Review

A star rating of 3 out of 5.

While some half-hour sitcoms feel stretched over the running time of a spin-off movie, Porridge, a relatively belated big-screen promotion for the Ronnie Barker prison chamber piece (the series had ended in 1977 while sequel Going Straight had been and gone), feels entirely comfortable in its extended form. This is largely thanks to a tightly focused plot from series creators Dick Clement (who also directs) and Ian La Frenais, involving an escape arranged to correspond with an inmates-versus-celebrities football match. Barker's Fletch and Richard Beckinsale's Godber are haplessly mixed up in this plot (designed to spring an armed robber) and have to break back into prison. Series regulars Peter Vaughan, Brian Wilde, Fulton Mackay and Sam Kelly are joined by younger lags Daniel Peacock and Karl Howman (and the Godot-like presence of David "Diddy" Hamilton, one of the celebs), but all feels reassuringly familiar in terms of affable pace and laconic tone. As with the best of the TV show, the presence of a firearm provides a shocking jolt of reality amid the genial knockabout.

How to watch

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Credits

Cast

rolename
Norman FletcherRonnie Barker
Lennie GodberRichard Beckinsale
MackayFulton Mackay
BarrowcloughBrian Wilde
"Grouty"Peter Vaughan
BainbridgeJulian Holloway
GovernorGeoffrey Bayldon
BealeChristopher Godwin
OakesBarrie Rutter
RudgeDaniel Peacock
WarrenSam Kelly
McClarenTony Osoba
MorganPaul Barber

Crew

rolename
DirectorDick Clement

Details

Languages
English
Available on
video and DVD
Formats
Colour

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