Adventures of a Private Eye DVD review

Jon Pertwee and Diana Dors can't redeem an old British film that perhaps should have stayed in the archives...

The Adventures trilogy - out on DVD

The nudity starts almost immediately. The appalling jokes kick in about four seconds later. And when I say ‘appalling’, I don’t mean ‘appallingly funny’, or even ‘so appalling it’s funny’. I mean that this is the worst film I have ever seen. In my whole life. Probably in several other lives.

The basic story has all the originality of a room full of stereotypes. An assistant at a private detective agency is left in charge whilst his boss goes away on ‘private business’, e.g. meeting a load of women. This is not difficult to figure out by the fact that he has naked versions acting as his secretaries. It really is that blatant. Of course, when Mr Assistant is left to his own devices the secretary he’s provided with has glasses and buck teeth but thinks she is the most sexually-attractive female on the planet. Can anybody say ‘teeth-clenchingly awful’?

Mr Assistant (Christopher Neil), who is not supposed to be taking cases on his own because of his massive incompetence, finds a more attractive woman – to him, anyway – bursting through the door saying that he’s got to help her urgently. Of course, the case revolves around some pictures of her taken in compromising positions with a man and a stick of rock. Are you tired yet?

He goes off to stay at some big house, and gets himself into trouble with a woman who sees it fit to go boating mostly naked. In one of the most excruciating scenes ever filmed, he falls into the water, they both take their clothes off, have sex in the boat to the rhythm of a passing coxed eight (who also fall in the water) and get caught by a tabloid newspaper. If you think this sounds remotely amusing, it is not. In fact, by this point the likelihood is that you won’t even be watching the film any more because you’ll be asleep.

Ad – content continues below

Yes, a film centred entirely around sex and bad jokes has no redeeming features whatsoever. There is not one single scene, character, line or situation here which has any entertainment about it at all. The actors, who include some incredibly famous names such as Diana Dors and Jon Pertwee, seem to be quite enjoying it (in the case of the latter, even when a spinning fan hits him in the trouser region). What a pity they didn’t leave any enjoyment for the audience.

The extras include a completely pointless photo gallery (you might as well just press ‘pause’), dreadful trailers for Private Eye, Plumber’s Mate and Taxi Driver, and a commentary by director Stanley Long. “I like to start a comedy off with a laugh…and, in fact, finish with a laugh,” he says. As there weren’t any in the script, this clearly proved challenging. You might be happy if you find any of the following situations funny: man mistakenly gets into bed with another man; adultery; clothes removed by a bus door; penis caught by mousetrap; BDSM-obsessed housewife; child called ‘Willy’ catches mother on the sofa with younger man; séance where noises are made by someone hiding under the table; detective can’t remember the number ‘999’. If these fail to impress you, there is nothing for you here.

And PS: the one thing you will remember is the theme tune, penned and performed by Christopher Neil himself, but that’s only because it has the same effect as “I Know A Song That Will Get On Your Nerves”.

The Adventures Trilogy is released on 22nd May.