First aired around Christmas 2010, this biopic about the early careers of much loved comic geniouses Eric Morcambe & Ernie Wise came across my radar recently. Being a big fan of the comedy pairing, I decided to give this a watch and see if a good job had been done.
Written by comedienne Victoria Wood, who also stars as Morcambe’s pushy stage mum Sadie Bartholomew, the screenplay brings the beginnings of Eric and Ernie’s comedy to life and we can already see from those early music hall appearances the finished product we would all come to love on the small screen.
The film also star Jim Moir and Eric’s easy going dad. Jim Moir, as we all know is actually Vic Reeves in a role that sees him combine comedy with some serious scenes to give a fine overall performance, and its easy to see where Eric took a lot of his influence from in his comedy. The stars of the show are the main characters though. Daniel Rigby plays Eric Morcambe while Bryan Dick is his opposite number Ernie Wise. A lot of work has obvioulsy been done by this pair to really play the characters because at most points of the film, particularly during their show performances, the likeness to the actual Eric & Ernie both in physical characteristics and how they sound is exact in every detail. Close your eyes and you think its the real duo.
The film itself doesn’t go very far into their careers. It follows how they met, performed as children and worked their way up to their first big television break which was a flop. It then goes on to tell of their brief break up and consequent reformation with their own material and begin again the long journey to the top.
I would say that for any Morcambe & Wise fan, this is a must see. I thought the cast was excellent, the acting and direction first class and the writing outstanding. If only more biopics were as professional and entertaining as this, and at 90 minutes long, its not too drawn out either. 10/10 and it deserves it.