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on 11 January 2011
Okay, let's be brutal - this is never going to challenge 'The Godfather' for Best Movie Of The Seventies. Actually, it may not make it into a Seventies' Top 100... even if we stipulate a 'Must Include At Least One Soft-Focus, Dewy-Eyed Shot Of Tyneside' clause in the selection criteria. But there's something bleakly compelling that arises from the pathos and despair of the lads' encroaching mid-life crises that makes The Likely Lads withstand many, many repeat viewings.

More than that, though, it's a time capsule allowing viewers of a certain age, a certain social class and a certain geographical disposition ('north of Watf**d') a wincingly nostalgic wallow in everything that was simultaneously glorious and godawful about mid-70's Britain. Today's under-16's should be made to watch it on a perpetual loop until they reject their iPhones in disgust and all start trading pithy quips in broad Geordie. "This is what used to pass for entertainment," we'll tell them, "before Ant and Dec went and ruined everything forever."

They'll thank us eventually.
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VINE VOICEon 5 February 2007
The Likely Lads film arises from the 1970's practice of adapting popular sitcoms of the day into movies, a very dangerous thing to do for the fans of those particular shows.

The success of half hour sitcoms on television does not necessarily transfer well to film, the movie world is littered with many such failures, fortunately The Likely Lads is one of the better efforts.

It could be a coincidence that my three favourite sitcom -into- film adaptations, The Likely Lads, Porridge and Steptoe and Son Ride Again are all written by their original creators/writers, maybe that's what puts them above the rest.

The Likely Lads film isn't perfect however, it's a little unstructured and it seems to run out of steam about the 70 minute mark and a new plotline is somewhat clumsily tacked on to pad the film out a bit, also no attempt has been made to match the locations and sets to the television series to create the feeling of continuation, but then this is nothing new in feature adaptations.

The film has many good points however such as the always brilliant performances of Rodney Bewes, James Bolam and Brigit Forsyth, the directing is very good and the feeling of nostalgia for the 1970's is everpresent, and of course it marked the end of an era in that it was the last ever instalment of the Likely Lads to be filmed, so is quite historic in that respect. In short it is a warm, cosy little film perfect for those cold drizzly winter nights and for those of us that have 86 minutes to kill, really rather nice in fact.
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on 13 July 2009
This 1976 big screen spin off from the sublime TV series is a towering disappointment. In short the cast are totally let down by a script bereft of laughs. The dialogue in the interplay between the two main protagonists is simply flat, lacking all the wit, compassion and pathos that so enlivened the 2 TV series that proceeded this outing. The plot is wafer thin and the whole production seems tired. I strongly suggest you avoid this and get hold of a compilation set of either of the TV series.
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on 25 February 2006
Curiously, despite the assertion on the box, this DVD doesn't contain ALL the surviving episodes. There is another one, "The Other Side of the Fence", which was screened by UK Gold last year, featuring Anneke Wills. In this episode, Bob is promoted from the workshop into the management side of the company (hence the title). If UK Gold had the episode (and presumably acquired it from the BBC), then how is it that the BBC themselves seem to be unaware of it? Releasing a DVD containing supposedly ALL the surviving episodes, while omitting ONE, strikes me as somewhat daft.
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on 19 April 2011
I'm pleased to be able to say that James Bolam has improved.
Trite subject matter, poorly written scripts and very slow.
Lacked decent direction.
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on 23 February 2006
When this DVD was first listed at retailers sites across the internet I was puzzled, because they listed it as the complete series of 1-3, stating it had every episode from all 3 series, when it was well known that only a few had survived, now this has been amended and we see the actual episodes that are included on this DVD, but I can state for a fact it is still missing one surviving episode because I have it on a DVD someone recorded off the TV a while back, the episode is called 'The other side of the fence'.
As for the episodes themselves, they show their age, but hopefully the DVD release should have improved the quality, particuarly the sound which on some episodes from the tv transmissions could sometimes be poor. But a great collection of comedy classics nevertheless, incidentally the first series of 'Whatever happened to the likely lads' is due for a May 2006 release.
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on 22 June 2013
If you're a fan of 'Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads?' you'll love this. Slightly different pace to the TV series but the same humour and great characterization. This movie sees a Bob more frustrated with his life and more nostalgic for his past than the Bob of the TV series, whereas Terry has moved on a little and seems more or less content with his life and his latest girlfriend. When Thelma suggests the four of them go on caravan trip, things begin to unravel.

There was a trend in the 70s for making movies of TV sitcoms of the time. Almost all the even vaguely popular ones got one, and almost all fail to work for various reasons, (Characters too one dimensional, situations/concept not strong enough/poor reheating of the corpse of an established episode of the tv series ) This movie works beautifully because the subject matter of the TV series - the desperate desire of one man to join the middle classes and 'better himself Vs the stubborn reluctance to change or progress - is timeless. We all know a Bob and we all know a Terry. At heart, we're all probably one or the other of them. These characters never become stale because take away the gaudy seventies decor and fashions and the subjects are as relevant today as they were almost 40 years ago.

Its a very funny movie and there are some fantastically hilarious memorable lines and scenes. Many of which I would love to quote on here but dont want to ruin their impact. Bob gets most of the best lines this time around, where Terry was often the funniest in the TV series, but it balances beautifully. It also did the Forrest Gump 'Chocolate Box' analogy 20 years before and far more accurately and amusingly.

This movie deserves to be in everyone's DVD collection. Its a classic of its era that stands up brilliantly even today.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 8 July 2011
A big screen outing for likely lads Rodney Bewes and James Bolam, it's a spin off from the popular TV shows that the two made in the 60's and 70's. It's directed by Michael Tuchner and written by Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais.

Plot sees lifelong friends Bob Ferris (Bewes) and Terry Collier (Bolam) finding that times are a changing very fast. When the street where they grew up starts to be demolished, the pair feel the pangs of nostalgia more than most, even bringing the onset of a sort of mid-life crisis. Bob has to face life in the normality of a marriage to the no nonsense Thelma (Brigit Forsyth), and Terry, recently divorced, takes on a new girlfriend whilst firmly ensconced at his parents high rise flat. When Thelma sees that Terry, once the bane of her relationship with Bob, is going steady and happy with Christina (Mary Tamm), she plans a caravan holiday for the four of them....Which surely will not go as planned?

Although taking the title of the first show that ran on British TV between 1964 and 1966, this film spin off is closer in tone to the sequel show, Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? During the 70's, Britain was awash with situation comedies, many of which had the obligatory film spin off. Sadly, very few of them were any good, bogged down by trying to extend a half hour comedy formula into three times the running time. The Likely Lads movie is one of the rare successes, mainly because the writers were so in tune with the times, they were able to plant the much loved characters in the 70's time frame and involve the comedy as such. Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads? Always carried an air of melancholy about it, but the comedy was still rich and prominent, so it be with this film version.

Bewes and Bolam were an excellent partnership, where Bob is a snob in waiting, borderline henpecked one at that, Terry is the slob, the boozy cynic always dragging Bob back to reality. But their bond is born from the days of hard drinking and chasing women, they hanker for those days again, it's almost as if they refuse to accept they are getting a bit too long in the tooth for such antics now. Here in the film, Clement and La Frenais play on this with much reward, you see, the modern world has not just caught them up, it's also winning the race between them. The answer is simple, take a holiday. But of course this too will be one for the miserablists to bemoan, it's a classic British holiday, small caravan, pouring rain, chance of nooky? Zero. Chance of great comedy? Very high.

The plot doesn't in truth quite cover the 90 minute run time, but there's enough here to warrant it being called one of the better film spin offs from the 70's. Great acting, not just the boys, Forsyth always a revelation, and writing as crisp as a winters day. God bless those Geordie boys. 8/10
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on 18 November 2015
At a slightly slower pace than the TV shows..... But I loved it. Yes it's a nostalgia thing.. I am from the North-East....and I do love the memories associated with watching the TV series.... Dark winter nights, visits to the library with dad straight after tea....travelling in our trusty Triumph 1500.... Then supper with the likely lads.... Whatever happened to those days..... Well I rediscovered them whilst in a dour hotel one evening working away from home in deepest darkest Dorset...oh man it felt like home.... It's a smashing story and has lovely subtle details...there is one sequence which is just brilliant... I bought it in the strength of that one scene to share with my daughters. They got it and loved it too. If you are married to a north-eastern bloke (not a northerner....wholly different).... It makes an exceptional stocking filler..... And he will at last know that you understand him..... And his pease pudding....!!!
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on 28 October 2015
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