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60 years ago?,
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This review is from: Hellzapoppin' [VHS]  (VHS Tape)
Was this film REALLY made 60 years ago?
When you look at the black and white production, the cheap sets and props and so on, then yes, you can really believe it.
But as you adjust your computer-generated image focus to zoom in on what real film making is (or should I say, was) all about, then you start to understand what whimsicality is all about and find yourself wondering "why can't they make films like this today?"
The story is basically a story within a story - how two bumbling heroes try to set out to demolish a theatrical performance as they believe that success will ruin its producer, whereas everyone else understands that success is vital to the producer's future love plans with the heroine of the piece.
The situations that inevitably arise are, to an audience from the year 2002, frightfully corny and you're sure you've seen them all before. And indeed you have - in films from the 1960s and 1970s when they were paraded as avant-garde and new! So now you know where all avant-garde, alternative comedy actually came from. And this is what makes this film so interesting.
This is the precursor of "Monty Python". This was the precursor of "Not the Nine O'Clock News". You find yourself wondering "how many times did Marty Feldman or Mel Brooks watch this film before starting to produce their own?"
But it's not just an interesting historical curio. It's actually quite funny - in fact it's hilarious. And it captures your attention without being violent, or without being vulgar - something no film maker can manage today (unfortunately). And the special effects, stunts, and so on, all done with the camera and the usual split-second timing but with an added sophistication that made a brief appearance at the end of the 30s and went missing again (sadly) once film producers discovered computers.
No, this counts as one of the most amazing films that has ever been made - and there has never ever been another like it.
Are you a comedy fan? A collector of film curios? Or merely someone interested in seeing a Monty Python film from 60 years ago? Well, buy this one. You won't be disappointed.
Not at all