Home Movies by Decade Movies - 1970s Up the Front (1972)

Up the Front (1972)

This 1972 British comedy film is the third film spin-off from the TV series Up Pompeii! (the previous film being Up the Chastity Belt (1971) set in the Middle Ages which followed on from the Up Pompeii film).

Directed by Bob Kellett and set during World War I, it stars Frankie Howerd as Lurk (a descendant of the slave Lurcio in Up Pompeii), a lowly servant in the household of Lord and Lady Twithampton (William Mervyn and Linda Gray) who is hypnotised by The Great Vincento (Stanley Holloway) and travels to the Western Front to “save England”.

Lurk is inspired to bravery, and upon receiving the German master plan for the entire war – which has through an unlikely series of events been tattooed onto his posterior – is pursued across France by German intelligence.

After breaking into the British military headquarters to deliver the plans into the hands of General Burke (Robert Coote), he is confronted by the sensuous German spy Mata Hari (Zsa Zsa Gabor).

After foiling Mata Hari’s scheme to relieve him of the plan, a hilarious scene develops in which he is pursued by the nefarious Von Gutz (Lance Percival) and his henchmen Donner and Blitzen (Gertan Klauber and Stanley Lebor).

Accompanied by the Can-Can, performed by the Famous Buttercup Girls, Lurk is pursued around the Allied headquarters. Finally, disguised as a tree, he is able to present the plans to General Burke and receives a medal of honour and a promotion. He is therefore able to win the love of his beloved Fanny (Madeline Smith) and defeat the machinations of the wicked Sgt. Major Groping (Bill Fraser).

Bob Hoskins (in his big-screen debut) appears briefly as a recruiting sergeant.

Frankie Howerd
Bill Fraser
Lord Twithampton
William Mervyn
Lady Twithampton
Linda Gray
Nigel Phipps Fortescue
Jonathan Cecil
Madeline Smith
Nicholas Bennett
Mike Grady
Cora Crumpington
Dora Bryan
The Great Vincento
Stanley Holloway
Veronica Clifford
Von Gutz
Lance Percival
Recruiting Sergeant
Bob Hoskins
Von Kobler
Peter Bull
Vernon Dobtcheff
Captain Hamburger
Ingo Mogendorf
Gertan Klauber
Stanley Lebor
Coporal Lovechild
Percy Herbert
David Battley
Hermione Baddeley
Frou Frou
Mata Hari
Zsa Zsa Gabor
Her Maid (Magda)
Patricia Quinn
General Burke
Robert Coote
El Puncturo
Derek Griffiths

Bob Kellett