The Plank [DVD]
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A pair of hapless workmen (Eric Sykes and Tommy Cooper) cause chaos with a plank of wood. Remade for television in 1979.
The Plank  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.
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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.
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.
This is a classic performance with Eric Sykes And Tommy Cooper at their best, and they are well supported by all the other cast members, especially Jimmy Edwards as the Policeman and Roy castle as the man who causes a stink wherever he goes after falling into the back of a bin wagon, giving binman Kenny Lynch a fright as he emerges from the rubbish. plus many more comic situations, too many to mention here without spoiling the film for anyone who has never seen it.
This film comes on one disc in a standard DVD case, there is no inner booklet, and there are no special features on the disc, all the sleevenotes being on the back of the case.
This film has been released in shorter versions in the past and some deleted scenes have been restored and put back into the film from archive sources, the picture and sound quality is variable, but it is pretty good throughout, and this is the complete version of the film.
The film is in colour, it was made in 1967, it is 51 minutes in length and has been given a cert. U so it is suitable for the whole family.
This cult classic is one of those laugh a minute films with never a dull moment, cramming a huge amount of comedy situations into its 51 minutes length, and is guaranteed to keep you laughing throughout the film.
I have watched this film several times and never tire of it.
At the time of writing, this DVD is availlable for as little as £3.93, and is worth every single penny and more.
I wish that comedy today was more like this - it offends very few,entertains very many and leaves you with a sense that most things can be funny without the need to shout and insult.
Thank you Eric Sykes for reminding us that life is funny at times and that it is Ok to smile at everyday life without causing offence.
Sykes, on the other hand, was a really talented writer / actor who made the most mundane things so problematical - and hugely funny.
It's as good as I originally remember it, and it still warms the cockles of one's heart with the realisation that comedy in this country was a never-ending conveyor belt of talent that continues today.
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