Croft

Composer: Wilfred Burns

Starring: Arthur Lowe, John Le Mesurier, Clive Dunn, John Laurie, James Beck, Arnold Ridley, Ian Lavender, Liz Fraser, Bernard Archard, Derek Newark, Bill Pertwee, Frank Williams

More info: IMDb

Tagline: At last! Their epic story invades the Big Screen!

Plot: The misadventures of a ragtag group of elderly Home Guard local defense volunteers at the onset of WW2.

My rating: 6.5/10

Will I watch it again?  Probably not.

The DAD'S ARMY TV show ran from 1968-1977 and it's hilarious.  I've seen all of the available episodes for at least the first 4 or more seasons and I absolutely love them all.  The characters are fun, funny and lovable.  Even the hard ass Capt. Mainwaring (Arthur Lowe).  It's a solid 9/10 in my book.  I finally got around to seeing the movie the cast made and it's a letdown.  I don't know what it is with these British movies made of their shows but they're almost always lacking what made their shorter counterparts successful, and the Brits made a lot of them in the '70s.  This one just isn't nearly as fun as the show.  Maybe it's that the show's were faster paced.  And maybe, dare I even think it, it's also the absence of a laugh track that becomes familiar episode after episode.  Regardless, this picture should've translated better to the big screen.  The only problem is is that the funny just isn't there in a ratio like you have in the show.  The story is almost immaterial in that just having these characters around doing their thing is enough for a fun ride.  One thing I kind of liked (but seemed completely unnecessary except for people who've never seen the show) is that you see the origin of the group's formation.  If I remember right, the first episode of the TV series begins on the first day of enlistment.  We don't get to see these guys before they came together.  One one hand it was neat seeing them before they donned the uniforms but at the same time it wasn't all that amusing and it took a while before we were caught up to the beginning of the series. I'm glad the print I watched was anamorphic widescreen.  The film looked nice and grainy and it had that late 60s/early 70s WWII movie aesthetic that I like in these types of pictures.  I don't know why I'm still babbling on about this.  It must be because I had higher expectations for something that had no reason I can think of to not be as good or funny as the show they had already established for 2-3 years and had several more great years to go.

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