Rising Damp
Rising Damp
| 02 September 1974 (USA)
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  • Reviews

    The Worst Film Ever

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    Pretty Good

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    At first rather annoying in its heavy emphasis on reenactments, this movie ultimately proves fascinating, simply because the complicated, highly dramatic tale it tells still almost defies belief.

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    Mandeep Tyson

    The acting in this movie is really good.

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    Ikenna Nwabueze

    The sitcom was indeed one of the best from Uk. A lot of people in Britain will be surprised to learn that the sitcom is often on TV in countries in Africa. I fell in love with it a long time ago when I first saw an episode in Africa. Just watched an episode on ITV today (2015) and could not stop laughing. Rigsby got into a boxing match with Philip. The plot was hilarious. I can understand why some people find the comedy racist in today's PC world.In my view the writers were using the sitcom to educate people with views similar to those of Rigsby back then. If they succeeded in changing the thinking a few such people then they achieved a lot. That crusade is still relevant today.I don't find it racist even after years in the Uk as a black man. Art is a great way to initiate change and in my view to seek to remove from TV anything that we perceive as controversial or uncomfortable is a wrong approach.

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    My wife and I recently re watched this show after many years, and although it has all the markings of a great sit-com - hilarious story lines, superb acting etc - I really could not sit through more than a handful of episodes. The reason? It is just cringingly racist. Although Rigsby is supposed to be the bigot, I found myself inwardly cringing at some of De La Tour's and Beckinsale's lines too.I'm not an overly politically correct type of person - 'Till death do us part' is, in my opinion, a hilarious comedy and my personal favourite from this era is 'On the buses', a show which often featured jokes that could be described as questionable by todays standards.I can only think that a large proportion of the jokes in this show used racism as a replacement for good writing.

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    Make no mistake Rising Damp is the best t.v comedy of the 70's and of all-time! The programme revolves around the most lecherous, cantankerous, nasty, racist, rude mannered person you are ever likely to see on British television. Yet despite all this it's hard not to feel sorry for landlord Rupert Rigsby (played to perfection by the late Leonard Rossiter) as you certainly get the feeling that he is a victim a circumstance and this leads to his sometimes tactless approach to life.Rigsby was very much in love with Miss Jones (one of his tenants) and this led to some of the show's most hilarious scenes with him trying and failing miserably to get her attention romantically. Thankfully the scriptwriters didn't go the same way that most most forthcoming American t.v shows would go with the two leads eventually getting together after many mishaps (Moonlighting, 6 Million dollar man and Lois and Clark to name but few) as this would have done to rising damp what it did to them (effectively killed them off).Another key part of the programme was the relationship between Phillip (Don Warrington playing a fellow tenant at rigsby's flat) and rigsby. Phillip used to flirt like mad with Miss Jones (mainly to annoy Rigsby) and miss Jones adored Phillip whilst Rigsby was always left being sidelined but still defiant and trying everything in his power to come between them. Also living in rigsby's place of residence Was Alan (played superbly by the late Richard Beckinsale who died far too young) who was a student with many opposing views to rigsby's. This led to many great comedic arguments (mainly about the permissive society) between them and created some of the programme's greatest moments (and there were many). A semi-regular character was next door neighbour Spooner an ex-army boxer who also from time to time would but rigsby in his place. All in all this is a fantastic ensemble comedy with marvellous spot on performances from the main leads and is a comedy that should be treasured for years to come.

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    'Rising Damp' was recently repeated on I.T.V.-1 in an afternoon slot, and some chump wrote an angry letter to 'Teletext', claiming that the show 'was axed due to its racist content'. Nobody bothered to correct him. 'Rising Damp' ran for four successful seasons in the '70's, only coming to an end because it had reached the end of its natural life. Yes, 'Rigsby' is ignorant when it comes to foreign cultures, but a racist? I think not. If he were, he'd never have tolerated Philip in his house, son of a chieftain or not. Besides, the complainant seems to have overlooked Frances De La Tour's wonderfully prissy 'Ruth', Don Warrington as the clever and charming Phillip, the late Richard Beckinsale as naive medical student 'Alan' and, of course, the magnificent, much-missed Leonard Rossiter as the seedy landlord 'Rigsby'. This superb cast, combined with the fabulous scripts by Eric Chappell, made 'Rising Damp' a classic, one that has not diminished with age. I pity those unable to appreciate its greatness.

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