Producer-director Bob Kellett’s fairly inventive and entertaining 1969 mini-feature film is a sound effects only ‘silent’ comedy. Uniquely talented British funnyman Ronnie Barker writes it as vehicle for himself, and it sees him starring as General Futtock in a sparse series of reasonably lively sight gags located at Futtock’s country house where he invites a motley group of guests to stay for the weekend.
The simple laughs concern the General’s butler trying to catch glimpses of a nice-looking young guest, rum falling into the punch bowl and a Japanese businessman tourist (Kim Kee Lim) being lost.
Short and genial though it is, Futtock’s End does rather start to outstay its welcome around the half-way mark. However, there is much comedic invention in Barker’s own original script, and there are quite a few laughs to be found, especially early on.
Barker and Hordern are delightfully amusing as the General and his butler, while there’s a nice support cast of the era to help polish things up. They include Roger Livesey, Julian Orchard, Kika Markham, Richard O’Sullivan, Mary Merrall, Peggy Ann Clifford, Ernest C Jennings, Jennifer Cox and Hilary Pritchard.
© Derek Winnert 2016 Classic Movie Review 4177
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