'Rising Damp - The Movie'
(Leonard Rossiter, Frances de la Tour, et al / DVD / NR / (1980) 2008 / Acorn Media)
Overview: Hailed as one of Britain's funniest TV series ever, Rising Damp reaches new heights of hilarity as a full-length feature. Leonard Rossiter (The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin) reprises his role as Rupert Rigsby, the meddling, lecherous landlord for the most ridiculous bunch of social misfits ever collected under one roof. They include Miss Jones (Frances de la Tour), a spinster for whom the hope of romance springs eternal—except when it means returning Rigsby’s affections; Philip (Don Warrington), the self-proclaimed son of an African tribal chief, and Seymour (Denholm Elliott), an oily con man with designs of his own on Miss Jones.
DVD Verdict: First broadcast in 1974, the ITV bedsitland sitcom 'Rising Damp' was an instant and enduring success. It starred Leonard Rossiter as the miserly and lovelorn landlord Rigsby who is constantly needling young lodger Alan (Richard Beckinsale), a science student whose long hair and earrings are symptomatic to Rigsby of the parlous effeminacy of the modern age.
He's also in love with Frances De La Tour's dowdy spinster Miss Jones, though his tentative advances are forever rebuffed. She in turn carries a torch for Philip (Don Warrington), the elegant son of an African chief who also resides at Rigsby Towers.
Therein, having had this classic on video for more than ten years, I would like to now take the chance to share my comments with other potential buyers. In this feature film you can enjoy more than 90 minutes of the enormously popular TV series "Rising Damp". It is great to see the funny sketches from the seventies, packed together in a whole 'new' movie.
The great and unfortunately late Leonard Rossiter (The Rise and Fall of Reginald Perrin) is the mean and miserable landlord Rupert Rigsby trying e-ve-ry-thing to win Miss Jones' heart (played beautifully by Frances de la Tour). You can enjoy his funny, desperate actions to do so, but unfortunately for Rigsby she has other ideas.
The true 'Rising Damp' lover will see a collection of Rigsby's prejudices, pseudo-intelligence and of course his classic saying: "if it hadn't been for the war, who knows..." The art student in this movie is played by Christopher Strauli instead of the late Richard Beckinsale, the black medical student, son of a chief, is played by Don Warrington as in the series. There is a special appearance by Denholm Elliott as a "true" gentleman, with breeding.
Everybody who did enjoy the series in the seventies should get this video, it was actually Leonard Rossiter's last Rigsby appearance. I mean, all his stuttering, stammering, bent perpetually over backwards acts remains a great comic creation, embodying all the festering prejudices, small-mindedness and self-delusion of the lower middle class Little Englander. I can assure you that all the fond memories are definitely going to flood back once you slip this wonderful DVD into your player! This is a Widescreen Presentation (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Original Theatrical Trailer