The Best Pair of Legs in the Business (1973)   3/53/53/53/53/5

Johnny Briggs and Reg Varney in The Best Pair of Legs in the Business (1973)

Camping it Up at the Camp

Sherry Sheridan (Reg Varney) is a female impersonator who has been working at a holiday camp for quite a while with his long suffering wife Mary (Diana Coupland). But not only is Sherry very much rooted in the past with his agent dropping him but Mary has had enough of his selfish attitude and is tempted to leave him for the owner of the park. His son is just as tired by his father's ways especially as he is planning on marrying a parson's daughter and is ashamed of his father. Meanwhile there is plenty going on on the holiday camp, caravan park with a couple of young men hoping to get lucky, but first they need to navigate the complexities of buying condoms from a chemists.

You can split "The Best Pair of Legs in the Business" in two with one half of the movie focusing on Sherry Sheridan, an old fashioned holiday camp performer who camps it up, dresses as a woman and like a clown puts a smile on, trying to keep the visitors entertained. Yet we see behind the facade things are certainly not rosy with even Sherry's wife having tired of being his support, putting up with doing what he wants and listening him moan about things are not going his way. Plus of course there is also the whole aspect of Sherry always trying to antagonise people with his act, especially his son. It is this side of the movie where Reg Varney shines as he brings out the depth of sorrow when it comes to his life, career and relationships; he gives the movie that sense of tragedy.

But then there is the other side of "The Best Pair of Legs in the Business" and that is the nostalgic aspect of a 1970s holiday camp and the entertainment. As such we have the smoke filled hall where Sherry performs, the pool where families mingle and of course randy young men hoping to get lucky with a couple of women guests. The thing is that whilst entertaining and works nicely alongside the tragic drama side of the story it isn't the best look at the holiday camp culture. Although, it is amusing to see Johnny Briggs as a barman with tight trousers and big hair.

What this all boils down to is that "The Best Pair of Legs in the Business" is a solid tragic comedy which has a decent cast, nicely written characters and some good scenes to establish the era. But for me it lacks some thing to make it more than an interesting drama from the past.


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