4 out of 10

Release Date: 14th February 2013

Director: Ray Cooney

Cast: Danny Dyer, Denise Van Outen, Sarah Harding, Neil Morrissey, Kellie Shirley, Nicholas Le Prevost, Ben Cartwright, Jeffrey Holland, Derek Griffiths, Nick Wilton, Carli Norris with Lionel Blair and Christopher Biggins 

Featured famous extras: Judi Dench, Richard Briers, Robin Askwith, Sylvia Syms, Barry Cryer, Cliff Richard, Rolf Harris, Russ Abbott, Bernard Cribbins, Bill Pertwee, Brian Murphy, Ray Cooney, Vicki Michelle, Jenny Seagrove, Linda Hayden, Liza Goddard, Su Pollard, Andrew Sachs, Mark Wingett, Geoffrey Palmer, Derren Nesbitt, Timothy West, Prunella Scales, Donald Sinden with Maureen Lipman and June Whitfield

Writer: Ray Cooney & John Luton


To be proofread: The film version of Run For Your Wife is as notorious as the AIDS virus.  The film was that contagious and terrible to UK film critics that they wore condoms on their heads to attend the premier. The thing is is that the makers and critics have both made grave errors. Stage director and impresario Ray Cooney and his legion of stars from the golden age of UK TV have made a movie out of time and the critics have missed the point.  If you were to play Run For Your Wife alongside Carry OnDoctor In The House, On The Buses, any Robin Askwith sex comedy, George and Mildred or Rising Damp you’d be hard pressed to tell the difference in tone.  This movie was blatantly made for fans of the above and the TV shows that had the same style of humour.  The humour is old hat but to many it’s still as funny today as it was 40 years ago. It’s sad that the Run For Your Wife film arrived so late / or the play was created so late (although the play was a massive West End hit that ran for 8 years???).  As a massive exercise in UK filmmaking it’s turned out to be an embarrassing mis-step. It’s target audience are all parked in the old people’s home or rarely venture out to the cinema more than once a year to see the annual equivalent of Quartet or The King’s Speech.  So to the headline, it famously made £600.00 at a cinema in Leicester Square that charges £15-20 per ticket.  A further nail in Danny Dyer’s career coffin? Well for this Britpic amateur journalist I’d say not. I will go on record as saying in his defence that at least he tried to do something different.  And if farce is your thing then Run For Your Wife is really no different from the  film versions of Noises Off or Blame It On the Bellboy (which still aren’t classics but are competent enough to entertain).

Run For Your Wife sees bigomist John Smith (DANNY DYER – VENDETTA) try to keep his secret out of the open when he screws his carefully balanced schedule of juggling two wives (DENISE VAN OUTEN – LOVE HONOUR AND OBEY) and (SARAH HARDING) after getting sent to hospital after a intervening in a late night fight. He enlists the help of his dumb neighbour (NEIL MORRISSEY – CLUBBED) to throw his two wives, the police, journalists and a cavalcade of 1970s/80s stars straining for a full two seconds each on-screen, off the scent. Misunderstandings compound the deceit to mildly humorous effect and I must admit to laughing once or twice (maybe three times – sexually transmitted spots?!)

I think the biggest laugh was out of embarrassment for Danny Dyer when he steps on a rake and goes cross eyed before falling over! What a hoot!  This style of acting doesn’t belong in a  21st Centruy film though, it belongs in a village hall with all your neighbours dressed up in drag and forgetting their lines. You half expect Danny Dyer to knock on your door afterwards with a bucket collecting change for the local rotary club.  BUT since it has been made and it exists, I have to admit that I liked it a whole lot more than the legion of dog-tired horrors, Essex Boy Landrover murder flicks, lame heist movies and dire Royal-centric biopics that stand for a national film industry these days.  I guarantee that you will not see another NEW film like Run For Your Wife for a very very long time and I’m all for a bit of originality.  The critics couldn’t see past their Danny Dyer-bashing to actually settle down and watch a completely lunatic throwback of which kind, there’ll never be another.

4 out of 10 – Far from classic, but this is NOT the Danny Dyer dog you’re looking for. He’s done a lot worse many times over.  On a Britpic scale it’s middle of the road but that’s because we make so much crap produced in this country. On a world wide scale it’s lucky to scrape a 3.  It’s also fun to spot all the celebs. See the list below. Can you spot them all?  I missed Cliff Richard and Russ Abbott!


  • Danny Dyer: Eastenders (TV), Assassin (2015), Blood shot, The Hooligan FactoryVendetta, Lemon La Vida Loca (TV), Plebs (TV), DeviationFreerunner,  The Age Of Heroes,  7Lives,  Basement, Pimp, Malice In Wonderland,  Just For The RecordDead Man RunningDead CertThe Devil’s Playground,Jack SaidCity RatsDoghouse, Adulthood,  Straightheads, Outlaw (2007), Severance, The Other Half, Borstal Boy, The Business, The Football Factory, Wasp (short), Mean Machine, High Heels and Low Lifes, Goodbye Charlie Bright, Greenfingers, The Trench, Human Traffic
  • Denise Van Outen: Love Honour and Obey, The Big Breakfast (TV)
  • Sarah Harding: St Trinians 2
  • Neil Morrissey: Line Of Duty (TV), Bob The Builder (voice), Waterloo Road (TV), Clubbed, Triggermen, The Match, Men Behaving Badly (TV), Up N’ Under, Boon (TV), Staggered, I Bought a Vampire Motorcycle
  • Kellie Shirley: Shame The DevilGBH, The Grind, Baseline, Eastenders (TV)
  • Nicholas Le Prevost: The Jewel In The Crown (TV)
  • Jeffrey Holland: Oh Doctor Beeching (TV),  You Rang M’Lord (TV), The Russ Abbott Show (TV), Hi-De-Hi (TV), The Kenny Everett Show (TV)
  • Derek Griffiths: Gallowwalkers, Fierce Creatures, Super Ted (voice) (TV), Rising Damp Movie, Watership Down (voice), Playschool (TV)
  • Nick Wilton: Eastenders (TV), Carrott’s Lib (TV)
  • Carli Norris: Hollyoaks (TV)
  • Lionel Blair: Strictly Come Dancing(TV), Absolute Beginners, Give Us a Clue (TV), The Plank, The Cool Mikado
  • Christopher Biggins: Psychoville (TV), Blow Dry, Circus, Decadence, Poldark (TV), Porridge (TV), The Rocky Horror Picture Show
  • Judi Dench: Tulip Fever, James Bond – Spectre, Second Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, PhilomenaJames Bond – Skyfall,  Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, J. Edgar, My Week With Marilyn, Jane Eyre (2011), Pirates Of The Caribbean 4, Nine, Notes On A Scandal, James Bond – Golden Eye, James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, James Bond – The World Is Not Enough, James Bond – Die Another Day, James Bond – Casino Royale, James Bond – Quantum Of Solace, Mrs Henderson Presents, Pride & Prejudice (2005), Ladies In Lavender, The Chronicles Of Riddick, The Importance Of Being Earnest, The Shipping News, Iris, Chocolat, Tea With Mussolini, Shakespeare In Love, Hamlet (1995), Mrs Brown, Jack & Sarah, Henry V (1989), A Handful Of Dust, 84 Charing Cross Road, A Room With a View
  • Richard Briers: Cockneys vs. Zombies, As You Like It (2006), Monarch Of The Glen (TV), Roobarb (voice – TV), Peter Pan (2003), Love’s Labours Lost, Spice World, Hamlet (1996),  In The Bleak Midwinter, Frankenstein (1994), Much Ado About Nothing, Peter’s Friends, Henry V, A Chorus Of Disapproval, All In Good Faith (TV),  Dr Who (TV), The Good Life (TV),  Watership Down (voice)
  • Robin Askwith: Eastenders (TV), Britannia Hospital, The Legend Of Harrow Woods, Let’s Get Laid, Stand Up Virgin Soldiers, Confessions From a Holiday Camp, Queen Kong, Confessions of a Driving Instructor, Confessions Of a Window Cleaner, Carry On Girls, No Sex Please We’re British, Horror Hospital, The Flesh and Blood Snow, The Canterbury Tales (1972), All Coppers Are.., Bless This House, If
  • Sylvia Syms: Bunny and The Bull, Is Anybody There?, The Queen, I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead, Food Of Love, Peak Practice (TV), Staggered, Dirty Weekend, Shirley Valentine, A Chorus Of Disapproval, Absolute Beginners, Ice Cold In Alex, Expresso Bongo
  • Cliff Richard: Two a Penny, Finders Keepers, Swingers’ Paradise, Summer Holiday, Expresso Bongo
  • Rolf Harris: Animal Hospital (TV), Rolf’s Cartoon Time (TV), The Rolf Harris Show (TV)
  • Russ Abbott: The Russ Abbott Show (TV)
  • Bernard Cribbins: Old Jack’s Boat (TV), Dr Who (TV), Coronation St (TV), Blackball, Carry On Columbus, Jackanory (TV), The Plank, The Water Babies, The Wombles (voice)(TV), Cribbins (TV), Carry On Spying, Carry On Jack
  • Bill Pertwee:  What’s Up Nurse?, What’s Up Superdoc?, Dad’s Army (TV), Carry On Girls, Carry On Loving
  • Brian Murphy: The Estate, Last Of The Summer Wine (TV), The Catherine Tate Show (TV), The Booze Cruise 3 (TV), Booze Cruise 2 (TV), The Booze Cruise (TV), George and Mildred (TV),  The Plank, Man About The House (TV), The Devils
  • Vicki Michelle: ‘Allo Allo (TV)
  • Jenny Seagrove: Judge John Deed (TV), Bullseye!, The Guardian, A Chorus Of Disapproval, Local Hero, Moonlighting (1982)
  • Linda Hayden: Stalker, Blood On Satan’s Claw, Taste The Blood Of Dracula
  • Liza Goddard: Woof (TV), Bergerac (TV), Dr Who (TV), The Plank
  • Su Pollard: Oh Doctor Beeching (TV), You Rang M’Lord (TV), Hi-De-Hi (TV)
  • Andrew Sachs:  Quartet, Coronation Street (TV), The Mystery Of Edwin Drood, Revenge Of The Pink Panther, Fawlty Towers (TV)
  • Mark Wingett: I Am Hooligan, Green Street 3, Snow White & The Huntsman, War Of The Dead, Intruders, Franklyn, The Bill (TV), Quadrophenia
  • Geoffrey Palmer: W/E, As Time Goes By (TV), The Pink Panther 2,  Peter Pan (2002),  Anna & The King, Mrs Brown, Stiff Upper Lips, James Bond – Tomorrow Never Dies, The Madness Of King George III, A Fish Called Wanda, A Zed and Two Noughts, Clockwise, Butterflies (TV), Fall and Rise Of Reginald Perrin (TV)
  • Derren Nesbitt: The Hot Potato, Double X (1992), Bullseye, Where Eagles Dare, The Blue Max, Dr Who (TV)
  • Donald Sinden: Judge John Deed (TV), Never The Twain (TV)
  • Timothy West: Coronation St (TV), Iris, 102 Dalmatians, Ever After, Cry Freedom, The Thirty Nine Steps, Day Of The Jackal, The Looking Glass War
  • Prunella Scales: Horrible Henry, Johnny English, An Ideal Husband, Mad Cows, Stiff Upper Lips, An Awfully Big Adventure, Second Best, Wolf, Howard’s End, A Chorus Of Disapproval, Fawlty Towers (TV), Boys From Brazil, The Hound Of The Baskervilles, Jackanory (TV)
  • Maureen Lipman: Coronation St (TV), The Pianist, Captain Jack, Solomon & Gaenor, Carry On Columbus, National Lampoon’s European Vacation, Educating Rita, P’Tang Yang Kipperbang, The Wildcats Of St. Trinians
  • June Whitfield: Absolutely Fabulous (TV), Last Of The Summer Wine (TV), Jude, Carry On Columbus, Terry and June (TV), Carry On Girls, Bless The House, Carry On Abroad, The Benny Hill Show (TV),  Carry On Nurse, The Tony Hancock Show (TV)

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