Eye For Film >> Movies >> The Benny Hill Annual 1977 (1977) Film Review
The Benny Hill Annual 1977 contains three episodes from early in that year.
The Benny Hill Show was massively popular in the Seventies in the UK and subsequently all over the world. His popularity continued on television until the end of the Eighties when his show was controversially dropped. He was to die only three years later.
He was born Alfred Hawthorn Hill in 1924 and worked in various jobs, including milkman, which was to inspire his 1970 British No. 1 hit, Ernie, before becoming an assistant stage manager. After this, he was to get his break in entertainment.
His popularity was that he mixed a certain brand of surrealism with slapstick. Two of his fans were Charlie Chaplin and Michael Jackson. There is actually a lot of humour that is noticeably influenced by Chaplin. Some of the sketches are silent, with the film deliberately speeded up, using music instead of spoken dialogue. This brand of humour appealed to people of all ages, in the same way that Chaplin did.
His television format was a series of sketches, either pre-recorded, or on the stage. Rarely, if ever, did he drop the persona of his characters to talk directly to the audience. The sketches were very well rehearsed, adding to the quality of the programme. They were also current and often included characters that may not have been very well known to people outside of the U.K. Taking that into account, these are three excellent episodes from a period when his popularity was at an all-time high.
There are no documentaries or tributes to go with this, or anything that refers to his private life. We simply get the three shows from this 1977 period. Indeed, Benny Hill was a very private man, who never married. At the height of his popularity, he lived in a small flat in Teddington, a short walk from the television studios that made him a worldwide phenomenon.
Benny Hill fans should love it.Reviewed on: 29 Jun 2006
If you like this, try:The Benny Hill Annual 1976