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June 2016

Every Home Should Have One

cast: Marty Feldman, Judy Cornwell, Julie Ege, Penelope Keith, and Jack Watson

director: Jim Clark

84 minutes (15) 1970
widescreen ratio 16:9
Network blu-ray region B

RATING: 6/10
review by Ian Shutter

Every Home Should Have One

In the decade that gave us Lindsay Anderson's rather stifling curiosity O Lucky Man! (1973), this cheerfully bawdy comedy movie followed the surrealism and ridiculously humorous concerns of landmark TV series Monty Python's Flying Circus (1969-74). With its satirical jibes at religious piety, scurrilous presentation of smut in the media, and a healthy disrespect - in all of its oppressive forms - for the British establishment, Every Home Should Have One proved to be a perfect vehicle for the boggle-eyed slapstick farce that was Marty Feldman's preference during years of television work.

Here, Feldman plays lowly creative, Teddy Brown, a befuddled type in an advertising agency where he rises to executive status, groomed for American styled enterprise by his sleazy boss, Kaplan (Shelley Berman). 'Think dirty' becomes Teddy's instructive mantra when he's granted indiscreet licence to sex up a campaign for frozen porridge. However, Teddy's wife Liz (Judy Cornwall) falls under the spell of the clergy-led England Clean, England Strong society - a haughty group of curtain-twitching busybodies, wholly intent on barmy censorship of TV, and generally spoiling everyone's harmless fun. This movie foregrounds Norwegian starlet, former Bond girl, Julie Ege (perhaps best known for her lead role in Hammer's prehistoric adventure Creatures The World Forgot, 1971), as nudist au pair Inga, who eventually and predictably wins the promo agency's Miss Goldilocks pageant.

Much ribald fun is to be had with Patrick Cargill as a local MP, who easily out-sleazes even Teddy's boss when it comes to bedroom antics, and the appearance of Penelope Keith as a Germanic biker, and Nazi au pair, Lotte ("In Hamburg, I used to wrestle in mud"), a late replacement for Inga who has escaped to shack up with Kaplan. There is one bizarrely questionable plot twist, however, when the Browns' young son Richard (Garry Miller, star of the largely forgotten children's fantasy TV series Jamie, 1971), is accused of stealing Inga's knickers. At the centre of all the picture's artistic expression and freedom-of-speech arguments - mainly implied by Teddy's daydreams, though, is knockabout japery epitomised by the dodgy looking Feldman, whose clowning makes uber-clumsy Frank Spencer (of the later Some Mothers Do 'Ave 'Em, 1973), seem like a suave James Bond.

Jim Clark went on to direct crime-comedy Rentadick (1972) - also featuring Ege, with some top British comedy stars, and cult mystery horror Madhouse (1974), pairing the genre icons Vincent Price and Peter Cushing. When not writing for TV, Feldman went on to direct himself, in the cult movie The Last Remake Of Beau Geste (1977), and his witty satire, albeit a weaker effort, In God We Tru$t (1980).



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