The early to mid-1970s were grim years for the British film industry. The major Hollywood studios, which have a longstanding production arm in the UK (such as MGM behind Get Carter), are slashing their investments in the UK or pulling it all out together.
His industry is in the doldrums. The number of British films being made each year is only a fraction of what it used to be, and a lot of the movies are made anyway.
Riding to the Rescue – on a bus driven by Brylcreemed Reg Varney – became the epilogue to the big-screen sitcom.
British companies including EMI and horror specialists Hammer Films – whose topless formula looks silly and outdated when compared to the likes of Texas Chainsaw Massacre or The Exorcist – found that it was a lot of money to get rid of cheap and big screen versions of popular sitcoms.
Hammer’s scary On the bus, starring the aforementioned Varney, made more at the UK box office in 1971 than Diamonds are eternal. Followed by two equally rotten sequels.
In fact, this is not the first of its kind. There was a movie version of Until we die, we’ll do a part in 1968, while the big screen Father’s Army was previously released in 1971. Both are a notable cut from what followed.
But after that On the bus, cinema has been buried under an avalanche of spin-offs. Almost every British sitcom of the decade, from Is Steptoe and Son and Whatever Happened to Lads Likely to Happen? at the top of the pile, to Love your neighbor and Are you being served? at its absolute lowest, moved to the big screen in the 1970s.
All but a few are worthless trash. In the 1980s George and Mildred – an incredibly sad scene that has stretched the definition of “movie” to the point of prominence – the sitcom cow has been milked dry and exhausted.
Well, not quite. The idea that the sitcom part was purely a 1970s aberration is purely a myth. They never really disappeared.
Mr. Bean and The Inbetweoners each spawns two movies. Sacha Baron Cohen brings his characters Ali G, Bruno and Borat to the big screen. Steve Coogan did the same thing with Alan Partridge in Alpha Papa.
We also saw, among others, Harry Enfield’s Kevin & Perry Go Large, the Bottom spin-off Paradiso Guest House, David Brent: Life on the road (are from The Office), Bad Educational Movie, In Loop (are from Its Thickness), Absolutely Awesome, League of Gentlemen Apocalypse and another Dad’s Army.
The quality of these varies greatly – although if you think the bottom of the barrel has been scraped off by Mrs Brown’s Boys D’Movie, obviously you’ve never seen Keith Lemon: The movie.
Another spin-off joins the ranks on Friday as Catherine Tate’s Movie The Nan hit the cinema.
Those 1970s sitcoms were mostly blatantly made, cheaply made and shoddy. And yet, is the worst of them really more cynical than the current trend of perpetuating popular TV series with spin-offs?
When Downton Abbey ends on Christmas Day 2015, its creator Julian Fellowes has probably told all the stories he wants to tell, viewers hardly enjoy a cinematic version. Either way, one appeared in 2019, mounted on a thin plot of a royal visit.
second movie, Downton Abbey: A New Era, will be released at the end of next month. And then there’s Peak Blinders. It’s now halfway through the final round and has been disappointingly flimsy and slow so far. But the story won’t end there. A cinematic version – which creator Steven Knight seems to have been thinking about for years – will begin shooting in 2023.
Those of us who have been following Peaky Blinders since it started in 2013 it would be justified to question how a story that couldn’t be completed in 36 episodes of a 36-hour TV series is suddenly wrapped up in a two-hour series. hours – which, of course, we would have to pay to see.
Then again, maybe this won’t be the end either. Ominously, Knight recently told a British newspaper that the film “will tell us where to go next”. Of course, there’s always the possibility that frustrated viewers, fed up with being chained, will tell him exactly where to go long before we hit that point.
https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/television/tv-news/from-mr-bean-to-borat-and-david-brent-the-fall-and-rise-of-the-cynical-movie-spin-off-41450219.html From Mr Bean to Borat and David Brent, the fall and rise of the film is full of skepticism