Noises Off - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Noises Off Reviews

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May 20, 2013
Works better as a theater piece but the terrific cast really makes it special.
May 10, 2013
A funny film with non-stop momentum. Great performances abound!
May 9, 2013
If you have the chance to see this on stage: DO IT! It is one of the funniest shows I have ever seen and to see the comedy of errors pulled off in real time is that much more admirable. That element is lost in a film version, but it is still highly entertaining.
½ March 25, 2013
The Farce of Backstage

I've done little theatre, but I have, at that, done a little theatre. Despite the fact that this makes certain scenes funnier to me than to other people, it seems that a lot of theatre people really dislike it. This, I am given to understand, is because this isn't a very good adaptation of the source play. I suppose at some point, I will track down a copy of the play and read it, and then, I will have an opinion. However, for now, it reminds me with pleasure of school and community theatre experiences from when I was in high school. I've done a little bit of acting and a little bit of tech, and I really enjoyed it. Not quite enough to have sought out opportunities to do it as an adult, but enough so that I get quite a lot of jokes in the movie in ways that the average person does not. I guess this manages to make me the movie's ideal audience, being somewhere between average and a Theatre Person.

Lloyd Fellowes (Michael Caine) is the nominal director of the American version of a British farce called [i]Nothing On[/i]. Dotty Otley (Carol Burnett) plays the batty housekeeper, Mrs. Clackett. She is in a relationship with Garry Lejeune (John Ritter), who plays Roger Tramplemaine, who works for the estate agent and who is hoping to sleep with Vicki (Nicollette Sheridan), played by Brooke Ashton, herself sleeping with Lloyd. The house is owned by Philip (Christopher Reeve) and Flavia (Marilu Henner) Brent, played by Frederick Dallas and Belinda Blair, who I'm pretty sure are sleeping with one another all along. The house is being robbed by just some random burglar (Denholm Elliott in his final role), played by deaf and drunk Selsdon Mowbray. The movie starts with the opening on Broadway, but we flash back to the dress rehearsal in Des Moines, a matinee in Miami Beach, and an evening show in Cleveland. However, what's more important than the show is the interactions of the actors.

The matinee in Miami Beach is, hands down, the best part. Lloyd has come down from New York, where he's directing [i]Hamlet[/i] in Queens, because Brooke is threatening to quit. Garry is convinced that Dotty is sleeping with Freddy and is determined to get his revenge. Lloyd needs stage manager Tim Allgood (Mark Linn-Baker) to buy flowers for Brooke, but assistant stage manager Poppy Taylor (Julie Hagerty) thinks they're for her. He also brought a bottle of whiskey, which Selsdon thinks is his. Or ought to be, anyway. So there's an enormous amount of conflict, and it's all taking place backstage. And because it's backstage, and because it's during a show, it's all done in whispers, gestures, and other attempts to prevent the audience from being aware that anything is happening other than the play they've paid to see. Possibly the best part is the reactions of the backstage guard (J. Christopher Sullivan), who doesn't get a single line. Which I suppose means I should be grateful he's credited at all.

To be honest, I've never liked the fact that Lloyd is directing two shows at once, especially given that one is barely above community theatre and one is on its way to Broadway. It doesn't seem fair to either production. I mean, the hope is that [i]Nothing On[/i] can be good enough to really be a success on Broadway, and it's quite clear that the kinks haven't exactly been hammered out in Cleveland, much less by Miami Beach. This isn't much like something that's debuting on Broadway having never been on a proper stage before, something that's going through previews to find out what works and what doesn't. We see a bus ad that says that this has been a London smash hit, so the only possible changes are to Americanize it, and you don't want to do that too much given that it's a proper British farce. However, it's quite clear that the actors need the work. Dotty, who's such an old hand that she's financing the production in part, doesn't even always get her lines right.

To be further honest, I think one of the reasons some theatre people don't much like this production is that actors don't really come across very well in it. This may be true in the original play as well, I admit, and it's true that I don't know. However, there's Garry, who can't talk unless he's scripted. There's Freddy, who's always admitting he's stupid about whatever has come up this time. There's Brooke, who manages to be the dumbest one in the show. And, yes, there's Selsdon the drunk. Come to that, Lloyd is no prince, either. I can understand his frustration, because his actors are pretty much morons. However, he's not very nice to his backstage people, and he needs Tim about as much as anyone. It's a complicated play technically, full of doors and sardines and foley and things, and he needs them to work or else it doesn't matter what's going on in front of the audience. At the dress, Tim is basically said not to have slept for days. Lloyd is still a jerk to him. He isn't even sleeping with Tim.
½ March 4, 2013
Can't remember this to save my life. Peter Bogdanovich really lost his touch later in his career.
January 7, 2013
I love this movie! There seems to be poor reviews all around this flick and perhaps only by the harshest and theatre focused critics. As a person who watches movie and almost rarely see's theatre and who saw this movie before any knowledge of it being a theatre production, found the unique blend of famous celebrity faces and zany characters bonded by the fast pace of the script and story line, found this film to be refreshing, witty, outrageous and very funny.

Of course by the end I shouted out "This would make a great play" and apparantely it is a great one. Perhaps it's like a Cirque du Soleil event. Live is the absolute only way to go, otherwise there genuinely is no point.

But remember, I've never seen the live version of this gem, to me, it's a favorite classic comedy film filled with antics, wit, slapstick. It's one that I love from the 90's and recommend to anyone who appreciates a laugh.
December 28, 2012
Filme divertido, mas sem grandes pretensões.
December 8, 2012
One of my top four funniest movies ever (along with The Jerk, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie)
½ December 2, 2012
Hysterically funny, and what a cast!
½ December 2, 2012
Hysterically funny, and what a cast!
½ October 27, 2012
I just don't find these wacky goings on behind the scenes of a play humourous. Loaded cast with good acting and well liked on IMDB. I suspect senior citizens find this outrageously funny.
October 11, 2012
A wonderful, hysterical film (and play) that my kids and I can pretty much recite by heart.
September 16, 2012
What's happening on stage is nothing compared to what's happening backstage. Cool story.
August 7, 2012
Not an unpleasant way to spend a couple of hours. Great cast. The film has some amusing bits, but, obviously, you feel this was originally a theatre play - although it's hard to see how they could have done it that differently without ruining the essence. The farce timing is very good - a Bogdanovich strength.
½ July 1, 2012
It's not as good as the stage play but the deliveries of the actors make this worthwhile.
June 29, 2012
Cause Kristy said so.
June 8, 2012
OMG be prepared, this movie is wet your pants funny
½ May 6, 2012
Buy it! Such a well done movie. I'm interested in seeing it on stage, but honestly not sure how they'll pull of some of the backstage gags from the movie which are the best. I agree that the beginning is slow, but the second half more than compensates. In fact once you begin rewatching it, you don't even realize how slow it starts. I do agree that the ending is a bit abrupt, but that's probably appropriate.
April 22, 2012
i would rather see the stage performance. this version didnt quite cut it
April 22, 2012
i would rather see the stage performance. this version didnt quite cut it
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