Ronnie Barker Futtocks End
Ronnie Barker, Michael Hordern, Hillary Pritchard
Directed by Bob Kellett
Originally released 1970
Standing Room Only Entertainment / SRO 2007
Distributed by KOCH Entertainment
NTSC All Regions 47 minutes

As the British would say, Ronnie Barker plays silly buggers in Futtocks End. This sound effect only very visual British comedy is a lot of fun to watch even if the picture quality of the DVD is only of VHS quality.

The premise of Futtocks End is General Futtock (Ronnie Barker of The Two Ronnies) is having guests over for the weekend and both the general and his butler, Michael Hordern (Friar Domingo on Shogun), lust and compete for the two buxom maids, the lovely niece, and a young woman in a very tight red vinyl dress.

Futtocks End is a better than average British naughty naughty nudge nudge wink wink comedy a la Carry On and early Benny Hill with pretty lasses that do not show more than cleavage and a nicely shaped thigh.

As the uncredited extra feature commentary by director Bob Kellett reveals, this was a low budget adventure where the cast sometimes provided its own costumes such as that lovely red vinyl dress and the furnishings for General Futtock’s home. The home itself used to belong to W.S. Gilbert of Gilbert and Sullivan.

Though no one speaks in Futtock’s End starring Ronnie Barker, the characters do converse in mumble that reminded this North American of interviews with Prince Charles or features on people of the British upper crust. Hmmm.

There are many great bits of visual comedy in this low budget short British and director Bob Kellett was smart enough not to milk any gag.

Personal favorites include the roll soccer game, the morning after breakfast scene with its brilliant sound gags, and the servants in the pantry bit that breaks many comedy rules and gets away with it.

Not mentioned on the clamshell for Futtocks End is the audio commentary track by Bob Kellett. This is one of very, very few instances where the director’s comments are actually interesting and tell the viewer something worth knowing about the movie and its actors though.

Futtocks End starring Ronnie Barker is a must for any fan of British comedy and movies.


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