HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Settlers
Boy Behind the Door, The
Swords of the Space Ark
I Still See You
Most Beautiful Boy in the World, The
Luz: The Flower of Evil
Human Voice, The
Guns Akimbo
Being a Human Person
Giants and Toys
Millionaires Express
Bringing Up Baby
World to Come, The
Air Conditioner
Fear and Loathing in Aspen
Kandisha
Riders of Justice
Happiest Day in the Life of Olli Maki, The
For Those Who Think Young
Justice League: War
Fuzzy Pink Nightgown, The
Plurality
Scooby-Doo! Moon Monster Madness
Night of the Sharks
Werewolves Within
Honeymoon
King and Four Queens, The
Stray Dolls
Diana's Wedding
Deerskin
Toll, The
Two of Us
Nowhere Special
Rainbow Jacket, The
Crazy Samurai: 400 vs 1
First Cow
Undiscovered Tomb
Being Frank
Occupation: Rainfall
Jeanette: The Childhood of Joan of Arc
   
 
Newest Articles
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
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
   
 
  Till Death Us Do Part Her Bitter 'Alf
Year: 1968
Director: Norman Cohen
Stars: Warren Mitchell, Dandy Nichols, Anthony Booth, Una Stubbs, Liam Redmond, Bill Maynard, Brian Blessed, Sam Kydd, Frank Thornton, Ann Lancaster, Michael Robbins, Pat Coombs, Kate Williams, Shelagh Fraser, John D. Collins, Geoffrey Hughes, Tommy Godfrey
Genre: ComedyBuy from Amazon
Rating:  5 (from 1 vote)
Review: Alf Garnett (Warren Mitchell) was born a Londoner, and if he has his way he'll die a Londoner, nobody can change that, not even the advent of World War II. Alf is an unashamed bigot and generally wrong about pretty much everything, including in 1939 when he refused to believe Great Britain would go into battle, especially with a strong leader like Neville Chamberlain (in Alf's mind), but he was soon proved incorrect, as would be the case throughout his life. For all his rhetoric about how proud he was to be British, he wasn't even prepared to fight for his country...

Writer Johnny Speight began his groundbreaking sitcom Till Death Us Do Part, of which this was the movie version, as a way of laying out various issues facing Britain in the sixties, issues which other comedies of the day were reluctant to confront. By placing the prejudice of his Garnett character right out there, he was able to come up with a dialogue between right and left in the form of Alf's older generation heatedly discussing politics and society which were hot button topics with the more enlightened younger generation, represented by his daughter Rita (Una Stubbs) and her boyfriend Mike (Anthony Booth) who would adopt Speight's less conservative point of view.

Also appearing was Dandy Nichols as Elsie, Alf's longsuffering wife who may have seemed meek but was able to come up with the odd pithy retort to her husband's diatribes. All four of these stars returned to these roles for this film, though the series itself would continue into the seventies to diminishing returns for many in the audience, as if Speight's work was done and he was repeating himself by the end of the programme's run. That didn't stop him reviving it for the eighties sitcom In Sickness and In Health and some Garnett specials, but by that stage he was talking to the older generation almost exclusively, and his most famous creation was looking less ironically received than was intended, but then there were always those who took him at face value.

Which brought us to the largely forgotten movie; there were two in fact, but this first was regarded as the better. Much of what made the television incarnation popular was the shock value, hearing people say the sort of thing they'd only let out in their least guarded moments, so Speight and his director Norman Cohen were plainly trying to sustain that, though in practice this meant a curious emphasis on toilets, which you wouldn't have got on the small screen of the day. So Alf often sits in his outside loo in conversation with the neighbour who is doing the same in his lavatory next door, a moment of reflection for them both as valuable as the pub at the corner of their terraced street (Mitchell also demonstrates the correct way to eat a sausage in a working class acting manner). All this as the world passes him by, progressing while Alf stays the same.

The value of being static while life goes on is as much the theme here as it was railing against the loosening constraints of society, with a two part sequence of episodes in his existence, the first made up of the war years and the second a jump forward twenty years to then-recent history. In spite of featuring only half the regular cast, the earlier section was the better perhaps because it operated as an origin tale and was something different to the seemingly endless yelling matches which the TV incarnation tended to be comprised of. Although it's never clear how cowardly blowhard Alf manages to get out of his conscription into the British Army, it's a useful device to effectively undercut everything he says for the rest of the film, though by the point Rita and Mike are on the scene it can grow wearisome when you know more top of their voice exchanges are on their way. With an interlude for the World Cup 1966 victory bringing Alf temporarily together with his fellow man and urban renewal looming, he was a man out of time, though far from alone. Music by Wilfred Burns, with a Kinks theme song.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 2192 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
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: