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Archive for May 28th, 2012

by Allan Fish

(UK 1969-1970 452m) DVD2

What did you expect, wit? 

p  David Croft, Sydney Lotterby  d  David Croft  w  Talbot Rothwell, Sid Colin

Frankie Howerd (Lurcio), Elizabeth Larner (Ammonia), Kerry Gardner (Nausius), Jeanne Mockford (Senna the soothsayer), Max Adrian (Ludicrus Sextus), Wallas Eaton (Ludicrus Sextus), Georgina Moon (Erotica), William Rushton (Plautus), Valerie Leon, John Cater, Lindsay Duncan, Barbara Windsor, Mollie Sugden, George Baker, Jean Kent,

Borne out of many different sources, it’s believed that Up Pompeii was a direct result of Frankie Howerd’s star turn replacing Zero Mostel for the London run of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum.  There’s Plautus in there, too, the legendary Roman farceur of the 2nd century BC.  It’s now forty years since it first aired, in the form of a Comedy Playhouse pilot in late 1969.  There were a few changes prior to its first series early the following year, and it was quickly followed by another before the year was out, but with Max Adrian replaced by Wallas Eaton (who’d played a small part in the first series) as Ludicrus Sextus.  It’s also easy to forget, in light of the much more frequently seen film version, how much superior the TV series were.  Indeed, who would have thought Dad’s Army and Porridge were up to much if judged by their movie spin-offs.  The film of Up Pompeii was a shambles, relishing the added opportunities for nudity but completely lacking in humour.  (more…)

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