This British Lion film was manic comedian Marty Feldman’s first starring role after his appearance in Richard Lester’s The Bed Sitting Room (1969). The determinedly zany script (by Feldman, Barry Took and Dennis Norden) gives him plenty of opportunities to display his brand of Jerry Lewis-style mugging.
Nutty advertising man Teddy Brown (Feldman) is married to Liz (Judy Cornwell).
They have an angelic 11-year-old son, Richard (Garry Miller), who collects the au pair’s knickers in his stamp album (“But Mum, all the kids are doing it!”).
Teddy – elegantly dressed by Mr Fish – is charged with devising an advertising campaign to make McLaughlin’s Frozen Porridge “sexy” when his incompetence is mistaken for genius by his boss.
Teddy wanders through the park trying to “think dirty” and the most innocent activities become titillating experiences in his mind.
Liz, meanwhile, is working away on a Clean Up TV Committee in the company of the trendy Reverend Geoffrey Mellish (Dinsdale Landen) whose dedicated manner conceals his lust for her.
While Liz is away for a conference at Harrogate (though being a good girl she never gets there), Teddy – influenced by an obnoxious American colleague (Shelley Berman) – finds himself in bed with Inga, the au pair (the stunning Julie Ege).
Liz discovers them and sues for divorce, Teddy’s advertising campaign causes questions to be raised in the House of Commons, and he is reviled all over the national newspapers.
It all ends up in a Marx Brothers-style romp in – of course – a television studio with Teddy taking out his pent-up emotions on the vicar. Teddy, Liz and knicker-mad Richard are ultimately reconciled.
There are some nice bits of 1950s-ish satire, notably a sequence from a lugubrious Swedish movie with Feldman and Ege capering about naked in the Surrey bracken; a dig at silent films; an Alan Bennett-like sermon; and pro-censorship politician Wallace Trufitt (Patrick Cargill) hiding a collection of whips, chains and other BDSM ephemera in his sitting room cupboard.
The animated sequences from Richard Williams are superb.
Released in some markets as Think Dirty.
Rev. Geoffrey Mellish
Wallace Trufitt MP