Marti biopic would have been better film

Maxine Peake in Funny Cow.
Maxine Peake in Funny Cow.
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The newly released film, Funny Cow, isn’t at all funny, not that it was meant to be of course.

A more appropriate title would have been, Poor Cow, but that name was given to a movie starring Carol White which was released in the late Seventies which coincidentally is the era in which this new film is set.

Some thought that Funny Cow was the life story of our much missed comedienne Marti Caine. I don’t think it is, even though the central character lives in our city and is unnamed. In my opinion it would have been a better film if it actually was a biopic of the Sheffield star.

The BBC did a drama which followed the life of Vivienne “spend, spend, spend” Nicholson some years ago and the advantage they had was that they did not have to rely too much on fiction, which of course the new film does.

The story line of Funny Cow jumps around the years making it difficult for the audience to follow the heroine’s route from battered and downtrodden wife to successful, sports car-driving star. At one moment she is doing an unpaid 10-minute slot in a working mens club being mercilessly heckled, then in the next slot she is at the top of the tree. Would that it be so easy!

It is a film worth seeing. The brief appearances of Bobby Knutt and Duggie Brown gave the right feel as to how life was in the male-dominated Seventies.

It was pity none of the lead actors had local accents and that the outdoor scenes were not filmed in Sheffield.

Younger viewers will find it an uncomfortable experience.

This country HAS come a long way in the last 40 years. I noted the good-hearted teasing the scriptwriters gave to our neighbours in Rotherham, Doncaster and Mansfield.

I have always got the impression that Sheffield people think themselves a cut above those in surrounding areas.

Andrew Stafford

Trap Lane, Sheffield, S11