Tag Archives: Roy Kinnear

The Set of 400: #58 – My Favorite Bicycle Powered Sword Fighting Dummy

Today! Because unless I’m very much mistaken, chaderd is the Egyptian word meaning “to eat fat”! Now we’re getting somewhere!

The Adventure of Sherlock Holmes’ Smarter Brother (1975)

Directed by Gene Wilder

Starring Gene Wilder (x4), Marty Feldman (x2), Madeline Kahn (x7), Leo McKern, Dom DeLuise (x7), Roy Kinnear (x3), John Le Mesurier, Nicholas Smith, Douglas Wilmer, Thorley Walters, John Hollis, Aubrey Morris (x2), Susan Field, Albert Finney (x4), George Silver

This movie was such a bedrock staple of childhood that I was amazed to learn of its relative obscurity as I got older. I mean, it’s not completely unknown, but it certainly isn’t widely discussed or regarded. Information about its general success upon initial release is a little tough to come by – I’ve seen it ranging anywhere from the 24th to 48th highest grossing movie of 1975, and it may or may not have been the #1 film the weekend before Christmas – but it certainly hasn’t had the staying power of the ’70s Mel Brooks films it is clearly patterned after.

Which is a shame, because while it doesn’t function overly well as a Sherlock Holmes parody – à la the more direct take off of #220 Without a Clue, say – it is a pretty solid Sherlock-esque comedy. Lifting an alias Holmes employed in the first Conan Doyle story after the character’s supposed death (“The Adventure of the Empty House”), Wilder plays Sherlock’s bitter younger brother Sigerson, not – as you may have guessed sight unseen – his famously smarter elder brother Mycroft. Sherlock (played by frequent Sherlock, Douglas Wilmer) directs a vitally important case to his brother through Feldman’s Scotland Yard Sergeant Orville Sacker (named very similar to Doyle’s early draft Dr. Watson – Ormond Sacker). Before long they are facing off with a comically volcanic Moriarty (the terrific Leo McKern), a habitually lying chanteuse (you can never go wrong giving Madeline Kahn musical numbers), and a horse-and-carriage chase/fight through the streets of London unlike any ever made.

Thanks for coming through, heavily watermarked stock photo!

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The Set of 400: #76 – My Favorite Subway Train Apartment

Today! Because I always knew my inside leg would lead to power –

The Bed Sitting Room (1969)

Directed by Richard Lester (x2)

Starring Ralph Richardson, Michael Hordern (x2), Frank Thornton, Rita Tushingham, Peter Cook (x3), Dudley Moore, Arthur Lowe (x2), Mona Washbourne, Spike Milligan (x3), Harry Secombe, Marty Feldman, Roy Kinnear (x2), Richard Warwick, Ronald Fraser, Jack Shepherd

This post-apocalyptic satire was strangely difficult to find for quite a while. I’m not sure if this was exclusively a stateside problem, as it is such aggressively British humor from its time, but I couldn’t locate a copy forever, and then all of a sudden The Bed Sitting Room was streaming on Netflix. I can only assume its viewership crushed everything else on the service, as when it disappeared from there it promptly turned up on DVD. I could have this all wrong – it’s not like I was searching for The Bed Sitting Room every day – but it sure seemed like this was the journey the movie took to reach my face.

And it appears to have made it to Blu Ray since then! Never mind!

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The Set of 400: #359 – My Favorite Blueberry Allergy

Today! Because the suspense is terrible – I hope it’ll last –

Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971)

Directed by Mel Stuart

Starring Gene Wilder, Jack Albertson, Roy Kinnear, Peter Ostrum, Leonard Stone, Nora Denney, Michael Bollner, Denise Nickerson, Paris Themmen, Julie Dawn Cole, Gunter Meisner

One of those movies you see again as an adult and wonder “Is this too scary for kids?” But you remember watching it as a kid and this never occurring to you. Really, it’s just the boat ride, the rest of the movie is fun musical weirdness. But man, that boat ride!

This movie is rated G??

On Gene Wilder’s death three years ago, I wrote that growing up he might’ve been the top movie star in my whole world, and almost exclusively because of films made previous to that present day. Along with Harrison Ford and…Kermit the Frog maybe? But it seemed like Gene Wilder movies were playing all the time in my house in the ’80s, and many of those will appear in this space in days to come. Continue reading

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