What a Whopper (1961)

Article 2345 by Dave Sindelar
Viewing Date: 8-27-2007
Posting Date: 1-13-2008
Directed by Gilbert Gunn
Featuring Adam Faith, Sid James, Carole Lesley

A writer, hoping to create a market for his new book, stages a fake sighting of the Loch Ness monster.

This silly English comedy manages to hold my attention as long as it keeps the funny ideas and the strange characters coming; drawn into this bizarre plot are salmon poachers, a hearse, a musique concrete artist, a painter, a tramp, some stupid cops, and a Scotsman caught up in a feud. As a result, there are a number of amusing moments, but after a bit, things become rather repetitive; for example, the running gag in which a policeman tries to catch a drunken father isn’t particularly funny to begin with, but the movie goes on and on with it. Its biggest problem is that its funniest performances only appear near the beginning of the movie; namely, those of “Carry On” actor Charles Hawtrey as the artist, and Spike Milligan’s cameo as the tramp. A few choice moments to pop up later, but the movie definitely runs short of inspiration and starts to feel desperate. Still, I did find myself asking one question; given that this was a wacky farce about the faking of an appearance of the Loch Ness Monster, was it possible that the real Loch Ness Monster would show up? Rather than leave you in suspense, I’ll just say outright that it does, and it has the last line in the movie. For me, the most interesting credit in the movie is for the screenplay; it was written by Terry Nation, who is most famous for having created the Daleks for “Doctor Who”.


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