HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Lucky
Matrix, The
Undergods
Betrayed
Fried Barry
Once Upon a River
Cowboys
Atlantis
We Still Say Grace
Enfant Terrible
Nomadland
Playboy of the Western World, The
Bike Thief, The
Threshold
Virtuoso, The
Here are the Young Men
Beast Beast
Labyrinth of Cinema
Justice Society: World War II
Artist's Wife, The
Truman & Tennessee: An Intimate Conversation
Pusher III
Palm Springs
Devil Commands, The
Oak Room, The
Pusher II
Forget Everything and Run
Secrets & Lies
Red Moon Tide
Man with Nine Lives, The
Pusher
Pot Carriers, The
Black Bear
Don't Cry, Pretty Girls!
Portal
Me You Madness
Reckoning, The
Laddie: The Man Behind the Movies
For the Sake of Vicious
Hell Bent
   
 
Newest Articles
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
Network Double Bills: The Best of Benny Hill and The Likely Lads
Network Double Bills: Some Girls Do and Deadlier Than the Male
Absolutely Bananas: Link on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Hawk the Slayer and The Medusa Touch
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
   
 
  Start the Revolution Without Me The Peasants Are Revolting
Year: 1970
Director: Bud Yorkin
Stars: Gene Wilder, Donald Sutherland, Hugh Griffith, Jack MacGowran, Billie Whitelaw, Victor Spinetti, Ewa Aulin, Rosalind Knight, Helen Fraser, Harry Fowler, Murray Melvin, Ken Parry, Maxwell Shaw, Graham Stark, Jacques Maury, Orson Welles, Denise Coffey
Genre: Comedy, HistoricalBuy from Amazon
Rating:  6 (from 1 vote)
Review: In the France of the eighteenth century, the Duke de Sisi (Maxwell Shaw) was hurrying his very pregnant wife to a doctor one night when he encountered a spot of bother: the doctor was already attending to a woman having a baby, the wife of a proud peasant (Graham Stark). The peasant demanded that his wife be seen to first, yet the Duke insisted his wife be seen, and a fight between the two men ensued. No matter, the babies were born, four of them, two sets of twins, but there was a mix up and the nurse didn't know which set of twins belonged to which mother. To solve this issue, the doctor gave each mother one twin of each so at least he'd be half right, and they both grew up oblivious to their brothers' existence...

This historical spoof was possibly the first of the line of parodies made popular by the Airplane team and Mel Brooks, although it's not as well remembered, probably because it hasn't endured in the public consciousness and is more of a cult item nowadays. It also resembles a Bob Hope comedy where Hope would dress up in costume, and there's a reference to the Hope and Bing Crosby Road pictures in there for the sharp eyed viewer. Written by Fred Freeman and Lawrence J. Cohen, it wasn't the first film to make fun of the French Revolution (there's always Carry On Don't Lose Your Head, after all), but it was among the most good natured, and the cast certainly seemed to be enjoying themselves.

Perhaps enjoying themselves a little too much, as a lot of the humour comes across as self-indulgent overacting. When the brothers grow up, they are played by Gene Wilder (the biggest over-actor) and Donald Sutherland (who affects a funny voice for half of the time). There are the peasants Claude (Wilder) and Charles (Sutherland), who are being reluctantly mixed up with the brewing revolution (which happened in 1789, as the title cards constantly tell us), and on the other side of the divide there are the Corsican aristocrats Philippe (Wilder) and Pierre (Sutherland), two cruel and possibly insane men who happen to be among the best swordfighters of their generation. Inevitably, these four will swap places at some point during the story and it is from there whence the humour arises.

And while there are funny moments, and the pace is suitably frenetic, you keep waiting for the big laughs which never really arrive. Claude and Charles, who are the heroes for taking no side in the upcoming conflict (almost everyone, rich or poor, acts the fool at some point), are set up to provide a diversion so that their leader, Jacques (Jack MacGowran) can send his men to steal weaponry. It just so happens that Pierre and Philippe are on a nearby boat disguised as peasants to reach the palace of King Louis (a doddery Hugh Griffith) and in the ensuing melée the brothers are mixed up, with Claude and Charles headed for the palace and Philippe and Pierre spirited away by the revolutionaries, and sent to the lunatic asylum when they claim to be the Corsican brothers.

If nothing else, Start the Revolution Without Me is a handsome looking film, with lavish costumes and well-chosen locations. There are a few good, silly lines - Philippe: "One day I shall be King!" Pierre: "And I shall be Queen!", or "As they say in Corsica, 'Goodbye!'" - and the mostly British cast are excellent, including a nymphomaniac Marie Antoinette played by Billie Whitelaw and a scheming aristo called d'Escargot played by Victor Spinetti. Ewa Aulin, better known from Candy, shows up as a Belgian princess Charles is supposed to marry, and there's a nice ballroom scene where everyone is passing around notes ("Kill de Sisi", "Kill the King", "Hello Handsome!"). Sadly there's too much reliance on running around to diminishing effect, and the cheat ending looks as if they ran out of ideas. Also with: Orson Welles, who helpfully informs us he isn't in the film. Music by John Addison.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 8332 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
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
Graeme Clark
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: