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Three For All's director, Martin Campbell, has now achieved worldwide recognition because in the last decade and a half, he has directed a couple of Bond films (Goldeneye and Casino Royale), and the Mask and Legend of Zorro movies.
However, I have no doubt AT ALL, that when interviewed for those directing jobs, he kept completely silent about his involvement in this largely forgotten 70's time capsule. By 1975, The British film industry, after years of high morals, had fully accepted, and fully embraced, the relaxing of the censorship laws to allow full frontal nudity in motion pictures, and for a few years that is is pretty much all we churned out, which is what makes Three For All, a welcome alternative to the usual British comedy of the time, as the film is quite family oriented albeit with a smidge of innuendo scattered here and there, but happily, on this occasion, there is not so much as one naked breast to be seen.
The film was designed as a blatant cash in on the new cut-price foreign holiday craze that had swept Britain in the previous couple of years just as 'Carry on Abroad' had done a few years earlier, With the holiday costs on the continent now within most peoples budget, most British holiday makers were discarding boring Blackpool, or dreary Devon, for places such as Spain & Portugal which before, had been completely intangible to all but those affluent enough to afford it.
I'm sure that Three For All, would have been lost forever in some dusty British movie fault by now, had it not been for the fact that it not only featured a then all-star cameo guest list, but of the lesser known young actors involved, most of them were to become famous, such as The late Richard Beckinsale, (Porridge/Rising Damp), Robert Lindsay, (Citizen Smith/My Family), Paul Nicholas (Just Good Friends), and accomplished singer Graham Bonnet, who would very soon go on to be lead vocalist with top Hard Rock bands like Rainbow and MSG.
The plot follows a pop band, who despite being booked to play a school hall in support of 'Showaddywaddy', (A Major act in their day), they still feel that they are down on their luck. As Manager, Beckinsale enters the band into a competition and wins the backing of a shifty promoter called Eddie Boyes (George Baker, best known today as Wexford in the Ruth Rendall mysteries), who books the band for a series of profile raising gigs in the form of a full Spanish tour. Unable to go with them, and upset that their fellas are going away for a few months, their girlfriends decide to follow them, and as a result, they manage to put the reputation of British Tourists abroad, back by about 100 years.
The cast, is just a mammoth list of the big names of the time, such as Adrienne Posta, David Kossoff, Liz Fraser, John Le Mesurier, Hattie Jacques, Simon Williams, Diana Dors, Edward Woodward, Dandy Nichols, Roy Kinnear, Ian Lavender and Arthur Mullard and it's great to see all these people hamming it up and having a good laugh into the bargain, despite some of them being very serious thesps indeed.
I really love the typical 1970's pop soundtrack to this movie, and after 20 years of trying, I STILL haven't found a copy. However, the real star of the movie, is not the actors or actresses involved, neither is it the music, or the fashions. The real star, is actually the 1970's as a decade. The 1970's were a decade that in someways only seem like yesterday and in others seem like a whole lifetime ago Admittedly, there were a lot of things about the 1970's that we all should feel ashamed about, but unless your name is Martin Campbell, then this film certainly isn't one of them.
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