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Spike Milligan
Beau Geste
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And Finally

The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977)

lastremakebeau.jpg
Identical twins - it's really difficult to tell them apart!

beaugest.jpg
Spike as the servant is on the right

How one responded to The Last Remake of Beau Geste depended largely on how one responded to its star, pop-eyed comic Marty Feldman (who also directed the film from a screenplay he wrote with Chris Allen, and a story he wrote with Sam Bobrick).

As its title suggested, the film spoofed most Foreign Legion films, but particularly William Wellman's celebrated 1939 Paramount adventure (which starred Gary Cooper). In fact, scenes from the original movie were irreverently intercut into this version.

Feldman cast himself as the twin brother of Michael York, and if the rest of the film had been consistent with this piece of inspired lunacy, he might have had a hit on his hands.

But Feldman's undisciplined, hit-and-miss approach to comedy ultimately let him down and, apart from a handful of amusing sight-gags, it was left to a cast that included Peter Ustinov, Ann-Margret, James Earl Jones (as an Anglicised Arab), Trevor Howard (as Sir Hector Geste), Spike Milligan (as Sir Hector's elderly servant), Terry Thomas, Roy Kinnear and Irene Handl to help bolster the fun.

'Twin' brothers (one is Feldman and the other Michael York) trying to escape from their wicked and voluptuous step-mother, join the French foreign legion. This uproarious comedy marked Feldman's directorial debut.



Starring



Marty Feldman, Ann-Margret, Michael York, Peter Ustinov, James Earl Jones

mike@spikemilligan.co.uk