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Thread: Funny Bones

  1. #1
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    Anybody Seen 'funny Bones' With Lee Thingy-ma-bob And Jerry Lewis, Lately? What A Strange Film! I Enjoyed It Though - The Thought Of Jerry Lewis In Blackpool Seems So Incongruous To Me! Don't Ask Me Why, It Just Does!



    Anyone Have Any Thoughts On This Off-beat Film?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Quirky and flawed I suppose is the best description, apparently there was a lot of indecision/wrangling in post production with gives the film it's muddled lack of direction. Maybe they couldn't decide between making a comedic faux biopic or quirky British comedy. There's often US backers in this type of film demanding the American actors get plenty of screen time so they can get distribution back home. Had Jerry Lewis been cut and the film shot entirely in Blackpool it would have probably been more cohesive.



    Lee Evens is great and there's a nice cameo from Oliver Reed.

  3. #3
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    I really love this film. I think it's definitely the best role I've seen for Lee Evans.



    The only bits I didn't like were the rubbish scene near the start in Tommy's Vegas dressing room, and the ending which comes in a very strange place and doesn't really tie the film up very well.



    ******* PLOT SPOILERS WARNING *******


      Spoiler:

    I'm not sure what you mean about cutting Jerry Lewis out - it's his character's actions which cause all the drama. His affair, him leaving Blackpool, him stealing the Parker Brothers' material!

    Personally, I thought that if any of it could have been cut, it was all the business about the drug deal, and Oliver Reed's pointless cameo. You think he's going to be a major character, and he doesn't do anything!

  4. #4
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    IMHO, it's a neglected classic, one of, if not the, best British films of the last fifteen years....

  5. #5
    Senior Member Country: UK Merton Park's Avatar
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    Great film, very funny with a very good cast.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Country: Scotland lostintown's Avatar
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    I have to agree with most of the above.



    The combination of "holiday town out of season" seediness coupled with the "big" American names created a nice set of contrasts.



    That, along with the audition pieces, Freddie Davis and the incredible George Carl....it manages to be both an affectionate tribute to the Music Hall past and create a comic-gothic film in its own right.



    It definitely has to be up there with the best!

  7. #7
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    The one other thing to say is that it has to be the shoddiest DVD release ever....the film itself is fine, but there are no extras whatsoever, and the cover is the most misleading, vile design, and creates (using Photoshop I think) a non existent scene from the film and an awful tagline....and featuring none of the British cast either...

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    Dominant theme based on tragedy combined with dark side of humour.

  9. #9
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    I agree about the DVD. The cover and blurb make it sound like a laugh-a-minute gag-fest.



    Pop Quiz - You are marketing a black comedy about the lengths some people will go to to get a laugh - featuring severed feet, adultery, manslaughter, mental illness, and family break-up. What colour do you chose for the DVD cover?



    Why, bright yellow, of course!

  10. #10
    Senior Member Country: UK Windthrop's Avatar
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    An agreeably quirky British film from a director who showed real promise. Sad what happened later.........

  11. #11
    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    I saw it at the Prince Charles cinema in London in 1995 where it was introdcued by Peter Chelsom who took a Q&A session afterwards.



    I seem to remember him saying that a lot of footage had been cut out from the final release including much of Oliver Reed's work and all of Joanna Lumley's!



    Surely the full version is due for a release?

  12. #12
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    Wasn't a whole early scene chopped? I seem to recall Chelsom lost control in post-production and the studio basically dictated the editing.

  13. #13
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    You all probably know this, but Peter Chelsom was born on the Fylde Coast and this was not his first Blackpool-connected movie. Chelsom's first film, Hear My Song (1991) is based on the life story of Josef Locke, the Irish tenor who spent many years performing in Blackpool.



    Chelsom got the job of remaking the Japanese film Shall We Dansu? (1996) which ended with the World Dance Championships in Blackpool. But the execrable Hollywood version that Chelsom directed missed out the Blackpool ending.



    Funny Bones is a wonderful film, surreal in many ways. However, Jerry Lewis appearing in Blackpool is not so outlandish. In the 1950s (which Funny Bones seems to refer to) Blackpool was at the height of its popularity and big stars appeared regularly at the Opera House. Frank Sinatra appeared in 1953 (you can buy the live album) and also Judy Garland and Bob Hope.



    (Chelsom did make one other good film, The Mighty (1998), but then followed it with the major disaster of Town and Country with Warren Beatty)

  14. #14
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    You must seek out Peter Chelsom's classic, Funny Bones.

  15. #15
    Senior Member Country: UK CaptainWaggett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by penfold
    You must seek out Peter Chelsom's classic, Funny Bones.


    Though it does come with a health warning for those allergic to Lee Evans

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaptainWaggett
    Though it does come with a health warning for those allergic to Lee Evans


    Though he has never done anything on a par with this since. Even if you do have an antipathy to him, and the sight of Lee Evans does anything to you short of anaphyllactic shock, I still say, this is well worth a fiver and two hours of your time; it was the best British film that decade IMHO.....

  17. #17
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    It's agree to disagree time....but if, like me, you have a sense of humour as dark as Green and Black's Organic 70% Cocoa bars, you'll love Funny Bones......

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: Aaland dremble wedge's Avatar
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    I wonder if the full version of Funny Bones will ever be released? There was a lot cut out, including most of Oliver Reed and all of Joanna Lumley.

  19. #19
    Senior Member Country: UK kelp's Avatar
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    Yes Penfold, and its one of the last appearances of that innovative American/French clown George Carl. Not that he does his famous act in Funny Bones, but he does an excellent duo with Freddy Davis.

    Also, in my opinion, Lee Evans does a very good piece of acting as the oddball son, especially atop the swaying pole. Quite unnerving.

  20. #20
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    I could never stand Freddie Davies as a kid, but he (with George Carl) was superb in this, both in the stage routines and the straight acting......but I roll on the floor when they're working in the Ghost Train......if you have any affection at all for the lost days of music hall, end-of-the-pier comedy, then this is the film for you; dark, funny, affectionate. Great soundtrack too....

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