The Last Remake of Beau Geste (1977)

Genres - Comedy  |   Sub-Genres - Parody/Spoof  |   Run Time - 83 min.  |   Countries - United States   |   MPAA Rating - PG
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There are a number of very funny moments in The Last Remake of Beau Geste, some so amusing that it makes the viewer regret that the film as a whole is just barely adequate. As might be expected, given director/writer/star Marty Feldman's appearances in Young Frankenstein and Silent Movie, Geste's humor is very much in the Mel Brooks mode. If that means that it is wild, silly, irreverent, and ribald, it also means that it is terribly hit-and-miss, with the misses far outweighing the hits herein. Geste also suffers from a script that has only the barest hint of a plot, is totally unfocused, and features numerous sequences that could be cut without any harm to the film as a whole. Still, there are those highlights -- particularly the jail break scene, the wall safe, and Sergeant Markov's collection of prosthetics -- that do come along often enough to provide a few guffaws. The quality of the script hampers many of the very fine cast, but Peter Ustinov is excellent, Michael York surprisingly at ease, and Ann-Margret delightful. Feldman himself comes and goes and unfortunately doesn't have sufficient star presence to hold the film together. A disappointment, but it is the kind of film that's good to watch while doing something else, so that the viewer can catch the good parts and ignore everything else.