Dad's Army

 


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DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

 

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

Private Frank Pike played by Ian Lavender
Sergeant Arthur Wilson played by John Le Mesurier
Lance Corporal Jack Jones played by Clive Dunn
Private James Frazer played by John Laurie

In 1971 Dad's Army was transported quite successfully to the Big Screen.  The casting of Liz Fraser in the role of Mrs Pike was a decision made by the film company who thought a bigger name was required to help with distribution of the film in the US. Needless to say, this was an unpopular decision and it quite upset Janet Davies, the "real" Mrs Pike from the TV series.

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

Captain George Mainwaring played by Arthur Lowe
Private Charles Godfrey played by Arnold Ridley
Private Joe Walker played by James Beck
Private Frank Pike played by Ian Lavender

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

Following the national radio broadcast by Anthony Eden asking for recruits for the Local Defence Volunteers, the town's men form the Walmington-On-Sea platoon.  George Mainwaring, manager of Martin's Bank, decides that he should lead the platoon, especially in view of his Army experience in France in 1919 - a year after the Great War ended!

 

Also recruited are Arthur Wilson - Martins Bank's Chief Clerk, Jack Jones - Butcher, James Frazer - Undertaker, Joe Walker - Spiv, Frank Pike - Martins Bank's Junior Clerk, Charles Godfrey (Retired).  Follow our heroes through their training, their disastrous weekend camp and their heroic action at the end of the film when they capture a Nazi aircrew.

 

The show was set in the fictional seaside town of Walmington-on-Sea, on the South Coast of England. (though it was mostly filmed in and around Thetford, Norfolk).  However, when Columbia Pictures came to make the Dad's Army movie (released in 1971) - they abandoned the normal Norfolk locations and headed further south.  Chalfont St Giles in Buckinghamshire was transformed into Walmington-on-Sea - while other scenes were shot at Seaford in Sussex and at Shepperton Studios.  The famous scene with the white horse on the raft heading down river was filmed at Chobham in Surrey.  Thus, the Home Guard were in the front line in the eventuality of an invasion by the enemy forces across the English Channel, which formed a backdrop to the series. The first series had a loose narrative thread, with Captain Mainwaring's platoon being formed and equipped - initially with wooden guns and LDV armbands, and later on full army uniforms (the platoon were part of the The Queen's Own Royal West Kent Regiment).

 

The first episode, The Man and the Hour, began with a scene set in the "present day" of 1968, in which Mainwaring addressed his old platoon as part of the contemporary "I'm Backing Britain" campaign. The prologue opening was a condition imposed after initial concerns by Paul Fox, the controller of BBC 1, that it was belittling the efforts of the Home Guard.  After Mainwaring relates how he had backed Britain in 1940, the episode proper began; Dad's Army is thus told in flashback, although the final episode does not return to the then-present. Later episodes were largely self-contained, albeit referring to previous events and with additional character development.

MONTAGE

Since the comedy was in many ways dependent for its effectiveness on the platoon's failure to participate actively in World War II, opposition to their activities had to come from another quarter, and this generally showed itself in the form of Air Raid Precautions Warden Hodges, although sometimes the Verger or Captain Square and the Eastgate platoon. However the group did have some encounters related to the war such as downed German planes, a U-boat crew, parachutes that may have been German, and German mines.

 

The humour ranged from the subtle (especially in the relationship between Mainwaring and his sergeant, Wilson, who also happened to be his deputy at the bank) to the slapstick (the antics of the elderly Jones being a prime example). Jones had several catchphrases, including Don't panic!, They don't like it up 'em, Permission to speak, sir, and talk about the Fuzzy-Wuzzies. Mainwaring said Stupid boy, in reference to Pike, in many episodes. The first series occasionally included darker humour, reflecting the fact that, especially early in the war, members of the Home Guard were woefully under-equipped and yet still prepared to have a crack at the German army. A poignant moment to this theme occurs in 'The Battle Of Godfrey's Cottage' episode, during which the platoon believes an invasion to be taking place. Mainwaring and a few volunteers decide to stay in the village to hold off any German advance so information can be relayed back by the rest of the platoon; "Of course, that will be the end of us." says Mainwaring, "We know sir." replies Frazer, before getting on with the task in hand.

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE

VEHICLES USED IN THE FILMDAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - VEHICLES USED IN THE FILM

  • 1.

Background Vehicle
1934 Morris 10/4 Two Seater Tourer with "Dickie-Seat"
Registration Number: OY 8647


The car was being re-painted at the time and when the film was being made, so it was coated in red "Bondaprimer".  It added to the authenticity and didn't cause undesirable reflections due to the dull matt finish.


Owner: Jill Tyndale

 

 

  • 2. Army Staff Car
    Humber Razor-edge 7-seater car.
    Registration Number 77 RA 29.

  • 3. German Staff Car
    Mercedes car

  • 4. Steam Roller
    This is a Wallis and Steevens Advance Roller. 
    Registration Number: OU 5264.
    Engine Number: 8034. 

    It was built April 1940 and weighed 6 tons. It's present name is Wentworth. Thanks to Rupert Giles for the information.

  • 5. Bert King's Lorry
    Bedford Lorry
    Registration Number: RV 676

  • 6. Bill Hodges' Motorcycle
    Registration Number : SMK 483

  • 7. Dustcart
    Built by Shelvoke and Drewry.
    Registration Number: BPL 73

    Now owned by the Southern Counties Vehicle Preservation Trust, Copthorne, West Sussex. Thanks to Richard Monk for the information. 

  • 8. AA Motorcycle
    Registration Number: FLT 159

  • 9. Jack Jones' Butcher's Van
    1930 Ford AAF 30cwt.
    Registration Number: KR 9378.

    Information supplied by Bob Groombridge:
    "Did you know that the truck used in the movie was not the same vehicle as the one used in the TV series. I understand that the owner of the truck used for the TV series overpriced the vehicle for the film, so they selected an alternative, which was supplied via the Cyril G Groombridge Military Vehicle Collection. I was in my teens at the time and was fortunate enough to attend some of the location shoots." 

CREDITS
Production Company Norcon Film Productions
Production Company Columbia Pictures Corporation
Production Manager Leonard RUDKIN
Assistant Director Douglas HERMES
Continuity Zelda BARRON
Screenplay and original TV series Jimmy PERRY
Screenplay and original TV series David CROFT
Director of Photography Terry MAHER
Camera Operator Gerry ANSTISS
Editor Willy KEMPLEN
Art Director Terence KNIGHT
Set Decorator Dimity COLLINS
Wardrobe Bridget SELLERS
Make-up Jimmy EVANS
Hair Mervyn MEDALIE
Sound Recording Ken RITCHIE
Sound Recording Bob JONES
Sound Editor Dino DI CAMPO
Studio Shepperton Studios
 

Who Do You Think You Are Kidding, Mr Hitler?
(Theme Tune Music)

Bud Flanagan


(click icon to play)

Directed by Norman Cohen
Produced by John R. Sloan
Written by Jimmy Perry
David Croft
Starring Arthur Lowe,
John Le Mesurier,
Clive Dunn,
John Laurie,
James Beck,
Arnold Ridley,
Ian Lavender,
Bernard Archard
Music by Wilfred Burns
Cinematography Terry Maher
Distributed by Columbia Pictures,
Norcon Productions
Release date(s) March 12, 1971 (UK),
September, 1971, (US)
Running time 95 min.
Language English

LINKS:

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - Literary Norfolk  DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - Where I Live Norfolk  DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - BBC

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - BBC2008    DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - BBC2005

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - BBC2004    DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - BBCBRESSINGHAM

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - Appreciation Society

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - The Spares Group

DAD'S ARMY - THE MOVIE - Whispers From Walmington
Dave Coventry

 

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31 Oct 2016

 

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