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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Oh what a circus oh what a show, 31 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Life is a Circus [DVD] (DVD)
I only new of this film via a clip on YouTube of Michael Holliday/Shirley Eaton singing a delightful little song called "For You, For You" a few years ago. I enjoyed the clip and have been waiting ever since to see the whole film. Once again it's down to Network who have dug this out so I hope they make some revenue from it. Naturally, it's dated (1960) but to anyone over 60 this is worth viewing. Two nice songs from composer Philip Green (the previously mentioned "For You, For You" and the title track). This must have been the last film made featuring the Crazy Gang and is of historic value for that alone. The story starts off with some plausibility, but eventually moves into pure fantasy with Lionel Jeffreys as a genie who keeps getting Bud Flanagan's wishes wrong. Nevertheless, it's still good entertainment for OAPs at least. I was quite moved and surprised when Flanagan and Allen sang "Underneath The Arches" it took me back to a time when Britain and the British were far more caring and genuine than now. Lovely stuff!!!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars BRITISH LION'S BIG CRAZY GANG SCREEN RETURN AFTER TWO DECADES, 14 Jun. 2014
This review is from: Life is a Circus [DVD] (DVD)
I had the privilege of knowing both the producer (E.M.Smedley-Aston) and the director (Val Guest) of this picture, and they both (separately) confessed to me that things did not turn out as they wanted on this picture back in 1957. The Crazy Gang, now old men (and already barnacled in their 1930s heyday) nonetheless have all the energy of youth to bring zany wonders to a picture edging towards the sixties, but the structure of integrating the whole team was severely compromised by Flanagan and Allen, who did not wish to appear until pressed to do their one number - entirely apart from the remainder of the cast - for old time's sake.

To contradict a previous review, the budget here is not bad - and allows for a couple of large Sheppertonscapes - including a vast Persian never-neverland inside a djin's lamp ! Michael Holliday is the real fly in the ointment - not blessed with good looks and a mediocre singing talent amid a wash of rock 'n' roll youth - he had his following but could hardly be described as love's young dream.

Val Guest was a whizz at timeless screen comedy - in fact for over half a century - but this picture needs a lift at the centre and a dose more of the old lad's mischief, such as when Guest as pre-war writer sent them out to the wild west in THE FROZEN NORTH. The operation of the British Lion organisation - makers of the film - had just been taken over by a new MD reporting to David Kingsley, in turn installing the Boultings and Launder & Gilliat (the latter two behind this picture being instituted), and so the board were most impatient to get this film done and out on release for an early delivery date: all remedies in the hands of old Val and Smed could not be implemented. Unlike many pieces of the time whose ambitions remained unrequited with their studio, this did happen to perform and drop off early at cinemas, to disappointing - though not disastrous - returns.

That is not to say this is a poor film - it's a fine screen comedy, entirely worth having and looking just perfect in this widescreen print. Just one cannot prevent thought of what could have been. In fact for the price it's a must-have.

A pointer for the people at Network and StudioCanal would be for them to unleash such other British Lion pictures as NEARLY A NASTY ACCIDENT (1960), starring that unheralded genius of an actor, Kenneth Connor, Connery without the stilts but ten times the cheer in place of them . . .
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars From a time when 'E' meant entertainment, 11 Nov. 2013
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D. J. Bolton (Wales) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life is a Circus [DVD] (DVD)
First of all, I doff my hat to Network/Studio Canal for bringing this out which has never appeared on any home video format before.

In fact I only know of two tv showings of this. It is the first one at Christmas 1966 which left quite a lasting memory.

The story itself is quite silly. The producers could not seem to make their mind up whether this is a comedy or a musical. It is not terribly funny and there sre only three songs.

But it has its merits all the same. It is the last film of 'The Crazy Gang' although Chesney Allen was no longer part of the group. But he re-united with Bud Flannagan for this film and within it we are treated to a poingent rendering of 'Underneath the Arches'. For their fans this itself sells it.

Now this film had a 'U' certificate back in 1959/60 - it is PG now. But it is that lasting memory from 1966 where the genie of the lamp, played by Lionel Jeffries, is trying to be 'entertained' by 'Rose of Baghdad'. Were these quite risque scenes for the time left untouched by the censor ?

The plot is essentially a remake of an earlier Crazy Gang film 'Alf's buttton Afloat' which, again, is not generally available.

Excellent picture/sound and at original film resolution.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars well worth buying, 24 April 2014
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This review is from: Life is a Circus [DVD] (DVD)
Had this film in my wish list for some time and finally decided to buy it.well worth buying and a pleasure to watch
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars lost british film, 30 Nov. 2013
By 
B. Gilbert (TADWORTH SURREY ENGLAND) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Life is a Circus [DVD] (DVD)
its nice to see the once great crazy gang in their last screen appearance..Bud and Chesney especially performing for the last time "UNDERNEATH THE ACHES"..The story is corny, and as usual for those times obviously , the budget wasn't big..but it's entertaining enough, so just enjoy i for what it is
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVE LIFE IS A CIRCUS, 1 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Life is a Circus [DVD] (DVD)
I LOVE LIFE IS A CIRCUS .I HAVE BEEN GET IT FOR YEARS AS I HAD WACTH IT ON TV A LONG TIME
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Life is a Circus [DVD]
Life is a Circus [DVD] by Val Guest (DVD - 2013)
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