“Classic films” covers a wide range of genres, but in it’s 30th Anniversary Go To Blazes is getting a DVD release for the first time, and as I’ve never seen this “classic” before, I was looking forward to checking it out. So does it live up to the “classic” tag or should it have stayed “much loved but unreleased”?
Bernard, Harry and Alfie are three charming but unsuccessful crooks who smash and grab tactics rarely come off. On their way for another stint behind bars they see the traffic part for an on call fire engine and hatch a new plan.
Upon their release they set out to acquire a fire engine to use as the perfect getaway vehicle on a jewellery robbery, but when they are mistaken for real firemen their plan slowly begins to unravel.
When Harry gets scared by the appearance of the police he accidentally runs into a dress salons changing room where he meets the beautiful Chantal who might just hold the key to finally pulling off a successful heist.
Without wanting to give my wife anymore ammunition for telling me how old I am, I do love “old” films. There’s just something about them, their charm & atmosphere that I love. But that doesn’t mean it’s unconditional love. I will be the first to admit that there are some older films out there that are absolute stinkers but there are more than enough that are just brilliant examples of filmmaking, no matter what the age.
Unfortunately, this 1962 film doesn’t lend itself to being a “classic”, but at the same time it’s not a stinker – it’s just a fairly innocuous comedy that isn’t anything more than mildly diverting for it’s length.
But saying that, there are actors here who are almost the bedrock of British cinema, with the likes of Dame Maggie Smith, Robert Morley or Dennis Price. There are others who you might well recognise if you looked them up on IMDB, but it has to be said that – at this point in their respective careers – none of them were exactly setting the silver screen alight.
Not to say that any of them are bad but it’s just that they’re not quite as polished as we’re accustomed to from modern day cinema. Likewise, the plot, to impersonate firemen to pull off a robbery, doesn’t really stand up to too much scrutiny.
Still, saying all that, there is nothing here that is offensive or off putting about the film, but it’s not as engaging as cinema should be, and maybe it’s a case of rosetinted specs for those that might remember it more fondly than I.
For all that I said above, this isn’t a bad film. It’s just that a classic it is not. That said, it’s an interesting look into the history of cinema and a glimpse into a more innocent time for film comedies.