Subject: I have found a DVD that I think you would enjoy
|Thick As Thieves |
Actors: Bob Hoskins, John Thaw, Pat Ashton, Johnny Briggs, Reg Lye
Directors: Derrick Goodwin, Mike Gibbon
Genres: Comedy, Television
Three?s a hilarious crowd in this situation comedy featuring John Thaw (Inspector Morse) and Bob Hoskins (Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Last Orders) early in their legendary careers. George Dobbs (Hoskins) returns home after a ... more »
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A comedy team you would never believe!
F. Behrens | Keene, NH USA | 05/03/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have an encyclopedia of British television series and notice all the Britcoms that look promising but have never been shown over here to my knowledge. Well, would you believe there is one in which a young Bob Hoskins ("Roger Rabbit") and a not yet white haired John Thaw ("Inspector Morse") play a pair of very inept thieves? There are only eight episodes, mainly because Thaw had other commitments, but what there is ranges from downright silly to genuinely funny and all eight are now available on two DVDs or 3 VHSs, courtesy of Acorn Media. The basic situation of "Thick as Thieves" is that getting out prison a day early, George (Hoskins) returns home to find that his best friend Stan (Thaw) has taken up permanent residence with George's wife Annie (Pat Ashton). A good deal of the plots revolve around the attempts of the three to come to terms with the situation as the wife is the only wage-earner to keep them going. The denouement in the last episode might be predictable (how else to solve the problem?) but the means to it is truly imaginative. Thaw and Hoskins play off one another nicely and make a great comic team. We over here might have some trouble following the East End accents, but the lingo is priceless and a guest appearance by Trevor Peacock (the dithering old man in "The Vicar of Dibley") is an unexpected bonus. Though not exactly as subtle as "Mapp and Lucia" or as sledgehammer as "Fawlty Towers," "Thick as Thieves" will amuse you nevertheless."
A Rare Treat
F. Behrens | 08/23/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Wow -- who'd have ever imagined what the world of DVD would
bring us. A U.S. release of this more or less forgotten
British sitcom. Written by the great Dick Clement & Ian
La Frenais, this is not in the same league as their classics
THE LIKELY LADS (and especially its sequel series) or PORRIDGE
(which THIEVES is something of a dry run for) or AUF WIEDERSEHEN,
PET -- but like those landmarks explores with their customary
humanity and humor the joys and tribulations of male friendship. The inevitable corollary to this, true or false depending on
your point of view (or gender), is that women are portrayed as
shrews and spoilsports (or, if you like, simply more sensible
and mature), eternal obstacles to our heroes' aspirations.
As THIEVES was made for England's commercial channel (ie., the
one with commercials, unlike the BBC which aired LADS, PORRIDGE,
and latterly PET), it suffers from "high concept" overkill -- a self-consciously and, for the time, risque
one-joke premise fairly quickly exhausted (could this be the
reason for its limited run?), as well as reduced production
values (American viewers will not be used to the British
indulgence of actors flubbing lines -- which, in keeping with a theatrical
tradition, does give a sort of "live performance" frisson to the
proceedings). But what a pair of thesps they found themselves
with! Pure pleasure -- especially for those curious to see
Bob Hoskins with hair."
F. Behrens | 08/12/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"As Burl Ives once sang, "Watch the donut, not the hole." To put it into this context, focus on what the people on screen are doing and saying and don't get hung up on technical quality. "Thick As Thieves" is a product of early 1970s British television production and is far from pristine in its picture quality. This is true of many British programs of the era, including such milestone series as "Elizabeth R", where the source materials were not as carefully preserved as perhaps they should have been.Like "Elizabeth R", this program has a disclaimer on the packaging about its technical quality. I breezed past that, though, choosing to focus on the treat of seeing John Thaw and Bob Hoskins before they were anybody. Admittedly, there are technical flaws that could be a touch distracting at times if you're obsessive about such things, but if the play's the thing for you, then you're likely to enjoy this release. It has a great premise behind it and wonderful actors carrying it out. Enjoy."
A Cute, Light Britcom
Tiggah | Calgary, Alberta Canada | 07/04/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"With theme music reminiscent of something written by the Partridge Family, Thick as Thieves is a light, enjoyable, little-known britcom from the early 1970s. Bob Hoskins stars as George Dobbs ("Dobbsy" as he's known to his mates), a thief who, as the series opens, has just been released from prison--only to find out that his wife, in the interim, has fallen in love and shacked up with his best friend and partner in crime, Stan (played by the late John Thaw (Inspector Morse--who would've been in his early thirties here and who sadly died of throat cancer in 2002)).
Problems arise when George returns home only to find that his wife, Annie, has no intention of giving the elbow to Stan, who's been a real handyman during George's absence, doing a lot of repairs and odd jobs that would never have gotten done otherwise; actually, one gets the feeling they wouldn't have gotten done even if George hadn't been in prison! As one can imagine, jealousy rears its head frequently as Stan and George each want to be Annie's number one, and the situations that arise are often of the "three's a crowd" variety.
The dvd set contains the entire series, which consists of eight 25-minute episodes. The series, which is serial in nature, was written by veteran comedy writers Dick Clement and Ian La Frenais (Porridge, Auf Wiedersehen Pet; La Frenais (sans Clement) was the screenwriter for the Lovejoy series). If you are familiar with and have enjoyed Clement and La Frenais' other works (particularly Porridge, which is the only other half-hour britcom mentioned and which is the most similar in style and tone to this one), then you may wish to give this one a try. Some episodes are better than others, of course, but all in all it's well-acted and features a strong (though small) cast.
Recommended to fans of British comedy--particularly to those who enjoy the older comedies and who are looking for something they've not seen before.