Spanish Fly (1975 film)

Spanish Fly is a 1976 British-Spanish comedy film directed by Bob Kellett and starring Terry-Thomas, Leslie Phillips, Graham Armitage, Sue Lloyd and Nadiuska.[2] [3]

Spanish Fly
Directed byBob Kellett
Produced byGerald Flint-Shipman
Peter James
Written byPeter James
José Luis Martínez Mollá
Robert Ryerson
Leslie Phillips
Graham Armitage
Sue Lloyd
Music byRon Goodwin
Winkle Productions
Quadrant Films
Izaro Films
Distributed byEMI Films
Release date
February 1976
Running time
86 minutes
CountryUnited Kingdom


An impotent British fashion designer heads out to Spain for a photo shoot and encounters an old school rival who has inadvertently added an aphrodisiac to the local wine.



Impact-Quadrant Films was a company run by Peter James and Kent Walwin which specialised in financing and distributing horror films. They wanted to move into the British domestic sex comedy market, having noticed that there were no challengers to the Carry On Films. They made a small investment in Can You Keep It Up for a Week? which was successful and they began to look at making a whole feature.[1]

A Canadian distributor had success with a Leslie Phillips film and asked if they could have another. Phillips was about to go to Australia for a year so they had a script written quickly, about an escort agency. Nobody liked it so James and Walwin wrote a 110 page treatment over "a long weekend" which was turned into a script by a writer.[1]

EMI Films provided 40% of the £250,000 budget. A Spanish company provided 8% and the rest came from James, his associate and four English backers, one of them a lawyer.[1]

The film was part of a six-picture slate from EMI Films, which also included Evil Under the Sun, Aces High and big screen adaptations of The Likely Lads and Sweeney.[4]

It was filmed in Menorca. Terry-Thomas was suffering from the effects of Parkinson's Disease at the time.[5]

The film featured designs from Peter Reger.[6]


The film was released with a heavy advertising campaign, including a novelisation of the script, a song "Fly Me" (because the BBC would not play a song called "Spanish Fly").[1]

Box Office

The film sold to 25 countries, something James attributed to the fact that unlike many British sex comedies it featured foreign locations.[1]

James wanted to make a sequel French Kiss but none eventuated.[1]


Barry Norman called it the least funny British funny film ever made.[1]


  1. Decline and fall of the funny film The Observer 8 Feb 1976: 32
  2. "BFI Film & TV Database: SPANISH FLY (1975)". The British Film Institute. Retrieved 16 October 2013.
  3. SPANISH FLY Monthly Film Bulletin; London Vol. 43, Iss. 504, (Jan 1, 1976): 34.
  4. Boost for studios The Guardian 9 July 1975: 5.
  5. "Features". Terry Thomas Fellowship.
  6. 'We hold our board meetings in bed' The Guardian 26 Aug 1975: 11.
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