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Archive for May 22nd, 2012

by Allan Fish

(the first entry in the British TV top 100 countdown)

(UK 1972 270m) not on DVD

Absolution by return

p/d  Michael Mills  w  Ray Galton, Alan Simpson  novel  Gabriel Chavallier  ph  James Balfour  m  Alan Roper  art  Spencer Chapman  cos  Valerie Spooner

Cyril Cusack (Mayor Barthelemy Piechut), Roy Dotrice (Abbé Ponosse), Kenneth Griffith (Ernest Tafardel), Wendy Hiller (Justine Putet), Micheline Presle (Baroness Courtebiche), Bernard Bresslaw (Nicholas the Beadle), Cyd Hayman (Adele Torbayon), Catherine Rouvel (Judith Toumignon), Freddie Earlle (François Toumignon), John Barrett (Poipanel), Hugh Griffith (Alexandre Bourdillat), Madeline Smith (Hortense Girodot), Nigel Green (Captain Tardinaux), Dennis Price (Alexis Luvelat), Peter Madden (Doctor Mouraille), Georgina Moon (Rose Bivaque), Gordon Rollings (Blazot), Aubrey Woods (Aristide Focart), Peter Ustinov (narrator),

During one of the hiatuses between the later series of Steptoe and Son, Ray Galton and Alan Simpson worked on a comedy that couldn’t have been further from Oil Drum Lane in Shepherds Bush if it tried.  Old Albert had always been going on about how he caused scandals across the fields of Flanders, but move south a couple of hundred kilometres into the hills near Lyon and you’ll find the sleepy community of Clochemerle, where life is devoted to the growing, making and consumption of wine.

In this little village in the mid 1920s, the local Mayor Piechut is looking to try and curry favour with the locals in the vain attempt to eventually become a senator.  He hits on the vote-winning idea of a public urinal in the village square, in front of the church, by the memorial to the honoured dead of 1914-18.  Dignitaries are invited for its official inauguration and a politician christens the urinal by being the first to avail himself of the chance to relieve himself.  Everyone seems happy…everyone except the local religious nut Justine Putet, who sees it as the devil’s work, and when a young innocent girl, Rose, is found to be pregnant, she blames the urinal as a corrupting force.  (more…)

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