Eric Morecambe and Ernie Wise in That Riviera Touch (1966)

Costa del Claudette

Following an unfortunate mix-up with a member of the Royal Family, London traffic wardens Eric and Ernie head off in their vintage car to the South of France for a short holiday. But they find themselves unwittingly in the middle of trouble when a criminal plans to use them to smuggle some jewellery out of the country whilst another gang tries to steal the jewellery from them. To make matters worse the villa they are staying in is full of secret passages and trap doors whilst the friends find themselves vying for the same young woman, Claudette (Suzanne Lloyd) who is involved in the whole things.

Having grown up in a household where my father loved watching Morecambe & Wise when ever they were on, including every repeat, I went through the love, hate relationship with them which now has developed in to I appreciate how good they were as a double act. Unfortunately having been forced to watch Morecambe & Wise as a child means that I can now only stomach them in small doses and watching them for 98 minutes is simply too much. And that is the trouble watching "That Riviera Touch" now because for all the great timing between the British double act it still ends up hard work.

Suzanne Lloyd in That Riviera Touch (1966)

The trouble with "That Riviera Touch" comes down to two things; one of which is that the whole smuggling storyline with Eric & Ernie unwittingly in the middle of things is not strong enough as a vehicle not only for the humour but to keep the storyline moving. But there is also the casting issue as whilst Suzanne Lloyd is a beautiful and talented actress this movie needed other famous faces in cameo roles to give the movie some character variation because 98 minutes of Eric & Ernie is hard work. And to be honest whilst there are some genuinely funny scenes such as when Eric mimes to Ernie's singing many of the jokes end up repetitive and a little weak with even Eric & Ernie struggling to make the jokes work.

What this all boils down to is that "That Riviera Touch" probably is a lot of fun for those who still love the comedy of Morecambe & Wise but for those who only enjoy them in small doses this pushes your patience a little.