This was the second collection of programs released on DVD by HBO Video. There are four programs in this 2 disc collection and you'll find the links for each program in the right hand column of this page. There's also a link for the bonus features.
Golden Classics DVD Review
One Night Video Stand
In order to accomodate those who do not have Pop-Up Support in their browsers, there are two links for each gallery. The Photos in the gallery are now 500 pixels wide by 357 pixels high.
One Night Video Stand
- TV Announcer I
- Starsky & Hutch
- TV Announcer II
- Victorian Scandals
- Pan And Scan
- Girls, Girls, Girls
- The Henry McGee Travel Show
- I Have To Watch My Figure
- Granny Show Jumping
- At The Streaker's Ball
- Villain Of The Year Award
- Canadian Mountie Poems
- Candid Camera
- The Wedding
- The Best Is Yet To Come
- Scouts & Guides Annual Fete
- Fred Scuttle - Dimpton On Sea
- TV Romania Te Rose
- Starlight Television
- The Appliance Revolt
- New York, New York
- Match Of The Day
- The Caviar Dinner
- Night Nurse
- Women's Lib Television
- Les 3 Mousquateres
Cast: Benny Hill with Henry McGee, Bob Todd, Jack Wright, Helen Horton, Pat Ashton, Sue Upton, Roger Finch, Ken Sedd, Cyril Cross and Susan Daly, Anne Easton, Louise English, Nola Haynes, Sharon Haywoode, Leigh Miles, Clare Smalley and Samantha Spencer Lane as Hill's Angels.
This program starts with the familiar voice of Henry McGee introducing Benny in "Operetta". In this musical number, Benny plays a man back from the war. "I've been fighting for peace, now I want a piece, of what I've been fighting for". Benny sings a duet with a girl I've seen in the show before and I think its Pat Ashton. They sing "The Wonderful Meaning Of Love". Benny includes several wonderful sight gags to accompany their duet. This leads into "Drinking With The Boys" and Henry, Jackie, Bob and the rest of the company join in. The girls chime in with "Drinking With The Girls" and Benny gets some tea in the groin. Louise can be seen in a ballerina Tutu. I also think Leigh Miles is in this one and Sue is here as well. This is a great musical number and you really need to pay attention to keep up with the pacing of the sight gags. A great number.
Next up is Benny as the mythical lover and womanizer, "Casanova". He has his way with several fair maidens. The gags come quickly one after the other. This is also one of Benny's "Silent Sequences" where we only hear music and sound effects and the occasional "looped" dialogue. Jackie Wright plays the sidekick to Benny as the famous lover. They wind up in prison and when served some slop in a bowl, the bowl is too big for the cell bars. Benny produces a large spoon and is able to "SLLUUURRRPP" it up. A Scream. The guys do make their escape with the help of Benny's girl and he finds out just how many lovers she's had. Watch Benny's suicide. Great stuff.
In "TV Announcer I" Benny reads the evening news and programming with his usual slips of the tongue. He then introduces "Starsky and Hutch"
Benny plays the part of both of the famous TV cops in "Starsky and Hutch" and even uses a squeezed lens to make everyone look 10 feet tall. Jackie Wright plays the stoolie "Huggy". The guys are looking for the governor's daughter who's been kidnapped by "Slimy Sally". They mistake a young gorgeous blond for the governor's daughter and kill Rita Webb instead. I wish I knew who the young blonde was. Perhaps she was part of "Love Machine". Benny was a master at parodying American sitcoms and this is a first-class example, complete with the freeze frame on Starsky at the end.
In a performance of the song "Fever" (with the same girl from "I Have To Watch My Figure") Benny is her accompaniment, along with an actual bass player. Benny must provide all of the sounds with his mouth, including the drums, which he is actually supposed to have in front of him. Lots of good gags.
"TV Announcer II" has Benny apologizing for a technical problem during the broadcasting of Coronation Street and then introduces "Victorian Scandals".
Benny plays 'Benson', the butler in "Victorian Scandals". Henry McGee and his wife (is that Lorraine Doyle?) are celebrating their first wedding anniversary with a group of friends. After company leaves, Henry's wife (Jenny Lee Wright) starts hurling insults and accuses Charles (Henry McGee) of infidelity, to which he confesses. Benny provides all the sight gags and is hilarious as the bumbling butler. Henry's wife vows to spend the night with 'Benson' instead. Rita Webb even says, "You can't sleep with a servant …. Let me go in your place!" One of my favorites.
"Pan And Scan" is a brilliant parody, which has Benny explaining the problems involved in presenting widescreen movies on Television and how networks try to find ways to overcome the differences in aspect ratios. Then a movie is shown "Deep In My Heart", which shows just how bad it can be to Pan and Scan movies on TV or indeed on Video. Because so much of this sketch is only "heard" and not seen, we are encouraged to use our dirty minds to visualize what is happening. Jackie Wright plays an upset landowner who throws Benny and his girlfriend off of his property after they are found trespassing. Look for the moment when Benny is embarrassed and tries to explain to his girl that the land they are on is not his. The cameraman provides the jokes here. This is really a brilliant sketch and Benny was ahead of his time. Today, more and more people are beginning to understand the natural advantages of watching widescreen presentations on TV and Video, regardless of the black bars at the top and bottom of the screen.
Eddie Buchanan provides the vocals in the next segment, "Girls, Girls, Girls". Benny, Eddie and Jackie are a band in a club. Benny plays tambourine and ogles the girls in the audience while they dance. For each song, he fantasizes a different story and we see each of these almost like music videos. The first has Benny having an affair with a blond; his wife is Eddie Buchanan in drag. The second song has Benny working in a clothing store and then getting a girl pregnant and finally married. The third has Benny as a nasty schoolboy by getting into trouble with the teacher. Watch her shake hands with the students! After the three songs, all the other guys get girls except Benny.
Benny plays Mr. Chow Mein appearing on "The Henry McGee Travel Show". He even brings along an oriental girl. Henry can hardly understand Benny with his thick Chinese accent. Misunderstandings abound. This is also one of Benny's funniest haracters.
Benny chases a beautiful young girl in "I Have To Watch My Figure". Benny takes her to lunch, but she refuses to eat anything fattening. He tries to kiss her but she indicates that she won't kiss him until there is a ring on her finger. He proposes and she accepts. After they get married, Benny's troubles really begin.
"Granny Show Jumping" features Benny as Colonel Llewelyn Todd. He jumps on Rita Webb, competes and then there is the "Mounties Musical Ride".
Benny leads a Salvation Army Type band in "At The Streaker's Ball". This is a great Benny tune with the cast in the back playing several different musical instruments. Benny provides those lyrics, which leave everything up to your imagination. Watch the tuba player blow the low note, raising a young girls skirt. After the tune the group march in formation and one girl loses her skirt. Lots of fun.
Henry McGee interviews Sgt. Fred Scuttle in "Villain Of The Year Award". Scuttle: "It is a transvestite of Justice!" Benny also appears in drag as the wife of a convicted robber. Look for Jackie Wright with an eye-patch! Benny then plays the MC of the awards, announcing the nominees and winner. We see three films for each nomination. In the third, Benny plays a man conning people out of their beer. Look for a girl in a bunny type suite behind Benny, as the MC…is that Leigh Miles?
"Canadian Mountie Poems" has Benny in full Mountie uniform reciting a poem about Eskimo Nell. More of Benny's wonderful wordplay.
"Candid Camera" has Benny making a pass on a beautiful young girl, kissing and singing to her. She threatens to call the police and Benny pretends he's from Candid Camera. Jackie Wright tries this on another girl without success.
In "The Wedding", Benny is marrying an ugly woman (Rita Webb) for her money. He starts to have second thoughts though. He takes off and starts looking for any young beautiful girl he can find. He winds up at "Elsie's" house and she is very excited to see him. She warns him to get started if he's going to do anything, since her husband is coming home soon. She says not to worry since he doesn't care. She's decked out in her sexiest black evening gown. A classic moment.
"The Best Is Yet To Come" starts with four sexy girls dancing to the song of the same name. I think this is "Love Machine". The tune changes and the Benny, Bob, Jackie and another guy come out and do "the flash". They dance with each other in a hilariously suggestive manner. A real scream. Unforgettable!
"Scouts & Guides Annual Fete" has Benny and Jackie going to the festival campgrounds. This is another great location sketch with lots of great gags. Watch when Benny, who is sawing a piece of lumber, gets distracted when a girl bends over.
"Fred Scuttle - Dimpton On Sea" features Henry McGee interviewing Scuttle on art. Just listen to Scuttle's great insights into famous artists! Henry also asks Scuttle about his holiday packages. Jackie Wright is hilarious as the handyman. You just have to look at him!
"TV Romania Te Rose" starts with Benny as a clown and Henry McGee as a distinguished gentleman on a park bench. Watch Benny do some gags with a wine bottle. After Henry leaves, Benny falls asleep on the bench. Louise steps out of the billboard on the wall and performs a dance with Benny. She gives him a red rose and Benny kisses her hand just as he's waking up. A policeman drags him off for loitering and we see the flower still sitting on the bench. A very touching mime performance.
The Next chapter "Starlight Television" features a store-front window which looks like a face with TV sets for eyes. Benny is the reporter and as the girl's go by, his head in the TV sets acts just like eyes watching the girls! A girl also stops to adjust her nylons (very nice!). Benny reads the news of the strange and mystifying behavior of appliances who are set to take over! This leade straight into the "Twilight Zone" style sketch, "The Appliance Revolt". With music from Hitchcock's "Psycho", Sue is killed by a Television when she takes a shower, another girl by a Vacuum and Benny by a lamp. Check out Bob Todd as the paper-man! Finally, humans perform for the TV sets. I really loved this sketch as a kid. It also says something about how we use technology in our world and if it's really us in control or the machines we use. Still relevant today.
"New York, New York" is a classic Hill's Angels segment and for many, their favorite. There are so many great sight gags throughout and the girls are just incredible! My brother and I both think this is probably the first of the "Hill's Angels" routines after Benny finished up with "Love Machine", which was really sort of the forerunner to these segments of the show.
It starts with the gals all over a Classic Car of some sort The girls are (If I'm not mistaken): Sam Lane on the right side headlight, Leigh Miles on the left, Louise English on the roof, and Sue Upton on the steps of the Hotel. Clare Smalley gets out of the driver door, Sam Lane opening it for her. Clare opens the trunk, revealing another girl whom I do not know.... any ideas?
Plenty of sight gags throughout this segment while The Ladybirds sing "New York, New York". Sue's skirt gets a lift from balloons attached by Henry McGee. Benny and Jackie as street punks get a good laugh. Bob Todd as a Priest (a part he would play too many times in the later years of the show) shoos them away, assisting Sue in her predicament and he gets a slap in the face.
Bob Todd tries to read Jackie Wright's newspaper, Jackie folding it up small. When Sam Lane comes along, he allows her to read it, but pulls it farther and farther from her view.
Bob Todd walks by Benny, one other guy (Jon Jon Keefe, I think) and two girls. The guys laugh when they see him in drag and he chases them.
Benny and a buddy follow two chicks in miniskirts, but when they turn around it's Jackie and Bob in drag. Jackie Wright as a mugger holds up Bob Todd as a cop in disguise. This part pops in and out of the first half of this segment as Bob dumps a huge pile of junk from his purse onto the ground until he finally pulls his gun out, revealing himself as a cop and dragging Jackie Wright off to jail.
Louise (as a Hooker) and Benny (a Street Beggar) are soliciting outside the Hotel and Henry McGee walks by. Louise wants money, promising "a good time" by her chewing gum smile and wink. Benny's bronchial coughing gets Henry's attention and Benny gets some cash. Benny and Louise run into the Hotel and back out again.
At a bus stop, Sam Lane walks by covered in a see-through white rain suit of some kind and Jackie Wright follows, leaving his shoe behind (under Bob Todd's foot).
Sue and Helen Horton walk by the display window of a clothing store. Benny is changing clothes on mannequins. He is careless though and mistakes the dress of Sam Lane for a mannequin, lifting her dress and getting a slap in the process. Helen Horton is selling darts and gets cash from Benny and Benny gets a dart in the nose!
This cuts to a shot of a scaffolding in a parking lot and we have a whole group of girls in various outfits: On top left to right: Samantha Spencer Lane, Louise English, Leigh Miles and a black girl I think is Nola Haynes. Bottom: Sue and two other girls I'm not sure of.
Benny plays a street performer doing a balancing act with everyone in front of the Disco... Sue drops some coins in his hat on the street and Benny flashes a "Thank you" sign under his coat, strategically placed... a scream!!
We then go into the Disco and this is where the temperature of this routine starts to boil as The Ladybirds sing "Way Down". The first shot is Leigh in pink (front), Sue behind her to the left, and Sam Lane standing. As the camera pans back we see Louise and I think Nola Haynes paired to the right on the set and to the left, two girls I am not sure of in black and red.
Something occurred to me as well while I'm reviewing this. Bob Todd has his "Super Hot Curry", served by Benny as a waiter and here he is, in a nightclub with lots of sexy semi-clad women and he's dressed as a Priest! That must have created some controversy for the show.
Louise slides down a pole, Leigh Miles dances, Sam Lane is on the floor, Sue extends her legs, then gets on her hands and knees, giving us a real surprise! Jackie watches all of this and accidentally butters his hand and wrist. There are a few more shots of Sue, Louise, Leigh and the other girls and then two dancers come into view, the girl losing her top on her partner's stomach.
We're then taken outside the disco and Louise, Samantha, Sue and Leigh walk by the camera and Benny, Bob and Jackie dressed as garbage men give the girls their, "Garbage Can Salute", with the Ladybirds singing "New York, New York" to the end.
The thing that makes this routine so exciting is not just the the girls dancing or the "disco" atmosphere, but the costumes. The girls wear many different colors and this adds to the variety and spice of the routine. The music is always very important and the guitars and especially the sexy saxophone and horns really enhance this moment. It seems to me that all the Hill's Angels segments are like Music Videos, and this is something that my brother has noticed as well.
"Match Of The Day" features Benny rushing in the front door to catch a sports replay on TV. His wife offers the results and he tells her not to tell him.
Sue is featured opposite Benny on a date in "The Caviar Dinner". She orders just about everything on the menu and Benny asks her if she eats this well at home. The results are embarrassing for Benny. Sue is really cute in this one. "Jealousy" has Benny at the kitchen table with his gossipy wife. "Night Nurse" has Benny refusing the services of a night nurse from his wife while sick in bed. His wife opens the door to reveal a sexy young girl in a sexy nurse's outfit! Now he's really sick!
"Women's Lib Television" has the guys performing a parody of Hill's Angels by dancing to sexy disco music. Benny, Henry, Bob, Jackie and I think Jon Jon Keefe are dressed in "sexy" outfits and this is a brilliant parody of the sexy women on his show. The guys sing (badly) and each one offers a letter to form a word "R-E-T-O-L-R-A-M-S-O-C-K". I loved this one as a kid too.
This program closes with "Les 3 Mousquateres", featuring Benny, Jackie and Bob as the famous adventurers. Look for Louise in a scene or two as well as Sue. Benny and the guys receive a message that the king has been captured. Jackie Wright finds the king, the king Knights him and he must deliver a casket to the queen. The guys set off on their mission and get captured by the enemy. They break out of their cell and throw the key down a grate, not realizing that there were three sexy young girls in the cell (Louise, Clare Smalley and I think Leigh Miles… anyone else noticed this?) There is also the usual chase to the end credits.
This is a great program which has been around for quite some time and has many classic moments on it like "Women's Lib Television" "Starsky & Hutch" and the brilliant "Pan And Scan". Hill's Angels are not in great supply, but the very hot "New York, New York" is well worth the wait and is definitely a high point. This period of the show is when Benny was starting to reach his creative peak and he found an incredible bunch of girls for the show: Louise English, Samantha Spencer-Lane, Clare Smalley, Leigh Miles and of course the lovely Sue Upton. I remember watching so many of these sketches on TV as a kid and its great to see this collection on DVD. Self-recommending.