Man Overboard – Stanley Long’s ‘Adventures of a Pulmber’s Mate’ (1978)

21 Dec

Released in 1978, Adventures of a Plumber’s Mate was the final film in Stanley Long’s Adventures of trilogy. The three films were made to rival the more successful Confessions of series and this last installment doesn’t live up to its predecessor Adventures of a Private Eye.

Sid is a London plumber, bordering on being broke and on the verge of being evicted from his flat. He needs to find cash and fast. His first job see’s him replace a rather old and very heavy toilet seat with a modern plastic one. His reward? Getting to sleep with the customer, whose husband Billy phones to say he’s been released from prison just as they’re about to do the dirty. Cue a slightly amusing scene which illustrates the importance of keeping the keys to your handcuffs nearby if you need to get away quickly… Sid takes the seat with him as he leaves and sells it to a local junk shop, where it’s later bought by an old man. Turns out the toilet seat is actually made from melted down stolen gold (painted brown to look like wood, obviously) and poor Sid ends up with Billy on his trail, desperate to get his goods back. Sid also has some gangsters Guy Ritchie would be proud of after him and if he doesn’t pay them back, they’re going to put him in hospital. What follows are some random set ups in which Sid tries his damn hardest to get some quick money, only to be rewarded at the end of the film by the old man who bought the toilet seat from the junk shop. Turns out he was actually a Police Constable and after a lead on Billy. What a coincidence.

Adventures of a Plumber’s Mate is the weakest of the trilogy, with Private Eye being the strongest and the first film Adventures of a Taxi Driver coming in at second place. Christopher Neil is back for his second film in the series, this time playing Sid, and proves that he has far more natural acting talent and comic timing then Barry Evans who starred in Long’s first Adventures of feature. Throw in lots of topless ladies and a few minor laughs and you’ve got yourself the picture. When it comes to sex, us British are great at laughing at it but by this point in the series there just aren’t any fresh jokes left to make. The film is more than a little boring for quite a lot of the time. Still, there are one or two scenes that should get a tiny chuckle out of you, namely a swingers party and some nifty ways at taking women’s clothes off…

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