Thu 12th (5:05pm, Film4)
Bless This House
Popular 1970s sitcom spin-off film starring Sid James, Terry Scott, Diana Coupland and June Whitfield
- Sid James, Diana Coupland, Terry Scott, June Whitfield, Peter Butterworth, Sally Geeson, Robin Askwith, Carol Hawkins, Janet Brown, George A. Cooper, Patsy Rowlands & more
- Dave Freeman
- Peter Rogers Productions
Sidney Abbott and his best mate and next-door neighbour Trevor enjoy home-brewing. Unfortunately, their plans to turn a little wine into the first recorded rhubarb brandy come unstuck when a Customs and Excise officer by the name of Baines moves into the house on the other side of the Abbotts'.
Meanwhile, Sid and Trevor's wives, Jean and Betty, are pushing ahead with plans - much to Sid's disgust - to open an antiques stall at the local market, and his layabout son Mike isn't making life any easier by buying a clapped-out old banger of a car.
Daughter Sally isn't helping neighbourly harmony either. She's waging an anti-pollution campaign in the town and manages to thoroughly drench Mr Baines in an attempt to extinguish a bonfire.
But it's Mike who looks set to cause the biggest ruction over the property boundary - by falling in love with Baines's daughter, Kate!
Can the two families ever reconcile their differences? Bless this house!
Our Review: One of the mid-range successes of the 1970s sitcom spin-off fad, the Bless This House film was a hit at the box office, but didn't quite do well enough for producers and stars to unite for another big-screen outing.
It's also a curious example of the spin-off mini-genre, as a number of actors who appeared in the series - sometimes regularly - featured here in different roles. It wasn't unheard of to switch the setting around a little, but not quite so common to change high-profile characters. Having said that, bringing in Terry Scott and June Whitfield as neighbours Ronald and Vera Baines provides some great laughs.
Whether or not Bless This House is a classic is somewhat arguable - it's not a total "load of cobblers", and isn't as bad as some sitcom adaptations, but isn't a masterpiece and certainly doesn't live up to the same spark as the TV series. But do give it a watch, as there'll be a fair few laughs at least.