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  1. #1
    Member Country: New Zealand Ned Sparks's Avatar
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    Had this group of bizarre entertainers come up with a more elegant moniker than the CRAZY GANG, I'm sure they'd be better respected and their films as well. ALF'S BUTTON AFLOAT is, in my vierw, just about the funniest movie ever made. It has a seamless plot replete with an endless number of gags. Alistair Sim is perfect as the genie.

    OK for SOUND parodies the talkies in the UK in the same vein as SHOW PEOPLE sends up silent film in Hollywood.

    GAS BAGS should be of interest to WW2 buffs, as it is a fine example of just how wrong the British and others were in guessing the direction the war would take during the Phoney War period. Anticipated is a repeat of WWI with fixed positions and trench warfare. The plot is most imaginative: the Crazy Gang are in for the long haul but for the hard sell as they "borrow" a barage balloon to hoist on high an advert for their fish & chips establishment and accidentally set sail for Germany, where they meet Hitler amongst others.

    FROZEN LIMITS is a bit of a let-down after these 3 works of great comedy, but it has its moments.

    Ned
    Last edited by Nick Dando; 11-03-12 at 07:43 AM.

  2. #2
    Administrator Country: Wales Steve Crook's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Sparks View Post
    Had this group of bizarre entertainers come up with a more elegant moniker than the CRAZY GANG, I'm sure they'd be better respected and their films as well.
    What's wrong with the name? They were very well respected and very successful, on the music halls and on the radio where they were major stars. Their films did well enough.

    If you're looking at the word "crazy" with a modern perspective, look at it again through 1940 eyes.
    See The Crazy Gang

    When The Goon Show was being put together it was first broadcast as "Crazy People"

    Steve

  3. #3
    Member Country: England
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Sparks View Post
    Had this group of bizarre entertainers come up with a more elegant moniker than the CRAZY GANG, I'm sure they'd be better respected and their films as well. ALF'S BUTTON AFLOAT is, in my vierw, just about the funniest movie ever made. It has a seamless plot replete with an endless number of gags. Alistair Sim is perfect as the genie.

    OK for SOUND parodies the talkies in the UK in the same vein as SHOW PEOPLE sends up silent film in Hollywood.

    GAS BAGS should be of interest to WW2 buffs, as it is a fine example of just how wrong the British and others were in guessing the direction the war would take during the Phoney War period. Anticipated is a repeat of WWI with fixed positions and trench warfare. The plot is most imaginative: the Crazy Gang are in for the long haul but for the hard sell as they "borrow" a barage balloon to hoist on high an advert for their fish & chips establishment and accidentally set sail for Germany, where they meet Hitler amongst others.

    FROZEN LIMITS is a bit of a let-down after these 3 works of great comedy, but it has its moments.

    Ned
    Thanks Ned for the useful run-down. My dear Dad used to love the Crazy Gang (and knew the songs/dumb lyrics I swear of every popular song ever written or sung, AND had an annoying habit of whistling them through his teeth while jangling the change in his pocket!). Think he even took me to see the Crazy Gang on stage, but they must have been at about the end of their road and me at the beginning of mine, so don't remember them too well.

    So I'll start with Alf's Button Afloat, and work my way down your list. Can't wait. (Beatrice Lillie, who I think my Dad called Bee Lillie, his other great favourite!)

    Thanks again for jogging my memory, and giving a route-map.

    Nick
    Last edited by aardvark; 11-03-12 at 08:34 AM. Reason: left word out

  4. #4
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Dean Williams's Avatar
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    I prefer Frozen Limits to Gas Bags myself. And of course you've left out their last film, Life is A Circus, which whilst not brilliant, does have Shirley Eaton parading around in sexy underwear! Which alone makes the film meritorious!

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK
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    Once again if anyone out there has a copy of "Underneath The Arches" or knows where one can be located please contact me.It is the only film of Falanagan & Allen i dont have.
    By the way whats with calling them "bizarre"?Their humour was very much mainstream in the 30s to 60s albeit that what they did was rather new to the London halls.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: United States torinfan's Avatar
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    I like the name "The Crazy Gang" and have "Gasbags" which is a very funny movie.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Country: UK Moor Larkin's Avatar
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    I have come to think they had some influence on a certain James Bond poster, with their rather saucy theatre programme cover...........


  8. #8
    Member Country: New Zealand Ned Sparks's Avatar
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    I prefer Frozen Limits to Gas Bags myself. And of course you've left out their last film, Life is A Circus, which whilst not brilliant, does have Shirley Eaton parading around in sexy underwear! Which alone makes the film meritorious!

    Dean, it's not that I forgot it, it's just that I've never seen it.

    Ned

  9. #9
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Dean Williams's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ned Sparks View Post
    Dean, it's not that I forgot it, it's just that I've never seen it.

    Ned
    It's worth a watch, although they are well past their best other than the aforementioned Miss Eaton's attire (or lack thereof) there's a very lovely moment where Chesney Allen briefly appears to sing Underneath the Arches with Bud one last time in a cameo role. He'd long since retired from performing with the Gang, preferring to Manage them and it's nice to see the two together again. The scene of them singing in the rain always gets me! :)

    There's a good BBC documentary from 1983 that features clips from their early 60s Royal Variety performances and also the final performance of their final show before retirement. Ches again joins Bud for one final song for the last time.

    Flanagan & Allan are my favourite duo within the team, and their standalone films are also great fun, particularly A Fire Has Been Arranged.

    Like orpheum2 the only one I'm missing is Underneath the Arches, and the completist in me hates not having it!
    Last edited by Nick Dando; 11-03-12 at 09:28 PM.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator Country: Great Britain
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moor Larkin View Post
    I have come to think they had some influence on a certain James Bond poster, with their rather saucy theatre programme cover...........

    Surely you're thinking of The Big Lebowski?

    Nick

  11. #11
    Member Country: New Zealand Ned Sparks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dean Williams View Post
    It's worth a watch, although they are well past their best other than the aforementioned Miss Eaton's attire (or lack thereof) there's a very lovely moment where Chesney Allen briefly appears to sing Underneath the Arches with Bud one last time in a cameo role. He'd long since retired from performing with the Gang, preferring to Manage them and it's nice to see the two together again. The scene of them singing in the rain always gets me! :)

    There's a good BBC documentary from 1983 that features clips from their early 60s Royal Variety performances and also the final performance of their final show before retirement. Ches again joins Bud for one final song for the last time.

    Flanagan & Allan are my favourite duo within the team, and their standalone films are also great fun, particularly A Fire Has Been Arranged.

    Like orpheum2 the only one I'm missing is Underneath the Arches, and the completist in me hates not having it!
    Thank you for that. Eventually I'll get the missing (in my collection) film.
    I have the greatest appreciation for the CRAZY GANG whether I like their choice of moniker or not. UK comedy films of the 1930s is second to none. The Ralph Lynn, Tom Walls, et al films are all gems. The same is mostly true of Jack Hulbert & Cicely Courtneige films, and the list goes on and on.

    Ned

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Dean Williams's Avatar
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    Shirley Eaton 3.JPG

    Bud Flanagan getting an eyeful of Shirley in Life is A Circus. Highlight of anyone's 50-year career really!

  13. #13
    Member Country: New Zealand Ned Sparks's Avatar
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    Thanks for that. Does anyone have a copy of that film?

    Ned

  14. #14
    Senior Member Country: England John Llewellyn Moxey's Avatar
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    I never saw one of their films, but I was lucky enough to see them, on stage,just before and just after WW2!

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: Great Britain Dean Williams's Avatar
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    Lucky you! :)

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