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British comedy starring Michael Caine, Billy Connolly and Leonard Rossiter and set in an ex-pat community in the Carribean where water is scarce and every drop is meant for drinking. However US oil interests and rebel leaders are determined to share in the valuable mineral spring profits.
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The performers all seem to be under the impression they're in different films: Michael Caine underplays his jaded governor beautifully, Brenda Vaccaro plays his wife like Carmen Miranda on speed and without the restraint, Billy Connolly's singing rebel veers between his 70s musical standup act and more effective throwaway delivery of his best lines, while Leonard Rossiter's civil servant still seems to be in Reggie Perrin mode. It's even more pronounced in the bitparts, from Dick Shawn's lecherous movie star to Alan Shearman, still playing Bullshot Crummond as an SAS man ("This isn't Vietnam. Those chaps carry British passports, and if any of them are going to die, it'll be by a BRITISH bullet"). Some, like Fulton Mackay's priest who seems to have fathered half the island's illegitimate children, almost disappear from the film entirely. But the worst performance comes from TV presenter Paul Heiney, beyond abominable as a mercenary in a bit of bitpart casting down to a backfired publicity stunt that got the film a half-hour documentary tie-in with the BBC but made all of the scenes he's in fall deader than a flock of Dodos.
On the plus side, unusually for a British film of this period, the US costars that were, and often still are, an inevitable feature of any decently budgeted Britflick don't stick out like a sore thumb for once - no clumsily inserted "Actually, I was born here" lines to explain away the backers insisting on Americans to play English. Here they're playing Americans for once, taking away at least one layer of clumsiness, although again, the playing styles aren't always complimentary. And, while it's never a good sign when a comedy ends with a concert (think Morons From Outer Space or Howard the Duck), this at least has producer George Harrison, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton and some decent songs going for it. It's no masterpiece, but it is a pleasant, easygoing comedy that's better than its reputation.
The UK DVD is terrible - rather than master it in widescreen, they've simply letterboxed a poor panned-and-scanned video master, meaning you're not only missing details on either side but on the top and bottom of the screen as well - though there is a much better remastered German DVD in proper widescreen with audio commentary by Clement and La Fresnais, trailer and a rather redundant shorter German-language only version.
Directed by George Harrison ( God rest his soul ) this comedy combines the acting talents of Michael Caine and the acting AND musical talents of Billy Connolly on a run-down Caribbean remnant of the British Empire called Cascara whose fate and fortune revolves around revolution the old republic and the Yankee Capitalist influences of " Spenco " who own an oil drill on the island . These forces are set against each other in a comic plot , with some hilarious gags and stunts . Look out for some musical celebrities near the end - sit back and enjoy!
Bursting with well known celebrities giving some great cameo performances.
Michael Caine stars as the grass smoking govener of Casscara, a run-down, backwater island and British outpost.
Billy Connoly is wonderful as the local freedom fighter who has pledged not to speak (he sings every word)until Casscara has won its independence and is "free".
Casscara, populated by shipwreck survivors, forgotten and ignored by its imperial masters and the rest of the world-forgotten that is until the SPENCO Oil Company arrive to make an commercial and hit oil.
This film is so funny you may well wet yourself!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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or Sherlock holmes you will not be disappointed, well worth the money