three charming but foolhardy
smash-and-grab crooks raid a jewellers
shop, a fire engine is inadvertently to
blame for their thwarted get-away
giving them a bizarre idea for their next
job in the 1962 film Go To Blazes...
A JEWELLERY SHOP ROBBERY goes like clockwork, with the three crooks speeding
through London in a getaway car tuned to do 125mph, until they are stopped in
traffic to give priority to a fire engine.
On their way to a two-year stretch in prison, the three come up with an ingenious
plan when they get out, they will plan another smash-and-grab and use
a fire engine as their getaway vehicle.
Go To Blazes from 1962 is one of the lost gems of British comedy and
you can be sure that nothing will go according to plan for Bernard (Dave King:
The Long Good Friday), the suited and bowler hat sporting Harry (Daniel
Massey: Bad Timing) and Alfie (Norman Rossington: The Longest Day).
First off, they have to find the vehicle and the money to buy it.
A visit to the Fire Engine Makers proves fruitless as the salesman (delightfully
played by Miles Matheson) tells them that new fire engines cost £5,000
a princely sum in the early Sixties so the three dream up an elaborate
plot to swap a wreck from a scrap dealer (Wilfred Lawson) for a useable fire
engine, which has an explosive welcome in the hillside!
Disgraced fire chief Withers (Dennis Price) is on hand to train Harry, Bernard
and Alfie, with hilarious results and the three friends are deemed ready to
take their place in charge of their stolen fire engine. More hilarity...
With help from an old friend, Arson Eddie (the always wonderful Robert Morley),
the plan comes together; but not before Harry has found a distraction in the
arms of the lovely Chantal (the fabulous Maggie Smith: The Prime Of Miss
Jean Brodie), whom he meets when he becomes unnerved by the presence of
a policeman close to the jeweller's shop he is about to rob.
Chantal and her friend Colette (Coral Browne) own an haute couture dress shop
and it just could be that the building will play a part in giving Harry, Alfie
and Bernard the break they've all been waiting for.
Things are destined to go wrong, but not before they are mistaken for real firemen
and wreak havoc and mayhem. Will they end up back inside or will they finally
pull off the heist of their dreams? These three will never give up. But they
have to find a foolproof plan. And what is the one car in England that everybody
Go To Blazes is hugely amusing and appealing with the added interest
of being filmed in the Swinging Sixties. Interesting to note that in one scene
Cliff Richard's Sixties hit We Say Yeah is playing in the background
and Robert Morley (Arson Eddie in Go To Blazes) played Hamilton
Black, the father of Nicky, the Mystery Singer (Cliff Richard) in The Young
The film also features: the great Arthur Lowe as a Prison Warder; the superb
John Le Mesurier in a cameo role as The Fisherman; the terrific Derek Nimmo
as Fish Fancier; David Lodge as Sergeant; John Welsh as Chief Fire Officer;
Finlay Currie as Judge; James Hayter as Pipe Smoker; John Glyn-Jones as Fire
Chief; Eynon Evans as Mayer; Diane Clare as Girl; and Dudley Button as Boy.
The redoubtable Thora Hird and Will Hay also put in an appearance.
Original Story and Adaptation by Peer Myers and Ronald Cass; Screenplay by Patrick
Campbell and Vivienne Knight; Director of Photography is Erwin Hillier, BSC;
Music Composed and Conducted by John Addison; Produced by Kenneth Harper and
Directed by Michael Truman.
Go To Blazes will be released for the first time on DVD on 30 January,
2012. Certificate: U | Feature Running Time: 80 Minutes Approximately | Catalogue
Number: OPTD1229 | RRP: £15.99.
To celebrate its 50th Anniversary, the film will screen at the British Film
Institute in the London Comedy Film Festival on January 29, the day before its
first-ever release on DVD.
"Go To Blazes is a hugely amusing and appealing Sixties crook caper"
Maggie Woods, MotorBar