This was the second collection of programs released on DVD by HBO Video. There are four programs in this 2 disc collection and you'll find the links for each program in the right hand column of this page. There's also a link for the bonus features.
This was the second collection of programs released on DVD by HBO Video. There are four programs in this 2 disc collection and you'll find the links for each program in the right hand column of this page. There's also a link for the bonus features.
In order to accomodate those who do not have Pop-Up Support in their browsers, there are two links for each gallery. The Photos in the gallery are 500 pixels wide by 357 pixels high.
Cast: This program contains no cast or credits at the end, except: Producer – Director: Dennis Kirkland
This program starts with Bob Todd coming home to Sue, telling her of a coming storm in "On The Ledge". "Desert Island" has Benny being discovered by Abigail Higgins in the jungle. "The Weather Man" features Benny as a smart-assed weather caster with Jackie Wright. "Desert Island II" features Bob Todd making up a lovely and meaty stew for Benny… but where is "little Jackie"? "Baby Benny" is a brief sketch with Benny as a baby being given lessons on proper pronunciation.
The "opener" for this program is "Benny's Place", an excellent musical number with the girls behind Benny in western style outfits. Look for a young and dynamic Louise English. Lots of fun.
"The Loser" features Benny as a guy with really bad luck looking for a job. Look for Alison Bell when he delivers a package as a postman. Check out Clare Smalley when he tries to deliver a package to her window while she's removing her bra. Look for Louise as an "oar". Check out his suicide attempt at the end.
"TV Workout" is the first Hill's Angels routine on this disc and is one of the very best. It's also known as "Runaway" and "The Exercise Spa". It starts off with Benny and his wife played by Abigail Higgins on their honeymoon. She turns on the TV and tries to impress Benny with a sexy negligee but Benny's attention is on the TV set with the stirring sound of Benny's own voice saying, "Ladies and Gentleman, here they are, Hill's Angels!"
This routine features seven of the sexiest women ever to appear on the Benny Hill Show; Louise English, Sue Upton, Samantha Spencer-Lane, Clare Smalley, Julie Kirk, Julie Kerridge and Abigail Higgins. This routine is also a send-up, I believe, of the 20-minute workout and the aerobics craze in general of the early 1980's. Throughout this segment, we not only see the girls working out in the gym, but we also see them on the TV sets that different members of the cast are watching as well. There is a rather surreal quality to it in a way, since we are watching along with Benny, Henry, Jackie and anyone else in the show. The 20-minute workout was very controversial and it was men who made up the largest percentage of the viewers for that show.
The routine starts with Sam Lane, Clare Smalley and Julie Kirk stretching on the floor with Julie Kerridge, Abigail Higgins and Louise English jogging down the staircase at the back. As the camera pulls back, look for Julie Kirk almost losing her top as she is forced to adjust it while the cameras are rolling and she's doing "bicycle" exercises on the floor.
Next, we have Abigail, Louise and Julie Kerridge skipping rope. I like the parrots in the background, which is a nice touch. Louise and Sue jump rope together. Then we see a TV screen with Abigail and Clare with Benny watching and making "kissy" faces at the screen. His back is turned with a "dummy" attached to his back so he can "talk" to customers and watch the girls with us.
We look in on our newlyweds with Benny's gesture of breakfast in bed, which he places on Abigail's knee. Then he gets into bed, taking the breakfast for himself and continues watching the Angels.
The next close-up is on Clare Smalley working and sweating and then a look at Julie Kerridge and Abigail pairing up. We get a wonderful overhead shot of Sam Lane with a beaming smile and using weights. The music swells at this point and adds to the intensity of the moment. The camera pulls back and gives us a four shot of Sam with Julie Kirk, Louise and Clare.
The girls move forward and continue pumping iron. Sam and Louise dance with Sue and her hula-hoop in the background. Look for her dropping it at one point!
The next scene is a police station with Abigail being arrested by Henry McGee. Bob Todd brings in Benny and Benny and Abigail are put behind a large divider while Bob and Henry watch the routine with us. Benny helps Abigail escape by asking her to take off her stockings. The guys discover Benny with Abigail's stockings, underwear and skirt on his arms. Bob and Henry chase after Abigail and Benny steals their TV.
We then have an exciting shot of Clare and Louise dancing together, followed by Julie Kirk and then Abigail Higgins going over the hobbyhorse and tumbling on the mat as they hit the floor. Julie Kerridge does some nice leg lifts while hanging from the bars on the wall.
Next up, we see Cyril Cross put on some unusual shades, followed by Bob Todd putting on "Stained Glass Window" glasses to watch the girls with.
We then see Benny out with his wife, Bella Emberg. He is of course trying to watch to the girls with us while his wife is constantly babbling. Benny spills his drink on her, sets the menu on fire and Bob Todd douses her with a spritzer bottle, soaking her to the skin.
Then it's Benny's turn to play waiter to Henry McGee who also has a TV in front of him. Benny drops Henry's biscuit and pretends to exchange it for a fresh one.
We cut to Benny waiting on Jackie Wright and serving him dinner, which Jackie complains about. Benny of course takes the food into the alley and adds garbage to it.
Benny is watching the TV in the next shot and is so excited he pulls his ear off and looks up to notice the famous painting of Van Gogh with the bandage on his ear.
Next, watch Sam and Abigail swaying with big smiles on the TV screen. Benny says "Oh Look!" and the paintings and even the statue show amazement!
Louise, Clare and Julie lie on the floor and do "the scissors". The girls then line up side by side in two rows. Louise & Julie Kirk, followed by Abigail & Sam, Claire & Louise behind them and then finally Julie Kerridge who does some wonderful somersaults.
We then are taken back to the wall bars with Sam Lane and Julie Kirk doing some fine movements. Just look at the smile on Sam's face! She's absolutely beaming and she really seems to enjoy this routine.
Julie Kerridge has her leg over a ballerina bar and is shortly joined by Abigail, who lifts her leg very high.
The routine rounds out with Louise on the belt machine, Julie Kirk on an exercise bicycle, Sue on a rowing machine, Abigail and Clare together on a tanning bed and Julie Kerridge and Sam Lane on another tanning bed.
Finally, we get back to Abigail and Benny's wedding night. The phone rings and Benny is obviously excited until Abigail says to her girlfriend, "I can't talk to you now…. It's my wedding night. I'll ring you back in five minutes!"
This is quite probably the very best of the routines and the adrenaline level is very high. Another point is the very strong musical arrangement of the song "Runaway" (originally performed by Dell Shannon). Ronnie Aldrich's musical arrangements are also a highlight of the very best Angels routines. The selection of the music seemed very important to Benny and company.
"Year To Live" features a patient rushing into Benny's office and complaining that he was told he only had a year to live.
"Yield To The Dawn" is a wonderful series of short clips for a soap opera. The first features Benny and his wife (Helen Horton) as an old couple discussing past infidelities. The second has Benny's date "slipping into something more comfortable". The third is hysterical as Benny plays an old-fashioned country doctor looking in on Jackie Wright. Next, Benny plays a man who speaks highly of his deceased wife. Sue is seen in this one briefly. Next, Helen Horton complains to Benny about their maid being hired as a secretary… but the jokes on her. Finally we see the old couple again and Benny is on his deathbed with his wife discussing whether or not she will remarry. An excellent segment!
"Lean On My Crutch" is a send-up of "All In The Family". Helen Horton plays Benny's wife Miriam. This is not only a brilliant send-up of TV sitcoms, but the American family as well. Benny and the cast use the thickest Brooklyn accents you're ever likely to hear. The set has the feel of a low- income family and Benny sits on the couch reading an adult magazine. The essence of their relationship is summed up when Benny goes to answer the door and Miriam asks "You Okay?" Benny says "Yeah, Why?". She replies, "Ya moved!" Things get even hotter when Abigail Higgins is the one at the door who has come to borrow a cup of sugar and to ask for help unpacking as she's just moved in across the hall. She produces a 38B bra to carry the sugar in and Benny says, "Sure holds a lot doesn't it?" Brilliant. One of my favorites and Benny has an excellent cast with Helen Horton as his wife and Abigail as the girl next door. A Classic!
"Noise Abatement Society Dinner" is a quick and self-explanatory sketch.
"Marrying For Money" features Benny as a rich man running into a young woman looking for a rich man to marry. She even has a monocle to look more carefully at jewelry Benny gives her. After the wedding, she forces Benny to overeat, drink, pop pills, exert himself physically and do just about anything to kill him. She has an affair with a tennis player. Wait till you see what happens at her wedding to the tennis player! Look for a replacement for Jackie Wright in this one.
"Desert Island III" has Benny on a deserted island yelling for help from a passing plane. "The Georgian Dancers" is an unusual sketch, which features Benny as part of a group of Russian dancers doing a traditional circle dance, but you'll see that things get out of hand. Some interesting camerawork in this one. "The Other Men" has Benny asking Pat Ashton about the other men she's been with.
"The Scarlet Pimple" is a sketch like "Les 3 Mousquateres" or "Casanova" with Benny as the legendary lover, thief and rogue. He robs a bank and Bob Todd pursues him in a "car chase". He's arrested and Jackie helps him escape from prison. With Jackie as his partner, they set out to rescue Sue who's been arrested. Lots of great sight gags.
"Hollywood Grates: Chubby Dodds" is a tribute to a legendary Hollywood Star. This kind of sketch features Benny playing several different characters. He plays the host, Barry Normal, as well as a woman, a German director and an actor. Sue also appears as an actress taking direction from Benny as the German director. All of these characters have recollections of the late Chubby Dodds. Look for one hilarious scene with Louise (I think) and another girl dressed in Victorian costumes removing their clothes and turning to Benny. Hysterical! Benny is also great as the actor "Studs Ramrod" who flips between a masculine American actor type and effeminate "poofter". His tough guy image covers his real personality. This sketch shows Benny's incredible talent to play so many different types of characters.
"Chez Ben Grand Gala" is another Hill's Angels extravaganza and features many of those memorable girls on the beach at the beginning and in the disco sequence in the evening. My brother sometimes refers to this routine as "A Day At The Beach, A Night At The Disco". There are also plenty of great gags provided by Benny and the guys throughout and the costumes and musical arrangements by Ronnie Aldrich are first rate.
It starts on the beach with Sam Lane, Sue Upton and one other girl dancing to soft music. You can see the Hill's Angels poster in the background. Sam Lane looks incredible when she removes her robe and we see her in a stunning red bikini. She asks Benny in a very low voice, looped in during editing I assume, "Excuse me, but could you please tell me the time?" Benny turns to the next girl and she sits on an air mattress, which loses air making the trademark "fart" sound. Finally, Benny dances with Sue and she grins revealing some missing teeth, Benny releases her and she falls to the ground with a silly grin and a resounding "thud".
The song, "Let The Music Play" starts up at this point and we get a close-up of Julie Kerridge with a surfboard and wearing a tank top. A guy holds up a picture of Sue with the surfer girl going by and then Sue and another girl dance by in sexy bikinis and he chases after them.
We then get a wonderful close-up of Louise; the camera pulls back revealing Sam Lane, Clare Smalley and one other girl, all in bikinis. Jackie Wright is distracted looking at the girls in the same way as he was in "New York, New York". This time he drops ice cream on Bob Todd instead of buttering his hand.
Next, we see Henry McGee getting a closer look at Sam Lane in her bikini and waist bracelet. He puffs his cigarette and Pat Ashton exhales the plume of smoke. Then Benny hovers his hand over a bikini-clad sunbather, motioning as if he's rubbing her bottom.
We get another great close-up of Sam Lane, starting with her face and camera panning down the full length of her figure to reveal a snorkler at her feet. Next, Benny laughs at Bob Todd's tan lines.
Then, Benny and the other guy (who held the picture of Sue earlier) are surrounded by all of the girls on the beach and they both challenge each other to show their physical strength. Look for Sam, Louise, Clare, Sue and a few others. Benny also holds Sue above him, lifting her up and down, each time getting a kiss from her.
The next shot is famous as it features a girl (I think Clare) oiling down Louise's back. As the camera pans to the right we see Sam Lane, a girl who looks like one from "The Madame Louise Summer Collection" and Sue and an unknown girl oiling themselves down.
Meanwhile Benny is playing a ring toss game and his ring lands around Bob and Jackie's bottle of champagne, which he tries to take. They both pull his hair, but Benny finds nothing on their heads when he tries to pull theirs.
An unknown angel removes her top to avoid tan lines. Julie Kirk can be seen toweling herself. Benny can be seen in the back as well. Some girls climb the stairs he's standing next to so he can look up their dresses. He encourages Henry to look too, but Henry looks up some guy's kilt!
This routine then moves onto the evening outside the disco. Sam Lane wears a similar, see-through outfit, like she did in "New York, New York" and she's listening to her portable radio, which annoys Jackie Wright. Louise and Clare strut past them in spandex pants with a painter capturing their rears on canvas.
We then see a whole group of girls outside the disco and Benny carrying a tray of champagne on his head. This is actually a girl carrying the tray above her head. She's wearing a black top, with white nylons and garters. Can anyone pick this girl out? My brother thinks it is Louise. Then we see Jackie Wright standing beside a sign that has the shape of a pointing finger. Louise dances backwards, not realizing she's about to get poked in the butt. Jackie gets the slap in the face and then Henry McGee comes along in drag as his wife. Jackie gets the purse on the head! Jackie then goes to "La Discotheque" and we follow along.
Once inside, we see the hatcheck girl handing out tickets and so on. Is that Louise? As Bob Todd undoes his turban, we hear "Boogie Wonderland" begin to play and we get a large view of the discotheque set. In the dance section the girls sometimes wear more than one costume. Sue wears a nylon body stocking, Clare, a blond wig and a gold colored suit similar to the ones worn in "Wild West". Louise has a blue disco dress, but she also wears a black nylon bodysuit as well as a pink wig. Sam wears a blue wig and red nylon bodysuit.
First up is Sue and I think Lisa Maxwell, then a slow motion shot of Clare. Next is an incredible shot of Louise and Sam, both lifting their left legs into the air and looking up. I love that shot. We then get a close-up of Louise dancing with a mystery girl. Then Sam and Louise dance together. Then there is a close-up of Sue and the mystery girl turning their heads and looking at us while they embrace.
Then there's an excellent slow motion shot of Clare sliding down a pole. Sam stands next to Louise as they dance.
Next, Sue and Louise dance and then there is a slow motion shot of an unknown angel. A nice pan of Sue to another girl and then Sam Lane dancing in a blue wig. Benny walks along the floor with a stick in his hand and looks up a girl's dress. Classic.
Then there's a shot of Clare again and a wonderful shot of Louise wrapping herself around the disco pole. Next is an impressive slow motion shot of Sue into a split-screen effect. Very nice. This shot seems to be edited according to my brother. This shot kind of reminds me of some of the old ABBA videos for some reason.
In a larger shot, Benny accidentally rubs Henry's arm instead of the girl he's standing next to. All of the girls, plus a few unknowns are easily spotted on the disco set behind them.
We cut to an exterior of the disco with the young guy from the beach with two girls, all of them in motorcycle outfits. He actually "rides" them and then we are taken back to the beginning, with the three girls dancing on the beach and the soft music playing.
The great thing about this routine is that locations are ones we all remember from growing up. Whether it was a desire to get near that sexy girl in the bikini on the beach or that other girl at the school dance. The music in this routine really punctuates the "disco" feel of the routine or the free-spirited antics of a day at the beach. I also like the waist bracelets the girls wear on the beach. A fashion I don't think that has never been revived since the time of this routine.
"The Shopping List" features Benny as a tattooist writing a grocery list for a nagging wife. "The House Call" features Bob Todd as the Doctor looking after Jackie Wright.
"Circus Act" has Benny leading a circus company. He wears his clown outfit in this one. First, a turtle goes through a hoop. Then Louise comes out, giving Benny's tie a "lift". Julie Kerridge does an incredible hip swivel. Then Sue and Benny share a romantic moment. Sam Lane and a unicorn dance while Benny watches. A girl in a "nazi" style uniform comes out whipping Benny and barking out commands in German. She even rides on Benny's shoulders and slips into Benny's pants. Next, Louise does a ballet dance and an unknown girl comes out in leopard-skin outfit. Benny also pushes a girl like a wheelbarrow and there's even an operation with Sue and Julie Kerridge as nurses. Finally, a skeleton riding a bicycle chases everyone. After this is the "Association of Dentists Annual Dinner" with a "toast". "The Informer Interview" features Jackie Wright interviewed by Benny as a man wanted by gangsters.
"The Sling Shot" features Benny as a young brat who makes a sling shot and shoots it at buildings, skiers and a racecar driver. He then enters a club to see "Mahala" played by Corrine Russell. Corinne does her famous "Balloon Dance". Corinne does the splits, performs some high kicks, winks and blows kisses at us. She wears nothing but a pair of bikini underwear and has only the balloon to cover her top. But little Benny decides to use the slingshot on her with disastrous results!
"Big Poppa" is another brilliant Benny tour de force with Benny playing several different characters. Benny plays an ailing war veteran who has three sons (all played by Benny). Benny and his wife (Helen Horton) get a visit from Louise and her husband. Benny is "Big Poppa" and he's an old timer with a war wound. Unfortunately for Louise, she's traveled 400 miles "and not a restroom in sight!" Helen pours Lemonade for Benny in front of her and wait till you see where the toilet is!! I love it when Benny describes how the lemonade was made from "pure, crystal, clear water". Classic!
His first son Jake is a farmer and we see him collecting eggs with a goose in his coat. Wait till you see Sue's reaction as she lunches on a park bench. I also like the part where Bob Todd comes up and makes a huge complaint to Benny about picket fencing. The other son is Sheriff Jardine and his partner is Jackie Wright. Watch Benny's reaction when Jackie Wright says he looks pregnant. His third son is a Doctor named Albert who gets a call to look in on his father. Jackie Wright plays Benny's fourth son "Filbert"; "All those Saints names to choose from, and you had to name him after a nut!" A brilliant sketch and another one of my favorites.
"Track and Field" has Benny in a Mr. Scuttle hat with a whole series of gags and jokes surrounding a sporting event.
Another Hill's Angels routine is the "Street Dance", also known as "I Will Survive". For this program, the "News at Ten" section" was edited out and it starts out with the camera zooming in on a TV in a store-front window and Benny announcing "Hill's Angels".
This routine takes place in a street scene and features Sue Upton in green army fatigues. Louise English wears a limo driver suit. Julie Kirk and Sam Lane both wear Karate uniforms. Abigail Higgins wears a chauffeur's uniform. There is also a girl in a red leather dress that kind of looks like Corinne Russell and a girl in black motorcycle leathers.
The camera focuses on the TV set and into the street scene and pans right revealing Louise on the left, in the middle, the girl with the red leather dress, behind her, Julie Kirk and Sam Lane in karate outfits. To the far right, another mystery girl standing in front of a phone booth.
First, we have Julie and Sam dance together in their karate outfits, Sue appears in green army fatigues. A close-up on Louise pans back and revels the two unknown angels. The camera then gets a shot of Abigail Higgins in her chauffeur's uniform. The dance moves in this number include kicking, thrusting and chopping and the "I Will Survive" song has the girls showing some independence and feminine strength.
Sue dances with a girl in black leather in front of her motorcycle. After a shot of Abigail and the girl in the red leather dress, Julie and Sam do a karate dance; Louise and a beautiful blonde join them. The girl in red and the biker girl dance right past Sue. Sam and Julie dance in front of the blonde in fishnets. When they stand together, watch Julie accidentally "karate chop" Sam who is kneeling. You can see Julie laugh. Obviously, she was caught up in the moment and they never bothered to go back and change this. Sue, Louise and the girl in the red leather dress dance. We then get an overhead view of Abigail and the blonde sitting on tables.
A close-up of Louise has Sue letting her "fall" to the floor. This takes us to another close-up of Abigail with Sam and Julie Kirk on the right and the blonde standing on the table. I love it when Sam and Julie roll on the floor and all of the girls do the "shoulder shrug".
Then all the girls line up in front of the pictures of three men on the wall. Sue pulls out a pistol shooting each of them. Louise and Sam are not in the lineup with the other girls.
Benny uses TV's in this routine to great effect as he had in other routines like the "TV Workout" ("Runaway"). One TV shows Julie and Louise dancing in pretty dresses. Below that, another TV shows Benny doing some kind of nature show. He sees the girls in the TV above his (remember this all takes place in the store window). Benny's fingers appear in the TV set next to his, which has Benny again, this time in drag doing the news report. His hand gestures to Bob Todd who is doing a cooking show with Jackie Wright, also in drag. I love the surreal quality of this TV set gag as Bob literally walks from one TV screen to the next to join Benny. After Bob gathers some liquor bottles, Benny in drag rides off on his bicycle and the music changes to "Enough is Enough".
We look into another TV screen and see the girls dancing all over a car, just as they did in "New York, New York". Sue has to get up from dancing on the car and answer the phone. I can just imagine the conversation between Benny and Sue:
Benny: Would you girls care to come and have a party with Bob and I?
Sue: No way! (Shaking her head) We're too busy entertaining the guys watching us at home!
Benny: We've got lots of booze!
Sue: Oh well… that's totally different. Come on up!
Benny and Bob actually climb a ladder from their TV set to the one above. We get another great view of all of the girls on the car. Just watch the girls run for the liquor bottles. Julie Kirk brings glasses.
Meanwhile, Jackie senses someone is having a good time and goes after Bob with a rolling pin. Everybody is dancing and drinking when Jackie appears in the appropriate TV set and pokes the ceiling, a whole bunch of it coming down on him when Benny and Bob start dancing. Jackie climbs up and chases Benny and Bob off with the rolling pin.
The final shot is an excellent pan across the car of all the girls. A wonderful end to an exciting routine.
This program finishes with "Men In Kilts" and looks like it's actually the end piece to "Charlene's Angels" from the other program on this disc, "Video Spotlight".
Home Video Drive In features many incredible highlights from the Benny Hill Show and we really get to see a versatile and interesting program of sketches alongside some of the very best Hill's Angels segments. "Benny's Place" is an excellent musical number and "TV Workout" makes this program worth the price alone. "Hollywood Grates: Chubby Dodds" is a brilliant and ingenious creation from Benny and I always love it when Benny uses so many different accents and characters. The jokes are layered one on top of the other. "Chez Ben Grand Gala" is an amazing Hill's Angels segment with the girls dressed glamorously and looking as lovely as ever. The thing that adds so much to the Hill's Angels segments is the music and this cannot be stressed enough. The arrange ments of popular tunes like "Runaway", "I Will Survive" and "Boogie Wonderland" are actually superior to the originals and shows just how much time and care were put into the Hill's Angels segments. Libby Roberts and the other choreographers deserve credit for making these routines so memorable. "Big Poppa" is also another wonderful highlight with Benny showing his versatility once again at portraying so many faces and characters. A highly recommended program.