CULT FACTION

For all your cult film, tv, cartoon, comic and video game needs

Allo Allo

There’s a popular school of thought that states successful British Sitcoms should only be around for two or three series. This seems to come from the fact that Fawlty Towers was only broadcast for two series. Well-loved comedies such as The Office or Phoenix Nights only had short runs, the belief being that further episodes would only dilute their appeal. On the other side of the coin there are programs such as ‘Allo ‘Allo!’ which took something that people loved and gave them as much of it as possible.

‘Allo ‘Allo! ran from 1982 to 1992 and somehow managed to squeeze eighty-five episodes into that time (There were no episodes in 1990).

allo allo 2

Set during World War II, and featuring more catchphrases than any other sitcom in history,  ‘Allo ‘Allo! tells the story of René Artois, a French café owner in the town of Nouvion. The town is occupied by German and later Italian soldiers who have stolen all of its valuable artefacts. These include a painting of The Fallen Madonna by Van Klomp, known to those who have seen it as The Fallen Madonna with the Big Boobies. The painting is duplicated by a forger, gets mixed up, lost, found and put in a large sausage, which is hidden in the cellar of Café René.

At the same time, the café is being used as a safe house for clueless British airmen, and a meeting point for the French Resistance. The Résistance is also helped by Officer Crabtree, a British spy posing as a policeman sent to France because he can speak French. However, he does not speak it very well, resulting in frequent malapropisms. For example, whenever he says “Good morning”, it comes out as “Good moaning”.

René is also trying to keep his affairs with his two waitresses secret from his wife, Edith, who regularly “sings” in the café, despite being an appallingly bad singer. These situations are made even more humorous by the fact that René is not exactly the best-looking man in France, is definitely not a hero, and is often forced (against his will) by his wife to undertake missions and secret operations.

These few plot devices provide the basic storyline throughout the entire series, upon which are hung classic farce set-ups, physical comedy and visual gags, amusingly ridiculous fake accents, a large amount of sexual innuendo, and a fast-paced running string of broad cultural clichés. Each episode builds on previous ones, requiring viewers to follow the series to fully understand the plot.

The show’s double-entendre-laden comedy may not be in vogue with the comedy elite these days, but I absolutely love ‘Allo ‘Allo!. The broad comedy styling, combined with the period setting of the show ensure a timelessness that stops the series from ageing, unlike many of its contemporaries. Don’t expect anything high-brow from ‘Allo ‘Allo! – Just expect to laugh.

Related Posts
Worzel Gummidge: Saucy Nancy

Mackenzie Crook returns in a new episode of his interpretation of Barbara Euphan Todd's Worzel Gummidge. Crook already has two episodes under his belt which debuted last Christmas- The Scarecrow Read more

Wizards and Warriors

Debuting in 1983 and running for eight episodes (of which three episodes were directed by Bill Bixby), Wizards and Warriors, was a fantasy show which focused on two neighbouring kingdoms Read more

Unsub

Running for eight episodes between February 3rd 1989 to April 14, 1989, Unsub came from the minds of David J. Burke, Stephen J. Cannell, and Stephen Kronish. It followed a special Read more

Tokyo Vampire Hotel

Tokyo Vampire Hotel is a 2017 Japanese nine-part horror television miniseries directed by Sion Sono. The series follows a young girl named Manami (Ami Tomite) who is targeted by the Read more

Timewasters

Debuting on October 9th 2017, Timewasters was created by Daniel Lawrence Taylor and starred Taylor alongside Kadiff Kirwan, Adelayo Adedayo, and Samson Kayo as a struggling four-piece South London jazz Read more

Time Taxi

Edawakare (Yutaka Takenouchi) is the driver of the Time Taxi which debuted in October 2014. It ran for ten episodes. The Time Taxi is a special vechicle that can transport Read more

The Vanishing Legion

Directed by Ford Bebe and B. Reeves Eason, The Vanishing Legion was an American Pre-Code Mascot film serial that was first shown in 1931. It consisted of 12 Chapters eavh Read more

The Renegades (1983)

Created by Lawrence Gordon and Rick Husky, The Renegades ran for six episodes starting in March 1983. It aimed to combine The Warriors/Wanderes gang vibe with a Police drama (in Read more

The Lost City

Written by Sherman S. Krellberg and directed by Harry Revier, The Lost City is an independent science fiction film serial created and produced in 1935. It consisted of twelve chapters. Read more

The Hurricane Express

Directed by Armand Schaeffer and J.P. McGowan, The Hurricane Express was an American Pre-Code Mascot Pictures film serial than consisted of tweleve chapters. As the show begins we learn that the Read more

Stephen Pryde-Jarman is a Cult TV and Film journalist, award winning short story writer, playwright and screenwriter. A natural hoarder, second hand shopping fulfils his basic human need for hunter-gathering; but rummaging through a charity shop’s bric-a-brac shelf also brought him the inspiration for his novel Rubble Girl having seen a picture of a Blitz survivor sat amongst the rubble of her house with a cup and saucer. Rubble Girl has been described as " thought-provoking" and "fast paced ... with plenty of twists and turns." Amazon.

%d bloggers like this: