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The Plank [DVD]

4.6 out of 5 stars 261 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Actors: Eric Sykes, Tommy Cooper, Graham Stark, Stratford Johns, Jim Dale
  • Format: PAL, Colour
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 1.66:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: U
  • Studio: ITV Studios Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: 18 Oct. 2004
  • Run Time: 46 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (261 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0002YCYSA
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 3,741 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

Product Description

A pair of hapless workmen (Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper) cause chaos with a plank of wood. Remade for television in 1979.

Synopsis

The Plank [1967] is a silent comedy starring Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper. It tells the very humourous tale of two workmen who, armed with their planks of wood, cause mayhem pretty much wherever they go. The Plank was also written and directed by Eric Sykes.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This is the cult classic short and near silent film with very little dialogue, written and directed by Eric Sykes, starring Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper, and of course "The Plank"

The Plot....

Here is a short overview of the plot, I will not give too much away as it would spoil it for anyone seeing it for the first time.

The storyline is very simple in that Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper are two inept workmen laying floorboards in a newbuild house, only to find that they are one board short to finish the job, as Eric Sykes has used it for firewood, so they go to the woodyard to get another one.

This should have been a simple task, but the new floorboard (The Plank of the title) seems to have a life of its own, couple that with the ineptitude of the two workmen, and chaos ensues as they try and get the plank back to the house tied to the top of their car, obviously the plank does not stay on top of their car for long, as it takes on a life of it's own and it causes a myriad of problems for the huge cast, whilst the two workmen try to find it again causing even more chaos as they go.

The workmens old car also provides some comedy as the doors will not close properly and bits start falling off it.

Jimmy Edwards plays an inept policeman who reluctantly tries to sort out the chaos and ends up being a victim of the plank himself, as do most of the other cast members.

The Cast....

This Film has a huge and impressive cast of well known stars including Jimmy Edwards, Roy Castle, Graham Stark, Stratford Johns, Hattie Jaques, Jim Dale, Jimmy Tarbuck, Kenny Lynch and many more.
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It has taken me a long time to get around to watching this little masterpiece, but the wait has been amply rewarded. I have long thought Eric Sykes to be a hugely gifted comedian, and here he showcases his talents as both writer and director. He has assembled a who's who of British comic talent of the period. Jimmy Edwards is memorable as a policeman with an eye for the girls, and Jim Dale adds a carry on flavour to proceedings. John Junkin is hilarious as a one eyed van driver. The late great Roy Castle perhaps steals the honours as a long haired youngster who falls in a refuse lorry much to everyone elses consternation.

The film does not really have a story as such, you merely follow the adventures of two workmen, played by Eric Sykes and the brilliant Tommy Cooper as they collect a plank to finish off the floor of a new house they are working on. The plank becomes involved in many hilarious adventures. The film is extremely innovative and unique in style. It is a very British silent film comedy, although you can hear some brief vocals and other background noises. The film is Sykes own tribute to the great silent comedians of the past, who were obviously an influence on him. Those comedians were forced to be highly innovative without the assistance of sound, and they found many ways to do just that. Look at Keaton in "The General" and Chaplin in "The Gold Rush" to evidence the myriad routes to originality. The film also reminded me much of the epic travails of Laurel and Hardy in "The Music Box", where they battled with a piano up a never ending flight of now immortalized Hollywood steps. These two greats had also honed their comedic skills in the silent cinema and also demonstrated how to get laughs out of inanimate objects like planks.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
For any fan of these classic British 'silent' films of the 50s/60s/70s The Plank is one of the defining and most memorable. Other reviews here talk about the film itself, so I won't repeat them.

In regard to this DVD, the people at Granada Ventures should be shot. This is possibly the worst transfer of a 'classic' film that I've seen in a long time. Admittedly when DVD started companies had trouble getting good quality stock to transfer, but this copy of The Plank looks as though it's been transferred from an NTSC-standard VHS. Colour registration is awful and the wow on the audio makes musical sections almost unbearable.

To have it in your collection, and at under £4, this is probably a must-buy for many, but the film deserves much, much better treatment. Disappointing.
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...not in the sense that it is the best of it's genre, but in the sense that it is typical of it. If you needed to to have just one exemplar of british 'silly' humour, this would fit all the requirements. Reminiscent of it's predecessors The Goons, Dad's Army and (early) Carry On, and probably inspirational to followers such as The Goodies.
Packed with 'faces' that anyone over thirty who grew up here will recognise.
Two builders find themselves one floor-board short of a house. So they go to the timber yard to get one. That's the story. All of it...except the details. It's the details that make the rest of the film, and make it so damn funny, as the hapless pair unknowingly wreak mayhem and chaos.
It shouldn't need to be said - but I'll say it any way :-) - that there is a level of genius required to make an entire film out of just that. But then it is the work of Eric Sykes (recently seen in 'Harry P & the Goblet of Fire' and 'The Others', for younger viewers) who has been a mainstay of British humour, both as a writer and performer, for several decades now.
Incindentally if you don't quite 'get' the image of the incompetent British workman portrayed in this film find a copy of Bernard Cribbens' 'Right, Said Fred' and listen to it. Everything will become clear!
Oh, and there's a kitten, too.
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