Up Pompeii R

Amazon Instant Video

(8) IMDb 5.9/10

Frankie Howerd plays Lurcio, lurking at the rent-a-girl stall in Pompeii market place. He quarrels with the cheeky Captain Bilius, who leaves him holding a mysterious scroll.

Starring:
Frankie Howerd, Michael Hordern
Runtime:
1 hour, 27 minutes

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

21 of 22 people found the following review helpful By Tiggah on June 8, 2002
Format: VHS Tape
This review refers to the two-video boxed set of the 1970 British comedy series Up Pompeii starring Frankie Howerd (ASIN 6304269544). I mention this as there is also a 90-minute movie, and reviews are posted next to both items, regardless of the one to which they actually refer.
Having only ever "experienced" Frankie Howerd once before (in 1978's ill-fated Sgt. Pepper movie), my expectations for this series were none too high. Well, I was very pleasantly surprised to find such a cute series as this one. Frankie Howerd is (in my view) simply unsurpassed as a comedian, and in my opinion this series is quite hilarious. On the one hand, it is a situational comedy, and as such it is extremely zany and light but with an abundance of wit (mostly in the form of puns, double entendres, and other such wordplay). On the other hand, the series also has elements of stand-up comedy, with Howerd frequently speaking in asides to the audience in addition to addressing them outright.
One example of the type of jokes to expect: Howerd says to a messenger who`s been stabbed, "You can`t die here, it`s the living room." It`s the type of humour that would have one groaning in less skilled hands (okay, it has one groaning even here), but Howerd is able to carry it off. This example notwithstanding, the humour is generally fairly bawdy, though in the nicest possible way. In other words, any bawdiness is usually the result of the viewer/audience "catching" a second meaning for a word or phrase! (I have, by the way, also seen the Up Pompeii movie, which I also enjoyed although I found it to be somewhat more sexually explicit (with some nudity) and the bawdy humour seemed a little more daring in places.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Richard Gonzales on September 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape
Frankie Howard plays both actor and narrater in this risque and somewhat ludicrous account of the last days of Pompeii. Frankie is a slave, Lurcio, in the household of Ludicrus Sextus, (Michael Hordern, (A Funny Thing Happend on the way to the Forum, Where Eagles Dare)), Ammonia (Barbara Murrey) wife of Sextus and Erotica (Madaline Smith), and Nausius (Royce Mills) the children of Sextus and Ammonia. Nearly every thing said in this film has a double meaning and if your mind is any where near the gutter when you watch it you will catch most of them the first time around. It is one continous laugh or snicker through-out; I don't believe their is three minuets between gags anywhere in the picture. Pure humor through and through. Lurcio has an encounter with Bilbius who was delivering a scroll, listing the names of everyone who was ploting to over throw Nero, to the governor of Pompeii who is also in on the plot. Hastely picking up his vegitables, and accedently the scroll, Lurcio becomes the object of a man hunt by Bilbius and some soldiers to regain the damaging evidence. As the story proceeds, we meet the disfunctional family of Sextus and some of the off-beat inhabitants of Pompeii. In fact, the only person in this story who seems to have both feet on the ground is a slave of Prosterous Maximus, (Bill Fraser), Governer of Pompeii. She only appeared for four minuets or so in this film which was a shame for she is very pretty and more character development could have been done between her and Nausius who wants to marry her but wouldn't know what to do with her after he did. So, we have Lurcio hiding out from Bilbius, Sextus lashing out at the moral decay of Pompeii while hosting orgies at his home, (sound like someone we may have heard of?Read more ›
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Cartimand on May 7, 2006
Format: DVD
The late great Frankie Howerd pouts and leers his way in inimical style through this 90 minute bawdy romp set in the famous doomed Roman city. This big screen adaptation of the much loved TV series is noticeably naughtier than the small-screen version, with 15-rated nudity aplenty and double-entendres (and a few blatant single-entendres) in almost every scene.

Although only Frankie as Lurcio, the slave, and the innocent young master (with the not-so-innocent odes to his latest love) seem to have survived the transition to cinema, most of the other characters are played by familiar faces from British cinema and all the usual plot elements are still there. This is pretty well classic English farce, in similar vein to some of the historical Carry On films made around the same time. Some of the gags are pretty lame, whilst others may make us wince a bit in today's politically correct climate. I defy anyone not to laugh out loud at least a couple of times during the movie though.

Corny? Yes Hammy? Sure, but just go with the flow and enjoy. As a testimony to happier, more innocent days, Up Pompeii is definitely worthwhile.

Salute!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Nancy H. Rathke on March 19, 2000
Format: VHS Tape Verified Purchase
Oh my, it is bawdy, and in the US the words are a little hard to catch, or the jokes are odd, but it's typical low humor as the British do it. In fact, it's not for youngsters because they might get the jokes! Frankie Howerd, who must have made his name in burlesque, is a slave in old Rome, where all the men are stupid and the women are beautiful nymphomaniacs. The names (Voluptua, Hilarius, etc.) are straight out of "A Funny Thing Happened..." which still reigns as the best, but this one has Plautus, occasionally looking down on the action from Mt. Olympus to make a ribald comment. Occasional nudity, the odd orgy or two, and constant visual references to private parts--you get the picture. But funny.
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