Must See Vintage Films: The Adventures of Barry McKenzie

aristos, barry humphries, films, Foale and Tuffin, haute naffness, irvine sellars, katy manning, peter cook, take 6, zandra rhodes

Ok, so perhaps the term ‘must see’ is not necessarily going to apply to most [sane] people, but if you’ve got an appetite for the naff, kitsch or questionable tastes in life (and as a reader of my blog, I fear this may be the case…) then The Adventures of Barry McKenzie (1972) should be right up your street.

The film is based on the comic strip from Private Eye, written by Barry Humphries and illustrated by Nicholas Garland, and follows the eponymous Aussie hero as he fulfills his dead father’s wish to expand his cultural horizons in London. Ending up in Earl’s Court (where else?) a series of mishaps and misunderstandings lead Barry to an unspeakable dénouement in a TV studio. I am not even going to attempt to explain that.

Barry, Barry and Willie Rushton

Starring Barry Humphries in an early outing as plain old Mrs Edna Everage, Barry Crocker as our hero (Crocker is now married to Miss Peelpants-favourite Katy Manning and is best known to us ‘Pommy Bastards’ as the original singer of the Neighbours theme tune), and with cameos by Spike Milligan and Peter Cook, it is certainly quite an amazing period piece. Demonstrated perfectly with an incredible, possibly unique, shot of Barry and a friend walking down Marlborough Court. Yes, you can see Irvine Sellars ‘Mates’ boutique, Take 6, Aristos and Foale and Tuffin!!! Much excitement abounded….

Further still, one young lady is slinking around her apartment in the most perfect Zandra Rhodes outfit….

And then Peter Cook manages to floor me with a fabulous Betty Grable-printed t-shirt. I have no idea who this is by, so if any menswear geeks ever find out – please do let me know!