Sunday, 20 November 2011
I'm All Right Jack was a 1959 British comedy directed and produced by John & Roy Boulting from a script by Frank Harvey, John Boulting and Alan Hackney, based on the novel Private Life by Hackney. The film is a sequel to the Boulting's 1956 film Privates Progress with Ian Carmichael, Dennis Price, Richard Attenborough, Terry Thomas, and Miles Malleson all reprising their characters from the earlier film. Peter Sellers played one of his best-known roles as the trade union Shop Steward Fred Kite, and won a Best Actor Award from The British Academy. The rest of the cast included many well-known British comedy actors of the time.
The film is a satire on British industrial life in the 1950s. The trade unions, workers, and bosses are all seen to be incompetent or corrupt to varying degrees. The film is one of a number of satires made by the Boulting Brothers between 1956 and 1963.
After leaving the army and returning to university, newly-graduated upper class Stanley Windrush (Ian Carmichael) is looking for a job but fails miserably at interviews for various entry-level management positions. Stanley's uncle, Bertram Tracepurcel (Dennis Price), and his old army comrade, Sidney DeVere Cox (Richard Attenborough), persuade him to take an unskilled blue-collar job at Uncle Bertram's missile factory despite Aunt Dolly's (Margaret Rutherford) misgivings.
At first suspicious of the overeager newcomer, communist shop steward Fred Kite (Peter Sellers) takes Stanley under his wing and even offers to take him in as a lodger. When Kite's curvaceous daughter Cynthia (Liz Fraser) drops by, Stanley readily accepts.
Meanwhile, personnel manager Major Hitchcock (Terry Thomas) is assigned a time and motion study expert, Waters (John Le Mesurier), to measure how efficient the employees are. The workers refuse to cooperate, but Waters tricks Windrush into showing him how much more quickly he can do his job than other, more experienced employees. When Kite is informed of the results, he calls a company-wide strike to protect the rates his union workers are being paid.
This is exactly what Cox and Tracepurcel want. Cox owns a company that can take over a large new contract with a Middle Eastern country at an inflated cost. He, Tracepurcel, and Mr. Mohammed (Marne Maitland), the country's representative, would each pocket a third of the £100,000 difference.
But things don't quite work out for either side. Cox arrives at his factory to find that his workers are walking out in sympathy for Kite and his strikers. The press reports that Kite is punishing Windrush for working hard. When Windrush decides to cross the picket line and go back to work (and reveals his connection with the company's owner), Kite asks him to leave his house. This provokes the adoring Cynthia, and her mother (Irene Handl), to call their own private walkout strike. More strikes spring up, bringing the country to a standstill.
Faced with these new developments, Tracepurcel has no choice but to send Hitchcock to negotiate with Kite. They reach an agreement, but Windrush has made both sides look bad and has to go. Cox tries to bribe him with a bagful of money to resign quietly, but Windrush turns him down. On a televised discussion programme moderated by Malcolm Muggeridge (playing himself), Windrush reveals to the nation the underhanded motivations of all concerned. When he throws Cox's bribe money into the air, the studio audience riots. In the end, Windrush is convicted of causing a disturbance and everyone else is exonerated. He is last seen with his father (Miles Malleson), relaxing at a nudist colony, only to have to flee from the female residents' attentions.
The group began in the late 1960s as "The Dooley Family", composed of brothers Jim (vocals), John (guitar and vocals) and Frank (guitar and vocals) with sisters Marie, Anne & Kathy (all vocals). Based in Ilford, Essex, the group's work was mostly limited to theatres and hotels because the three youngest members were still at school and therefore not allowed to perform in pubs. They appeared in Variety shows alongside popular entertainers such as Bob Monkhouse, Frankie Howerd, Norman Collier and Anne Shelton.
In 1972 they were joined by friend Bob Walsh (bass guitar) who was born in Manchester. His brother Vince Miller was a club compere and ran a booking agency with colleague Brian Mills. The pair took the group to Manchester for some trials in Northern clubs. They went down well with audiences and were told that they could achieve greater success if they were to base themselves permanently in the North. As a result they moved to Worsley, Manchester, during 1973 — without Marie, who was by now pregnant with her first child, and did not feel she could commit to the band.
Following their move to the North, most of the gigs were booked by Jim and Bob (who spent their evenings visiting working men's clubs, selling the act). At that time, major agents were not interested in this kind of family group, and it took a lot of work on the band's part to convince them otherwise. In the meantime they continued polishing their act and playing clubs. Eventually, they signed a management deal with Ken Wild; he introduced them to drummer Alan Bogan, who joined the group.
They gained their first recording contract with John Schroeder who signed them to his Alaska Records company in 1974, and released two singles. The first of these was "Hands Across the Sea" (although its release was delayed due to the song being entered into the Song for Europe contest, to be sung by Olivia Newton-John).
In 1975 they were invited to tour in Eastern Europe. During the tour they recorded a live album at the Rossia Hall in Moscow (The Dooley Family in Moscow, Live Concert at Rossia Hall, October 29th 1975). This was a couple of years before they had a chart hit in their homeland, and some three years before Elton John's concerts in Russia.
Back home in 1976, The Dooleys (as they had now become) recorded the theme tune for an adult educational programme on BBC Television, featuring Bob Hoskins, called On the Move. Their live act was also winning them awards in the clubs such as "Best Group" at the 1976 Club Mirror National Club Acts Awards.
Aware that Billy Ocean was in the UK chart with a song written by Ben Findon, who had also written their first single, they contacted him and he went to see them performing. While there he offered them a recording contract with GTO Records.
In the summer of 1977 (a decade after they were formed) The Dooleys had their first hit with "Think I'm Gonna Fall in Love With You". The existing members of the family were joined in the summer of 1978 by the youngest member of the group, Helen (keyboards). Subsequent UK hits gave them the record of being the largest family act ever featured on a hit single.
A string of hits followed with varying degrees of success, and they travelled around Europe and the Far East as one of the busiest live acts around. Their chart run came to a peak in 1979 when they scored their two biggest hits: "Wanted" and "The Chosen Few" "Wanted" was also a big hit in Japan, where it reached No1, and led to them being entered into the Tokyo Music Festival in 1980. They won the "Gold Award" (second place) with the song "Body Language" (a song written by Ben Findon, Mike Myers and Robert Puzey), which also went to No1.
Despite The Dooleys international success, the hits in their homeland started to dry up, though the act were still a major club draw, winning the "Club Mirror Club Acts Award" for Best Group in 1981. Shortly after, Anne and Bob started a family which led to them leaving the group. Helen also decided to leave at the same time, and the threesome departed for a new life in South Africa.
Anne was replaced by a former Miss Ireland, Vicki Roe (aka Valerie Roe), while Bob's replacement on bass was Gaz Morgan. Prior to their Tokyo Music Festival success, The Dooleys had employed John "Dixie" Taggart as Musical Director and keyboard player. Taggart took over all keyboards duties after Helen's departure.
By the mid 1980s, brothers John and Frank, and drummer Alan Bogan, all left the group. They were replaced by a succession of other musicians such as drummer Paul Dean, although Jim and Kathy continued. John, Frank and Alan formed "The New Dooleys" about twelve months after leaving, but by 1992 it was all over, and both groups had retired from performing. In recent years, The Dooley brothers (Jim, John, Joe and Frank) have recorded a collection of new songs which was released early in 2007.
The group reunited for a one-off performance on 6 January 2006, at Helderberg Nature Reserve near Cape Town, South Africa.
More recently Helen, Anne and Bob (now living in Somerset West near Cape Town) have a band called Shiraz.
|Release date||Album||Record label||UK Singles Chart|
|1974||"Hands across the Sea"||Alaska||-|
|"Sha La La Lullaby"||-|
|1976||"On the Move"||Beeb||-|
|1977||"Think I'm Gonna Fall in Love with You"||GTO||13|
|"Love of My Life"||9|
|1978||"Don't Take it Lyin' Down"||60|
|"A Rose Has to Die"||11|
|1979||"Honey I'm Lost"||24|
|"The Chosen Few"||7|
|"In a Riddle"||-|
|1981||"Taken at the Flood"||-|
|"And I Wish"||52|
|1982||"Will You or Wont You"||-|
|1983||"Flavour of the Month"||R'n'R||-|
|1985||"New Beginning"||New Merseybeat||-|
|Release date||Album||Record label||UK Albums Chart|
|1979||The Best of The Dooleys||6|
|The Chosen Few||56|
|1983||In Car Stereo||R'n'R||-|
The next morning, Patricia opens the door to Simon Armstrong. He is calling for Angela, but she's still getting ready. Patricia tells Simon that Angela really enjoyed the party the other day. Simon says he's very fond of Angela and Patricia says Angela feels the same about him. When Angela comes downstairs, she hurriedly drags Simon out the door.
Angela and Simon arrive at the stud, and Angela explains that Wayne is no longer the manager. Wayne tells Simon he's too busy with his investments, but Simon doesn't appear to believe him. Angela orders "Scott" around, but "Scott" says he takes his orders from Gordon, and he won't do as Angela asks. Angela kisses Simon in front of "Scott". The two of them go out riding and have fun. When they get back to the stable, "Scott" is there, and he stares at Angela - she tells him he's being rude. "Scott" tells Angela he knows she's only trying to get at him through Simon. Angela replies, "Oh really?" "Scott" tells Angela not to do anything stupid. Angela says if she had her way, "Scott" wouldn't be at the stud at all, and she tells him to remember he's just an employee.
Back at Dural, Simon tells Angela how much he loves her - and he asks her to marry him! Angela says she never realised he was that serious about her and she tells him that it's not right - she's nowhere near ready to marry. She asks him why he had to blow things. Simon says he can't help it if he loves her. Angela says they can still be friends, but Simon appears uninterested in this compromise and decides it would be best if he left.
In Melbourne, Beryl wonders who's helping John. She tells David it can't be Doug, or her parents, but she thinks it may be Fiona Thompson. David is driving to Sydney the next day, and Beryl urges him to go to Manly, but David says he doubts John would have remembered the address there. He doesn't want to discuss Fiona or John. As Beryl and David argue, Kevin walks in, but his parents won't tell him what's going on. Later, at the dinner table, Kevin asks to be treated like an adult, and reiterates that he wants to know what's going on. David decides it's about time he talked about things, so he tells his son about how he was Kevin's age - or a bit older - and Patricia was a year younger. Their parents didn't think they should get married, but David loved Patricia at the time. John was born, but Patricia ran off, thus ending the romance. David met Beryl and they married. Susan and Kevin were born and John came to live with the Palmers. David tells Kevin that Beryl thinks John is with Fiona. Kevin asks his father if he loves Beryl. The reply is, "Of course I do." Kevin then asks about Patricia but David says he never saw her again. Kevin asks what Patricia was like. David says, "I loved her."
Patricia orders Angela downstairs. She has found out that her daughter refused Simon's proposal and is furious. Angela yells that she doesn't love Simon, to which her mother retorts, "What's love got to do with it?!" Angela shouts, "If you love him that much, why don't you go after him?!" Patricia slaps Angela round the face.
"Scott" enters Jill's room. She is sitting doing some sewing. She knows "Scott" is dying to find out more about her, but all she will say is that when she met Fiona, she had a few problems and Fiona helped her out. Now Jill's repaying her. Jill and "Scott" decide to go for a night on the town.
At Dural, Angela picks up the telephone receiver.
John gets ready to go out. Fiona also has plans - she is meeting up with Jack - "a good friend." Fiona asks her boarders for a lift over the bridge. John asks her, "Isn't your friend picking you up?" to which Fiona replies, "He did that years ago!!" Just after the three of them walk out the door, the 'phone begins to ring...
Next morning, Beryl thanks David for talking to Kevin. She says David must clear a few things up with himself, but David says he couldn't face going back to Fiona's and those days. He leaves for Sydney.
John and Jill had a good time. John looks shocked when Fiona and her friend, Jack, appear in their night attire. He tells Jill, though, that he was just surprised.
Patricia tells Wayne that Mrs. Armstrong is the only person who hasn't replied to the party invitation. Wayne tells his mother that Angela is just playing hard to get and says he'll go and see Simon on his way to the stud. At the Armstrong residence, Wayne tells Simon that Angela is terrified of Simon's mother. He says Simon and his mother should come to Patricia's party so Angela and Mrs. Armstrong can get to know each other. Mrs. Armstrong suddenly appears and starts putting Wayne down over the loss of his manager's job. When Wayne leaves, Mrs. Armstrong asks her son what Wayne is after.
At the stud, Wayne offers "Scott" a beer at lunchtime. "Scott" is wary, but Wayne says they'll get on better if they stop competing. Wayne invites "Scott" to the party, saying Patricia wants him to come - he even offers to get a written invitation. "Scott" is initially wary, but agrees to go if he sees the invitation.
Fiona tells John that she wouldn't trust Wayne, but John says he needs to get to know Patricia - he doesn't like her but needs to see if there's anything more to her.
Patricia tells Mrs. Armstrong on the 'phone that she's delighted she's decided to accept the party invitation. After the call has ended, Patricia praises Wayne for his achievement. Wayne then breaks the news that they have to invite "Scott Edwards", saying that he could come in handy, as Angela feels awkward with him around. Wayne gets his mother to write the invitation.
David is in Sydney and stands outside the boarding house, staring at it. He thinks back to the events of twenty years ago.
John gets ready to go out for a walk. He tells Fiona that he still doesn't know anything about her apart from her being his Aunt Fiona. She replies, "Isn't that enough?" As John heads towards the front door to go out, David heads towards the same door to go in...