April 17, 2014

Films

The Likely Lads – 1976 | 90 mins | Comedy | Colour

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Plot Synopsis

The Likely Lads

Feature-length version of Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais’ popular TV comedy series starring James Bolam and Rodney Bewes. The Likely Lads, and its sequel, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? ran sporadically for 5 series between 1964 and 1974, and the feature film picks up the story several years on from the series. Sadly the film is little more than a celluloid signpost to the Tyneside two and lacks the mischievous humour of the tv series – but in reality both were now greying and they looked ill at ease behaving badly.

Geordie best mates, Terry Collier (James Bolam) and Bob Ferris (Rodney Bewes) have been friends since they were small children. Bob is the level-headed one, doing his best to get on with his job and better himself whilst Terry is the irresponsible one, intent on living life to the full. Now beyond their twentysomething high jinks, Terry and Bob meet up to reminisce over the demolition of their childhood homes and favourite watering hole – The Fat Ox.

Terry is now divorced and living with a sexy Finnish boutique assistant, Christina (Mary Tamm), who seems to have an amazing effect on him. He no longer wishes to go down the pub with Bob as he used to and even seems to be acting responsibly – much to the astonishment of Bob, and satisfaction of Thelma (Brigit Forsyth). Believing that Terry no longer threatens to be a bad influence on her husband, despite him verging on a mid-life crisis, Thelma proposes to two couples go on a touring caravan holiday. After a few days in the North-East countryside with torrential rain, playing cards in the caravan, and walks in the fields with cows, Terry and Bob have had enough and crave a return to city. Without waking their partners, the twosome hitch-up the caravan and head home with their significant others in tow.

They return home, Christina leaves Terry, Thelma kicks out Bob, and thus the terrible twosome are forced to live together in Terry’s tower block flat. The situation declines when Thelma and Bob row in the back of Terry’s washing powder sales van – the microphone PA allowing the whole of the Elm Lodge housing estate to hear their marital quarrelling. Soon Terry and Bob’s lives decline further when they take up digs in a B&B; Terry takes up with the mother whilst Bob attempts to seduce her daughter – the evening descends into farce and before long both are heading home with their tails between their legs. The film closes with journey mix-up that appears to be a subtle homage to the previous time the pair were reunited on a railway line.

Production Team

Michael Tuchner: Director
Tony Imi: Cinematography
Ralph Sheldon: Editing
Mike Hugg: Original Music
Aida Young: Producer
Dick Clement: Script
Ian La Frenais: Script

Cast

James Bolam: Terry Collier
Rodney Bewes: Bob Ferris
Brigit Forsyth: Thelma Ferris
Mary Tamm: Christina
Sheila Fearn: Audrey
Zena Walker: Laura



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