Holiday on the Buses (1973) Movie Review

Holiday on the Buses (1973)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Kate Williams and Bob Grant in Holiday on the Buses (1973)

Stan & Jack's Busman Holiday

After writing off not one but two buses as well as the depot manager's car in one go, Stan (Reg Varney - The Best Pair of Legs in the Business) and Jack (Bob Grant) find themselves out of work and on the dole line with Blakey (Stephen Lewis). With work in short supply close to home Stan and Jack take a job at a Pontins holiday camp, ferrying holiday makers from the train station to the camp and around the tourist attractions. But to their horror they discover that Blakey is already there having got a job as head of security and has a thing going on with the camp's nurse (Kate Williams). Whilst the holiday camp offers up plenty of attractive women for the friends to try their luck with, when Stan's family arrives it leads to one calamity after another.

Stan trying it on with a younger woman, Blakey at his wits end and Arthur moaning at Olive the whole time whilst one cheap laugh is followed by another as well as some innuendo. That single sentence not only describes every episode of "On the Buses" but each of the three movies especially "Holiday on the Buses" the third of the spin-off movies which were made in the 70s. But whilst modern audiences who stumble across "Holiday on the Buses" might find it dated, and offensive in a politically incorrect sort of way, for those who grew up on the British comedies of the 70s probably will find it a trip down memory lane as well as a reminder of life in the 70s when families went to holiday camps.

Anna Karen in Holiday on the Buses (1973)

In a way knowing what you are going to get with "Holiday on the Buses" is part of its charm be it Stan constantly getting his attempts to pick up a young woman blocked or Blakey falling foul of one of their escapades. And we get a lot of these escapades and the ensuing calamities in this third movie be it Olive ending up in a muddy river or there being a close shave with a low bridge. None of it is surprising, some of it is occasionally clever but mostly it is cheap and obvious with a lot of daftness going on with the actors, especially Anna Karen, happily making a fool of themselves.

But "Holiday on the Buses" has something else which not necessarily makes it better or even more memorable but for fans of older British comedies a lot of fun. What I am on about is the supporting cast as whilst all the regulars show up there are also Wilfrid Brambell, Kate Williams and Arthur Mullard who is a frightening site in a pair of shorts.

What this all boils down to is that "Holiday on the Buses" is more of the same when it comes to the movies as whilst the story takes us to a Pontins holiday camp it is all about the calamity and Stan's failed attempts to score with a younger woman.

Tags: British TV Shows & Their Movies