Saturday, 8 March 2014

Never Mind The Quality Feel The Width (1973)

The 1970s saw a trend for making big screen versions of popular TV sitcoms featuring the original TV casts. A list of them appears at the bottom of this post.

All of them have been released on video and/or DVD with one exception:-  The 1973 film version of Never Mind The Quality Feel The Width has never been commercially released on video or DVD, nor shown on TV since maybe the 1980s.  Which seems somewhat odd for what was a regular mainstream film.

Never Mind The Quality Feel The Width was the story of two tailors, one Catholic and the other Jewish, going into a business partnership.  It started life as a one-off comedy drama in ITV's Armchair Theatre series in 1967 starring John Bluthal and Frank Finlay. It was soon commissioned as a full series made as a sitcom with Joe Lynch taking over from Frank Finlay.  This began later in 1967 and lasted for 40 episodes over six series until 1971.  The feature film spin-off came in 1973.

According to contemporaneous information noted by a site contributor the film was shown on ITV on 27 July 1978.  The contributor noted at the time that it contained topless scenes featuring Wendy King and Hilary Labow.

Now a confirming clip has emerged on YouTube taken from a vintage Yorkshire TV broadcast of it.  This 12 minute compilation clip was posted by actress Wendy King herself as a showcase of her performance and features all the scenes she was in (or what must be most of them anyway) including her topless scene which takes place on a building ledge.  The clip also features the end credits which show Wendy King was one of the main stars of the film according to the prominence of her placing (4th).  Hilary Labow is nearer the end of the credits and presumably had a much smaller role.  Her scene(s) do not appear in the clip.

YouTube Clip:

The sitcom has been released as a DVD box set which contains all the episodes that still survive (29 of 40).  As for the feature film itself, the BFI are known to hold a 35mm print for hire so perhaps they will release it one day.

Wendy King
Above is an image of Wendy King taken from the clip.  I don't have an image of Hilary Labow from the film in question, but the image below is of her from another film from the same year entitled Sex Farm which is an obscure sex comedy genre film by Arnold L Miller which has recently turned up.  She was the star of that film alongside actress Amber Kammer.

Hilary Labow

List of 70s Sitcom Spin off films
  • Are You Being Served? (1977)
  • Bless This House (1972)
  • Dad's Army (1971)
  • Father Dear Father (1972)
  • For the Love of Ada (1972)
  • George and Mildred (1980)
  • The Likely Lads (1976)
  • Love Thy Neighbour (1973)
  • The Lovers (1973)
  • Man About the House (1974)
  • Nearest and Dearest (1972)
  • Never Mind The Quality Feel The Width (1973)
  • On the Buses (1971) / Mutiny on the Buses (1972) / Holiday on the Buses (1973)
  • Please Sir! (1971)
  • Porridge (1979)
  • Rising Damp (1980)
  • Steptoe and Son (1972) / Steptoe and Son Ride Again (1973)
  • That's Your Funeral (1972)
  • Till Death Us Do Part (1969) / The Alf Garnett Saga (1972)
  • Up Pompeii (1971) / Up the Chastity Belt (1971) / Up the Front (1972)


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