Thursday, 28 August 2014

Mini-Review: Happy Birthday Harry (1980, Marius Mattei)

Terry-Thomas ending his career in an Italian made, London set, sex comedy? Afraid so. Only obscurity (I can find no record of a UK release or even an English dubbed version existing) appears to have prevented Happy Birthday Harry from acquiring the kind of notoriety afforded to inglorious last films, or ones which find formerly dignified stars in close proximity to T&A material.

The titular Harry (John Richardson) is a David Sullivan-esque Men’s magazine publisher whose wealth and bestselling mags means that he is regularly mobbed by gangs of wannabe starlets on the streets of London. His upcoming 40th birthday brings him into close contact with such groupies, as well as ex-lovers, his magazine’s staff and a crazy doctor (Terry-Thomas). Evidence of brief UK filming manifests itself in the form of lots of shots of Big Ben, footage of Richardson walking along Westminster Bridge, around Piccadilly Circus and Soho (showing nothing of historical interest), before its back to interior scenes shot in Rome.

Terry-Thomas looks in even poorer shape than he did in Side by Side and Hound of the Baskervilles, but is in good company. Richardson, once handsome star of One Million Years BC, here resembles Jack from On The Buses, former peplum star Gordon Mitchell takes his shirt off to show some tired flesh, Marisa Mell fares a tiny bit better but shows signs of relying on heavy make-up, maybe even plastic surgery, to hold on to her youthful looks. The aged cast, bad comedy and unappealing nudity all conspire to make this the Italian equivalent of Carry on Emmannuelle, you have been warned.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Come Play With More4

My friend Suzy Mandel was one of the people interviewed for the documentary that is on More4 this Saturday at 10pm

Aside from the press release I don’t know that much else about it, apart from the fact that David McGillivray is also in it, oh… and I sold the production company a copy of ‘Sexy Secrets of the Kissogram Girls’ so there is the possibility of archive footage of Pauline Hickey being in there.