Get Charlie Tully
British Con-artist, Charlie Tully (Dick Emery), is what I would like call a 'very unlucky b*stard'. For instance: when he tries to sell Princess Ann to a couple of Italians gangsters, or attempts to sell a bitch to a couple of yanks, the poor sod is then caught and sent to prison for six whole months.
Yeah. Straight up. But as for Tully's partner in crime -- called Peek (Ronald Fraser) -- on the other hand -- well -- this b*stard is both lucky and unlucky at the same time. Lucky: Because he just spends most of his days on the outside shagging bird after bird after bird. And unlucky: Because one day, on the eve of Tully's release, he informs him that he has been persistently hounded by the Italian gangsters that he swindled some money from. Worst still, is that just before Peck can give Tully the combination of the Swiss Bank account as to where this money is being held, the brother of one of the girls he shagged, Sid Sabbath (Derren Nesbitt), shags him in turn.
BANG! With a wrecking ball.
Oh! Bloody hell! What does Tully do about this mess, huh? Run away and then bury his friend? Yeah. Of course he has to do that. But what about these 'account details'? How can Tully get to the bottom of this fiscal tomfoolery?
Hmm. Funnily enough, by looking at women's bottoms.
Seriously. No joke. Whilst dealing with Peeks funeral arrangements, Tully visits Peeks tattoo parlor, and figures out that Peek managed to persuade ‘four nice lady's’ to tattoo 'segments' of this information upon their... erm... bums.
So what do you think Tully does next, dear reader? Correct-o-mon-do. One by one, in disguise, he goes to meet these 'nice girls', with the intention of retrieving this information from them in a rather unorthodox manner. Meanwhile, while Tully is doing this, both the Italian's and Sid’s henchmen try to kill him with every move he makes.
Cor' Blimey! I suppose that's why what next transpires is a right pain in the ass! As cracks are slapped - guns are capped - knuckles are wrapped - and banks are eventually tapped. MAFIOSO!
'Ohh... you are awful, but I like you' was the catchphrase that British comedian, Dick Emery, used on his seventies television-show which held his name. Moreover, it's also the tone of my 'Get Charlie Tully' review too.
Well, to elaborate: The plot is predictable. The characters are one dimensional. The style is non-existent. Plus the whole thing screams of farce. However, in the same vein: The plot is easy to follow. Its seventies charm is outstanding. The actors are great. Plus it is very-very funny to boot.
Honestly. I kid you not. Dick is a great-great comedian, and has that pure and easy going British flavor to him, which is very wholesome indeed. Also -- for those of you who like a look at history -- this movie does present a very clear view of the old London landmarks. Yet, in the same breath, all of this positivity is diluted somewhat by the overtly simple tone to this film. Plus I truly feel that the formulaic through-line is a mite over the top for a more modern audience.
Now for those of you who don't know who Dick Emery is, let me just say that the only other person I can compare him to, is the one and only Peter Sellers [you know what to do, click-click]. Both Peter and Dick came out of the same school of 'comedy and impersonations', working there way up from radio to television to film. However, where Peter managed to spread his wings in America and other far off lands, Dick stayed homeward bound and popularized his special brand of ‘violent grandma antics’ in sunny old England.
Dick's latter impersonations went on to be satirized by Monty Python in their television show, and has forever since has been a staple of English vaudevillian humor. In addition to this, some of Dicks characters have also been developed and expanded upon within more recent years, inadvertently bestowing onto him the title of 'pioneer of the parody'.
Here, check out some of these related filmic facts for a bit more information on 'the gang': (1) Dick Emery was born in Bloomsbury and died in Denmark Hill. (2) Allegedly, Derren Nesbitt was born in the Finsbury Park's 'Empire' theater, London. (3) Dick had ten wives and twelve children. (4) In his early years, actor, Ronald Fraser, was very close friends with his theater chums, Richard Burton and Peter O'Toole. (5) Dicks sixth wife maiden name was Tully. She died nineteen years before this film was made. (6) Derren worked opposite Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton in the war time epic 'Where Eagles Dare'. Plus he starred with Frank Sinatra in the cold-war drama 'The Naked Runner'. (7) Dick had an enormous fear of failure, and was often sick before a performance. (8) Ronald's was most famous for starring in the inadvertent sequel to 'The Dirty Dozen' called 'To Late The Hero'. (9) Check out this clip...
All in all, 'Get Charlie Tully - Ohh You Are Awful', is one of those nice escapist movies which doesn't take itself too seriously. Given my benefit of hindsight, I feel that it manages to keep people entertained in a very overt manner, whilst showing some ass by default. The comedy is camp. The innuendo is blatant. The characters are two-dimensional. The cast are solid. And the story is simple. Try to think of it as a rough blue-print for a prequel to the 'Austin Powers' series of films (click here for review), and you'd get the basic gist of where I'm coming from.
Just remember -- It’s awful -- but I like it.
THE RATING: B