HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
American Fiction
Poor Things
Thunderclap
Zeiram
Legend of the Bat
Party Line
Night Fright
Pacha, Le
Kimi
Assemble Insert
Venus Tear Diamond, The
Promare
Beauty's Evil Roses, The
Free Guy
Huck and Tom's Mississippi Adventure
Rejuvenator, The
Who Fears the Devil?
Guignolo, Le
Batman, The
Land of Many Perfumes
Cat vs. Rat
Tom & Jerry: The Movie
Naked Violence
Joyeuses Pacques
Strangeness, The
How I Became a Superhero
Golden Nun
Incident at Phantom Hill
Winterhawk
Resident Evil: Welcome to Raccoon City
Maigret Sets a Trap
B.N.A.
Hell's Wind Staff, The
Topo Gigio and the Missile War
Battant, Le
Penguin Highway
Cazadore de Demonios
Snatchers
Imperial Swordsman
Foxtrap
   
 
Newest Articles
3 From Arrow Player: Sweet Sugar, Girls Nite Out and Manhattan Baby
Little Cat Feat: Stephen King's Cat's Eye on 4K UHD
La Violence: Dobermann at 25
Serious Comedy: The Wrong Arm of the Law on Blu-ray
DC Showcase: Constantine - The House of Mystery and More on Blu-ray
Monster Fun: Three Monster Tales of Sci-Fi Terror on Blu-ray
State of the 70s: Play for Today Volume 3 on Blu-ray
The Movie Damned: Cursed Films II on Shudder
The Dead of Night: In Cold Blood on Blu-ray
Suave and Sophisticated: The Persuaders! Take 50 on Blu-ray
Your Rules are Really Beginning to Annoy Me: Escape from L.A. on 4K UHD
A Woman's Viewfinder: The Camera is Ours on DVD
Chaplin's Silent Pursuit: Modern Times on Blu-ray
The Ecstasy of Cosmic Boredom: Dark Star on Arrow
A Frosty Reception: South and The Great White Silence on Blu-ray
You'll Never Guess Which is Sammo: Skinny Tiger and Fatty Dragon on Blu-ray
Two Christopher Miles Shorts: The Six-Sided Triangle/Rhythm 'n' Greens on Blu-ray
Not So Permissive: The Lovers! on Blu-ray
Uncomfortable Truths: Three Shorts by Andrea Arnold on MUBI
The Call of Nostalgia: Ghostbusters Afterlife on Blu-ray
Moon Night - Space 1999: Super Space Theater on Blu-ray
Super Sammo: Warriors Two and The Prodigal Son on Blu-ray
Sex vs Violence: In the Realm of the Senses on Blu-ray
What's So Funny About Brit Horror? Vampira and Bloodbath at the House of Death on Arrow
Keeping the Beatles Alive: Get Back
   
 
  Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World Shaggy Dog Tale
Year: 1973
Director: Joseph McGrath
Stars: Jim Dale, Spike Milligan, Angela Douglas, Dinsdale Landen, Milo O'Shea, Richard Beaumont, John Bluthal, Norman Rossington, Victor Spinetti, Garfield Morgan, Harry Towb, Kenneth J. Warren, Bob Todd, Victor Maddern, Frank Thornton, Sheila Steafel
Genre: Comedy, Science FictionBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 3 votes)
Review: Young Billy White (Richard Beaumont) wants a pet dog, and visits the local dog home to see his favourite, an Old English Sheepdog puppy called Digby. Unfortunately, the keeper of the kennels tells him that at three o'clock a rich lady will call to collect the dog, but he takes pity on the boy and pushes the hands of the clock forward to make it look as if the lady has missed her opportunity and that Digby has been sold. So Billy gets his wish, and takes the animal back home where he lives with his widowed mother, Janine (Angela Douglas), and his grandfather. Janine is a scientist working at the top secret military research base nearby, as is her colleague Jeff Eldon (Jim Dale), and they have devised a new formula, known as Project X, which has unexpected side effects...

The British pride themselves on being a nation of animal lovers, and this silliness provides the antidote to more sentimental wildlife films such as Greyfriars Bobby or Tarka the Otter. Written by Michael Pertwee and Charles Isaacs from a book by Ted Key, it also provides an answer to those stern faced giant monster movies where a giant insect or lizard will go on the rampage, because Project X, in an cheerfully unoriginal plot development, makes things grow giant size. At first we see a cucumber that has suffered the results of this, but judging by the title, it won't be long before Digby accidentally has a taste of the formula and sure enough that is what happens, thanks to the bumbling of Jeff and his wish to grow bigger roses for an upcoming flower show.

Jeff (Dale's amiable but accident-prone persona carried over from Carry On films is ideal here) secretly steals a small amount of Project X and takes it home with him. When he gets there, he finds that Billy has left Digby on his doorstep because he's too much to handle and Janine, whom Jeff wishes to romance but doesn't have the courage, drops by in the hope he'll arrange dinner with her instead of his rival in love, Colonel Masters (Dinsdale Landen on good form). While she's there, she unwittingly feeds Digby the formula meant for the roses and the trouble begins. The storyline tends towards the chaotic in the first half, with plot piled upon plot and a wealth of hit or miss gags added in for good measure.

At times it's difficult to tell if this is a film made for children or adults as faces familar from director Joseph McGrath's other projects continually pop up. Most prominent among these is Spike Milligan, in the role of a German psychiatrist working at the research institute and offering the chance for the legendary comedian to put on a funny voice. The psychiatrist thinks that Jeff believes himself to be a dog due to all his antics around Digby - barking, crawling through the dog flap in his door, eating dog food - offering up many moments of comic misunderstandings and getting Jeff into more trouble with his superiors. Other jokes, including a bunny girl at a roadside cafe and an inappropriate slide during a demonstration, also seem aimed squarely at the grown-ups.

Through a complicated string of events, the ever growing Digby, now on the run and attempted to be hidden by Jeff, is kidnapped (dognapped?) by two acrobatic thieves (John Bluthal and Norman Rossington) and put on display at a circus. There are parallels with that most famous of giant monsters, King Kong (Digby is even named "King" at his appearance before the public) as Digby escapes, but this is a lot more light hearted, although the tone does turn needlessly sentimental by the end. There are also similarities with the Goodies contemporary Kitten Kong episode, and this film would have benefitted from scenes with the humungous hound wandering around London, but as it is, he simply tours the countryside. It's a silly film all over, but features a fair number of laugh out loud moments ("Vot is der schnag?", Jeff's auntie and her television) and is inventive enough to carry its more earnest patches and poor special effects. Music by Edwin T. Astley, including a theme song.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 31567 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Joseph McGrath  (1930 - )

Scottish director of film and TV comedy who debuted as one of four directors on the chaotic James Bond spoof Casino Royale. The Terry Southern-penned Magic Christian was a bizarre comedy whose cast included Peter Sellers and Spike Milligan, while 1973's Digby, The Biggest Dog in the World is a much-loved kids favourite. McGrath also helmed The Great McGonagall, another oddball Milligan comedy, and big screen version of Rising Damp.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Enoch Sneed
Darren Jones
  Louise Hackett
Mark Le Surf-hall
Andrew Pragasam
Mary Sibley
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: