Cheeky ice cream man Fred Scrutton (Bob Monkhouse) chauffeurs his friend Tim (Leslie Phillips) and Tim’s sexy fiancée Deirdre (Shirley Eaton) on a caravan holiday to the seaside. “Lulu” is the name of the caravan, by the way – which Fred tows behind his ice cream van.
Unfortunately for the love-struck couple, Deirdre’s Mum, Flo (Irene Handl), invites herself and her pet dog, Gaylord, along for the ride.
Through a series of misfortunes, they end up in France (that’s quite a detour!), where Ted Lloyd’s screenplay has a field day poking fun at the French, who are personified by a randy count (Alfred Marks), a buffoonish policeman with a taste for ice cream (Graham Stark), Madame Bon-Bon (Judith Furse) and her young ladies, and a French pianist of considerable accomplishment (Russ Conway).
The foursome ends up having to dodge the gendarmes, stealing to get petrol and somehow interrupting the Tour de France.
The gags are broad, often pure slapstick, but this is a great Carry On style comedy from Hammer Films, usually more renowned for their horror films.
Leslie Phillips passed away on 7 November 2022 after a long illness. He was 98.
Comte de Grenoble
John Paddy Carstairs