Author Topic: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?  (Read 1313 times)

Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« on: April 30, 2021, 06:16:20 AM »
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is an odd film really isn't?
I never read the book. Does anyone know if the  film follows it very closely?
The film has a mixed reputation. Remembered as a classic by some, seen as a Mary Poppins rip-off by others.
The bit with the Germans being beaten up by the army of medieval knights seems a bit xenophobic in places now.
There was a sequence where an otherwise invisible knight pulled off the piece of armour covering his foot (I see now this is called the sabaton) and loads of bullets fell out? This bit always made me a bit sick for some reason. I cannot explain why.
Weirdest bit is when BRUCE FORSYTH appears briefly and almost immediately threatens the children with a knife! They don't make them like that any more!
I recently got a very cheap volume called 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks Trivia Book: Interesting, Amazing information and questions for all fans of the 90s movie' . I already have reason to suspect it's not the well-researched definitive guide to the film it pretends to be.

Bernice

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #1 on: April 30, 2021, 09:30:41 AM »
RIP Deeper into Movies.

I love Bedknobs and Broomsticks, but it's an odd one. It's hardly even a movie really, it's got like 6 very long scenes that all seem to be working backwards from set piece to story. I think a lot of that's down to it being stitched together from discarded bits of early Poppins drafts.

Lansbury is 45 in it, which is both far too old and far too young. Too old because how the fuck is she still alive? Too young because she already has that Jessica Fletcher, feisty retiree energy. I watched it a lot as a very young kid, way before a later obsession with Murder, She Wrote, and always saw her as an old lady.

But maybe that was just the strange oldness of the film itself seeping into my impression of her. What I loved about this and Mary Poppins, as a kid in the 90s, was the sense of it being an extinct kind of fun, a musty and naive and slightly dour breed of entertainment that was already dead and was only really intelligible when cross-referenced with my parents, imagining them as kids, at my age in olden times. I was floating up toward the century's surface, and looking down beneath me I could see these strange figures, distorted and half-hidden, bobbing along on the bottom of the beautiful briney sea.

Blinder Data

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #2 on: April 30, 2021, 09:39:18 AM »
two best bits of dialogue are from the littlest boy

"LOVELY bit of string!"

and

"What's that got to do with my knob?!"

Both regularly quoted in this household. But yes, a v odd film

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #3 on: April 30, 2021, 10:05:02 AM »
Absolutely bloody loved this as a nipper. Had it taped off the telly and wore that VHS into the ground.

Haven't seen it since because there's no way it could possibly be as good as my childhood memories of it.

Still sometimes break into Portobellloooo Road, much to mrs frajer's utter delight tolerance.

Bernice

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #4 on: April 30, 2021, 10:06:52 AM »
Yeah, definitely got untold mileage out of "What's that got to do with my knob?" over the years.

Used to be quite upset by the rat-faced older brother. I think he looked like my brother, only meaner. Like when you went to a mate's house and they had one of those mad older brothers who'd just fucking terrorize you endlessly. Dunno why, he's not even really that rat-faced. But there we are.

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #5 on: April 30, 2021, 10:08:39 AM »
Bedknobs and Broomsticks is an odd film really isn't?
I never read the book. Does anyone know if the  film follows it very closely?…

The film is adapted from two books and a lot of changes were made.

Quite a bit was edited out for the original release, but a full version became available - so suspect part of opinion is based on the former. Saw the film a little while ago and thought there were so really strong bits - liked it a lot.

Small Man Big Horse

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2021, 10:22:34 AM »
I watched it back in January for the first time in decades and loved it a lot, it's a mad old film as others have said but it just about works as a cohesive whole, and I was especially fond of the ridiculous football match in the middle of it.

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #7 on: April 30, 2021, 10:28:40 AM »
I watched it back in January for the first time in decades and loved it a lot, it's a mad old film as others have said but it just about works as a cohesive whole, and I was especially fond of the ridiculous football match in the middle of it.

The football match always gets cited (on the sports forum I'm on) as one of the best examples of fictional sport on film, along with things like Kes. Way better than something like Escape To Victory.

Jumblegraws

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #8 on: April 30, 2021, 10:30:36 AM »
I reckon I’ve sat through a fair number of unpleasant films, Martyrs, Antichrist, A Serbian Film, that sort of thing, but the scene in BaB where the kids are really hungry but only have Angela Lansbury’s weird witch food to eat gives me the quease more than anything in those films, for some reason. Think it’s because we had stereotypically disgusting school dinners at primary school and the choice of eating grossness or going hungry was very familiar to me.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #9 on: April 30, 2021, 10:45:55 AM »
Saw this at the cinema fifty years ago. I feel as old as Angela Lansbury saying that. My favourite bit was the underwater sequence. The Briny Boys must've been an influence on the Cantina band.

St_Eddie

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #10 on: April 30, 2021, 03:03:18 PM »
I recently got a very cheap volume called 'Bedknobs and Broomsticks Trivia Book: Interesting, Amazing information and questions for all fans of the 90s movie'

Questions such as "why do you like a shitty film so much?", "why did you buy this equally shitty book?" and "why is a shitty book with poor grammar in its title, asking you, the person reading it, questions?".

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #11 on: April 30, 2021, 03:31:40 PM »
I was quite struck by the fact the cover describes it as a 90s film when it was released in 1971.
Think 'shitty film' is overstating it. It's not brilliant but it's not that bad either.
(I bought the book as I'm writing something about it).

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #12 on: April 30, 2021, 03:57:06 PM »
It is brilliant.[1]
 1. Probably not. But it's by no means shitty.

St_Eddie

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #13 on: April 30, 2021, 04:35:53 PM »
Think 'shitty film' is overstating it. It's not brilliant but it's not that bad either.

It is brilliant.[1]
 1. Probably not. But it's by no means shitty.

I was only messing around.  I was very fond of the film as a kid.

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #14 on: April 30, 2021, 04:39:31 PM »
I was only messing around.  I was very fond of the film as a kid.

Same here, not sure why it enthralled me but it really did. Live action and cartoon bits were particularly ace. Beautiful briiiiiiiiiiiiny sea!

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #15 on: April 30, 2021, 04:50:03 PM »
Wrote a lengthy post, then realised I was confusing it with Water Babies. What is the difference, other than one's a metaphysical nightmare about death and the other's about a knob?

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #16 on: April 30, 2021, 05:32:10 PM »
'Arry ap, get rid of it!' is still something I find my self shouting during football matches.

Glebe

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #17 on: April 30, 2021, 05:52:35 PM »
Not sure I watched the whole film but I remember seeing this on video in me cousins' in Jersey as a nipper. It's on Disney+ so I might give it a look again. And yes, Brucie!

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #18 on: April 30, 2021, 06:01:44 PM »
I have the idea that Brucie was an extra (a sweep) in Mary Poppins, too - possibly with his own hair.

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #19 on: May 01, 2021, 06:36:56 AM »
I saw it again about a year ago, I think it holds up. The football sequence and the finale with the knights vs. Nazis are every bit as fun as they were when I used to watch them endlessly as a kid - technically very impressive for the time an’ all. I give it five bags of popcorn (and maybe a little knob).

Glebe

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #20 on: May 01, 2021, 09:53:31 AM »
I have the idea that Brucie was an extra (a sweep) in Mary Poppins, too - possibly with his own hair.

With all their money you'd think Disney could have supplied him with magic Disney hair, but no, he had to bring his own.

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #21 on: May 01, 2021, 11:27:20 AM »
two best bits of dialogue are from the littlest boy

"LOVELY bit of string!"

and

"What's that got to do with my knob?!"


And 'not bloody likely' is quite edgy for a U-grader kids' film.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #22 on: May 01, 2021, 11:47:28 AM »
I searched one of those invariably depressing "Where are they now and why don't they look exactly as how I remember them?" blogs and got this one. These sentences made me laugh. You could sing this article title like Laurence from Denim

Why We Never See Ian Weighill And The Cast of Bedknobs and Broomsticks Anymore.

...and this opening line is such a tenuous connection to the website.

Didn’t every eighties kid enjoy this film? We’re talking about the 1971 Disney musical production Bedknobs and Broomsticks, of course!

Might as well say, 'Didn't every eighties kid enjoy this band? We're talking about the American rock group formed in Stony Brook, New York, in 1967 called Blue Öyster Cult, of course!'


https://www.eightieskids.com/what-happened-cast-bedknobs-broomsticks

Re: Bedknobs and Broomsticks: WTF?
« Reply #23 on: May 01, 2021, 01:55:30 PM »
That film set me up for a huge disappointment, the first time I actually went to Portobello Road as an adult.  They could've set it at the bit where the A40 Westway flyover crosses, in order not to build such great expectations.


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