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Down Among the Z Men
Down Among the Z Men
Actors: Michael Bentine, Carole Carr, Robert Cawdron, Eunice Gayson, Miriam Karlin
Director: Maclean Rogers
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
UR     2004     1hr 11min

Although they made their name in the medium of radio, the legendary Goons also made brief forays into the world of television and, with Down Among the Z Men, film. Z Men captures the team at a very early stage in their car...  more »

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Movie Details

Actors: Michael Bentine, Carole Carr, Robert Cawdron, Eunice Gayson, Miriam Karlin
Director: Maclean Rogers
Genres: Action & Adventure, Indie & Art House
Sub-Genres: Espionage, Indie & Art House
Studio: Genius Entertainment
Format: DVD - Black and White
DVD Release Date: 01/01/2004
Release Year: 2004
Run Time: 1hr 11min
Screens: Black and White
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 1
Members Wishing: 0
MPAA Rating: Unrated
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

The Goons deserved better
M. Flint | Burbank, CA | 10/29/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)

"Anyone who's heard the Goon Shows knows they were masters of absurdist comedy, and this film sadly contains little of that quality. The four Goons take on a single character from the Goon Show's plethora of characters for "Down Among The Z-Men". The plot is pretty meager, concerning two thieves who want to steal an atomic formula from Michael Bentine. Harry Secombe plays a store clerk who accidentally winds up in the army, where Spike Milligan plays numbskull Private Eccles and Peter Sellars is General Bloodnok.The films tries hard to be entertaining with goofy routines, musical numbers, etc, but is pretty understocked with laughs. It's certainly not the fault of the Goons, but of the dumb story they were cast in. Yet I still enjoy the film as a typical bit of early-fifties fluff and others might who are hard-core Goon fans, if only as a novelty.The cover box picture of Peter Sellars is not from the film, but the way..."
Down Among the Z Men
Steven Hellerstedt | 09/15/2005
(2 out of 5 stars)

"DOWN AMONG THE `Z' MEN (1952), also known in some quarters as `The Goon Movie,' stars four members of the popular radio and television series and precursor of Monty Pythons Flying Circus. Harry Secombe plays Harry Jones, Michael Bentine plays Professor Osrick Purehart, Spike Milligan plays Private Eccles, and Peter Sellers plays Major Bloodnok.

For all their trail-blazing ways the Goons' first movie is pretty tepid, standard stuff. Grocery clerk Harry Jones comes into possession of Professor Purehart's top-secret formula. The clerk and the professor wind up at the same military base, commanded by Major Bloodnok and including among its rank Private Eccles. The plot, such as it is, concerns a couple of bad spies chasing the formula that the Professor forgot and the clerk doesn't realize he has. What ensues is a series of loosely connected skits with characters that may have been funny in 7-minute doses but wear out their welcome long before the hour and fifteen minutes are up. If the Goons' hallmark was surreal zaniness, it's not in evidence here. Rather you have four Costellos desperately in search of an Abbott, preferably one with a plot in his back pocket.

Recommended only for those who want to see Sellers in an early movie role or, like me, have heard some classic Spike Milligan bits on tape or radio but have never seen him in action. With this cast in place it's a little embarrassing to admit that the highlights were a couple of routines performed by an all-girl dance troupe. At least the price is right.
It's all relative, isn't it Auntie?
Dr. Anthony E. Myatt | N.B., Canada | 07/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"There's lots of reasons to like this DVD. First, there's the price. Second, there's several lovely moments with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers. Third, we get to see Spike play a few moments of jazz trumpet. Fourth, we get jazz strumpet -- or rather the next best thing, the lovely dancing Topper Girls. They were excellent. Fifth, did I mention the price? This is really a light variety show, BBC-TV 1950s style. There's a very lose plot that connects events -- but let's not worry about that. The Goons certainly didn't. Michael Bentine is not that funny. But he does try. He certainly tries me. Oh and sixth, it comes in a cardboard sleeve, so the DVD won't take up much space on your shelf. I found the whole thing charming, and I'm happy to have this historical artefact featuring some of two of my favourite comedians."