Every Home Should Have One

Thursday, 09 June 2016 23:00

Every Home Should Have One - out now on Blu-ray and DVDMarty Feldman is one of those comedy icons who has turned into the stuff of legend, as so much of his material from over the years has been junked from archives. In “Every Home Should Have One”, his first big screen performance, out for the first time on Blu-ray as well as a DVD rendering, this risqué comedy revolves around Teddy Brown, an advertising executive whose life becomes unnecessarily complicated when he's declared the man to run a campaign to ‘sex up’ one of his agency’s top products – and there’s no Tony Blair in sight!

It is 1970, and poor Teddy has several problems to contend with. His colleague’s advice to 'Think Dirty' (also an alternative title for the film, and a catchy tune laced throughout it) seems to have resonated worryingly with his young son, while the Rev Geoffrey Mellish (Dinsdale Landen) complicates matters when his ‘Clean-Up TV’ campaign gains unexpected support from Teddy’s wife. As Teddy's ineptitude is mistaken for talent, he needs an erotic angle for McLaughlin's Frozen Porridge (Highland Fresh Instant Oats). His solution is to stage a national hunt for a ‘Goldilocks’ to feature in some television commercials, which have to meet the approval of McLaughlin himself (Jack Watson).

Judy Cornwell (Daisy in Keeping Up Appearances) plays Teddy’s wife, Liz, very much caught between the two worlds of the swinging British scene and the prim and proper from the suburbs. She’s torn between the two options, and the married couple are summed up by an artwork hanging on the wall of their home: “The wages of sin is death”, it says, with “But The Hours are Good” scribbled on underneath.

The incredible Scandinavian sex symbol Julie Ege is classed as being ‘introduced’ in this movie as the Brown’s first Au Pair, Inga Giltenbergof Stockholm. There were a couple of uncredited previous screen appearances before this, and a credit as The Scandinavian Girl in the Bond outing “On Her Majesty’s Secret Service”. She would go on to further fame in the likes of “Creatures the World Forgot” (1971), “Up Pompeii” (1971), “The Final Programme” (1973), “Not Now Darling” (1973), “The Legend of the 7 Golden Vampires” (1974), “Percy’s Progress” (1974) and “The Amorous Milkman” (1975). The '15' certificate for this release means we get her T&A exposed aplenty (as is also the case with Feldman!), but nothing full frontal.

Shelley Berman (Judge Robert Sanders in Boston Legal, Nat David in Curb Your Enthusiasm) is Teddy’s far-from-faithful boss Nat Kaplan. Hy Hazell, known as “Britain’s answer to Betty Grable” with ‘the longest leg’s in show business’ plays his domineering wife, Ms Kaplan. Best known for playing Dixie Collins, an ageing movie star in “Expresso Bongo”, “Every Home…” was Hy’s final film appearance; she died in 1970, the year the film was released, at just 50 years old - choking to death on a piece of steak in a Westminster restaurant.

We also get Penelope Keith playing a strict German Au Pair called Lotte von Gelbstein, who replaces Inga, in a role which is now not what you would expect from her - based on the ‘prom and proper’ roles which would later become Keith’s trademark. Watch out also for Patrick Cargill as the wandering MP Wallace Truffitt, and Frances de la Tour as Maud Crape, one of the Reverend’s “Viewers and Listeners Association”-style disciples.

Satirist John Wells turns up as Tolworth, a television studio director, and Michael Bates (It Ain’t Half Hot Mum, Last of the Summer Wine) is seen late on as a Magistrate.

There is a fair deal of slapstick amongst the innuendo-laced humour, including one take-off of the Buster Keaton house falling on top of our lead character, but this time with an extra twist. That’s part of an extensive fight scene between Feldman and Landen’s Reverend (described by Teddy as a “Long thin streak of holy water”), across a series of film sets (reminiscent in some respects to the “Timelash” episode of UFO). You can see that Feldman has opted to do all his own stunts, with Landen definitely doing the majority of his himself, too. It’s another fine example of how to get the best out of Shepperton Studios.

Written by Feldman, Barry Took and Denis Norden, and produced by Ned Sherrin, this is what you would expect from a 1970 sex comedy release – bright colours, outlandish fashion choices, and “Carry On”-esque situations. There are shades of Richard Lester-style direction from Jim Clark, who went on to helm 1974’s “Rentadick”, written by John Cleese and Graham Chapman under pseudonyms, and which also featured Julie Ege. Clark went on to be the editor of Bond movie “The World is Not Enough”, as well as the same duties on a hat-full of other films including “Kiss Kiss (Bang Bang)”, “The Killing Fields”, “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother” and “The Last Remake of Beau Geste”. He died earlier in 2016.

Special features for this release are:

  • Original theatrical trailer (3’ 20”)
  • Textless film material [mute] (1’ 12”) – Feldman and Ege naked on the beach
  • Image gallery (52 pictures)
  • English hard-of-hearing subtitles
  • Promotional and press book PDFs

All in all, this is a fun and fast-moving film, and the Blu-ray rendition is superb in terms of picture quality – an incredible use of colour! As a cultural study of the era, it still echoes the coming to terms in the changing moral compass across the generation gaps, and from that much of the humour arises.

Feldman may well be part of a renaissance for his work, with At Last The 1948 Show (what’s left of it) already released, with a promise of The Marty Feldman Comedy Machine to come later in the year, both also from Network.

‘The British Film’ collection was launched by Network Distributing in April 2013 as part of a five-year plan to release over 450 vintage British films through a deal with Studiocanal, one of Europe’s leading distribution and production companies. Many of the films have never been available to own and will benefit from new transfers, affirming Network Distributing's commitment to classic British cinema. Titles include significant works from British Lion, of which this film is a notable entrant made by Example Productions Ltd.

“Every Home Should Have One” is out now, courtesy of Network. It is in a brand-new High Definition transfer from original film elements, in the original theatrical aspect ratio, has a running time of 94 minutes approx, a ‘15’ certificate and a Blu-ray RRP £14.99, or DVD RRP £9.99, or get either for less at www.culttvstore.com

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 15 June 2016 16:48

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