Ooh… You Are Awful

Ooh... You Are Awful is the 1972 feature-length movie based largely on characters from 'The Dick Emery Show'. It starred Dick Emery, Derren Nesbitt, Ronald Fraser and Cheryl Kennedy. Its alternative title on its North American release was Get Charlie Tully.[1]

Ooh… You Are Awful
Spanish poster
Directed byCliff Owen
Produced byE.M. Smedley-Aston
Sidney Gilliat
Frank Launder
Written byJohn Warren
John Singer
StarringDick Emery
Derren Nesbitt
Ronald Fraser
Cheryl Kennedy
Music byChristopher Gunning
CinematographyErnest Steward
Edited byBill Blunden
Production
company
Distributed byBritish Lion Films
Release date
28 December 1972
Running time
97 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom
LanguageEnglish

It was Emery's sole starring vehicle.[2]

Before his death, Reggie Campbell Peek deposited a stolen £500,000 into a Swiss bank account. But Peek left a record of the account number: the digits tattooed on the bottoms of four young women, none of whom knows the value of her asset. His friend and partner-in-crime Charlie Tully, using his talent as a "master of disguise", sets out to locate those women and gain sight of the digits. Meanwhile, Tully is being watched by other - more dangerous - criminals.[3]

Plot summary

Conmen Charlie Tully and Reggie Peek have successfully conned a couple of Italian men, and are making an easy escape with £500,000. Flushed with success, Tully is unable to resist running a "quick and easy" minor con on a passing American tourist. But "quick and easy" unexpectedly goes awry, and Tully is arrested. While Tully is imprisoned, Peek manages to escape and deposit the £500,000 in a Swiss bank account. Eventually, when Tully is finally released, he is met by Peek, intending to give him the bank account number. But Peek has been having an affair with the sister of London crime lord Sid Sabbath, and his reunion with Tully is cut short when Peek is murdered, on the orders of Sabbath.

Peek has left a record of the bank account number, but in an unusual way. Befitting his reputation as a womaniser, the digits are tattooed on the bottoms of four young women. Tully adopts a range of disguises, to track down each woman in turn to see her naked bottom. Meanwhile, Tully's antics are being tracked by other - more dangerous - criminals: from London and Rome...

The first woman Tully finds is a British Rail announcer, who disrobes inside a photo booth at Waterloo station.

The second is a bride on her wedding day, who is exposed in front of her guests.

The third is the daughter of a peer, who Tully spies through her bedroom window.

Fourth and last is a policewoman at a police training school. Tully enters the school, dragged up as a trainee WPC. After spying on a multitude of nubile young recruits, he discovers the digits during a physical training session.

Throughout, Tully is confronted by members of Sid Sabbath's gang, with orders to kill - only for them to mysteriously die themselves. Tully thinks he is "lucky", while Sabbath thinks Tully is perhaps a one-man army. But neither realise Tully is being secretly guarded by Italian gangsters. It transpires the two Italian men, conned at the start of the film, had Mafia connections - and a "Godfather" has ordered Tully be kept safe until he can be brought to Rome...

Cast

Production

The National Film Finance Corporation invested £62,000 in the film. It was the first investment from the NFFC following the decision of the British government to pull funding from that organisation. They subsequently sought finance from a consortium of merchant banks, and decided to only make "safe" films. Ooh You Are Awful was the first of these.[4]

Reception

The Observer called it "the best British comedy in many years."[5]

References

  1. OOH... YOU ARE AWFUL Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 40, Iss. 468, (Jan 1, 1973): 13.
  2. Dick Emery's land of smiles Gifford, Denis. The Guardian 3 Jan 1983: 9.
  3. "Ooh... You Are Awful | BFI | BFI". Explore.bfi.org.uk. Retrieved 2014-03-04.
  4. Small film makers left out in cold MacMANUS, JAMES. The Guardian 31 Aug 1972: 6.
  5. But I like it': FILMS Melly, George. The Observer 7 Jan 1973: 32.
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