Dirk’s Five – British Film Double Acts

Sorry for the break in the weekly Friday Fives. Dirk was enjoying a holiday in the Lakes and experiencing a poor internet connection.

The isolation provided an excellent opportunity to catch up with some recent DVD releases. The most notable was the strangely wonderful SKELETONS (2010), Nick Whitfield’s funny, imaginatively eccentric film about two men who exhume painful memories from the closet of their punters. The double act at the centre of the film, Davis and Bennett, played by Ed Gaughan and Andrew Buckley brings a darkly comic tone to the fantasy: imagine Phillip K. Dick meeting Samuel Beckett.

The film made me consider other eccentric, British-film double acts:


1) Withnail and Marwood in WITHNAIL AND I (1986) – A week in the Lake District, I was going to squeeze this in one way or another. After his encounter with Uncle Monty, Marwood brings a whole new meaning to ‘playing the straight man.’

2) Spiggott and Moon in BEDAZZLED (1967) – Has the devil ever been as droll as Peter Cook? Avoid the Liz Hurley remake as it’s a bit of a dud.

3) Shaun and Ed in SHAUN OF THE DEAD (2004) – Pegg and Frost are working tirelessly to tarnish their reputation, but this is this is priceless: “Who died and made you the fucking king of the zombies?”

4) Caldicott and Charters in THE LADY VANISHES (1938) – Dark comedy and cricket on a train, it doesn’t get more British does it?


5) Plunkett and Macleane in PLUNKETT AND MACLEANE (1999) – Johnny Lee Miller and Robert Carlyle as gentleman highwaymen who steal 99 minutes of your life.

And its never coming back.


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