For The Love Of Ada **Added 28th July 2005**

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Robert Ross reviews this film spin-off from a classic sitcom.

It seemed that in the 1970s every British situation comedy worth its salt…and a few that weren’t…were being made in to feature film spin-offs.  Hammer Films were the King of these, even producing a cinematic version of That’s Your Funeral in 1972; a show that only managed seven episodes on television.  Hammer’s chief rival in the horror stakes, Tigon, also embraced the sitcom spin-off market and in 1972 produced a film version of For the Love of Ada. 

Over thirty years on the film still radiates good natured fun and the timeless attitude of getting old slightly disgracefully. The film, just released by Fremantlemedia (FHED1851), was written by the creators of the series, Vince Powell and Harry Driver, and retains the central core of the original television cast.  Wilfred Pickles and Irene Handl are Walter and Ada, the ageing couple who through the course of the small screen series from 1970 to 1971, got engaged, married and presented with a grandchild.

This film picks up the story as the happy couple are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary.  The gentle writing and impeccable comic acting of the two leads makes for a heart-warming slice of Brit com nostalgia, while the energetic support of Jack Smethurst as Irene Handl’s son-in-law Leslie Pollitt happily resurrects memories of warm beer, seventies fillies and really devoted Manchester United fans.  The character, the actor and the writer Vince Powell were all Manchester United mad and thus the comedy really takes on a naturalist pleasure.

The following year Powell and Smethurst would again join forces for the film spin-off of Love Thy Neighbour, the show that Smethurst is forever best known for.

For the Love of Ada is highly recommended for anybody with an obsession for the best in British comedy (that’s me of course!) and anyone with a passing interest in British popular culture, traditional sitcoms and the London that is fast disappearing.

Extras: A wonderfully tongue-in-cheek trailer…but what more do you want for £12.99? 

And you do get Gilbert O’Sullivan singing the title song: ‘What Could Be Nicer’ and appearances from Arthur English, Arthur White and Gareth Hunt. 

Pure class in a glass!

Page Last Updated Thursday, July 28, 2005 at 20:57:35