epiphany_maria (epiphany_maria) wrote,

Raffles (1977) Review, Part 1

This tv show is based on the E.W. Hornung stories (He was Arthur Conan Doyle's brother in law). Raffles (Anthony Valentine) is a gentleman thief and Bunny (Christopher Strauli) is his BFF/sidekick.

The Amateur Cracksman
The pilot ep. The street looks like a soundstage and Anthony Valentine went from this to being in 'Coronation Street' and abducting Simon Barlow because his father Peter is a drunk bigamist with the parenting abilities of a polecat.

Anyway Raffles is always on the front pages of the papers as he is a famous cricket player. He also wears ugly blazers and has a good spinning finger. Bunny and Raffles are our villain protagonists. Bunny is a bit dim as Raffles plots to steal a tacky looking diamond and sapphire necklace. This is rather homoerotic.

Anyway their comic nemesis Inspector MacKenzie of Scotland Yard suspects them. But Raffles and Bunny are to busy being camp and blathering away in bizarre cricket lingo to care. Raffles does not care about cricket, only the access it gains him to the best houses. After the necklace heist the duo have to deal with an escapee from Dartmoor. This was excellent.

Best Lines:
"He only got into the eleven at Harrow by stopping there til he was 20."

"One whiskey, I'm all right. More than one, I want to kill people."

"They might find something to my discredit."

"It's a damned difficult thing to knock yourself out with a poker."

The First Step
This 1st ep of the actual series takes us back to Raffles and Bunny's first meeting. Raffles lives at the Albany and Bunny loses money at cards to two jerks. Bunny's stupid and Raffles is not nice. Raffles decides to help Bunny. The whole Raffles/Bunny partnership in the stories is disturbing with a master/servant vibe. The tv version softens it and makes it more affectionate.

An annoying woman causes problems. There's comedy with an idiot copper. Raffles steals a tiara. Bunny enjoys being lured into crime and Raffles is unashamed. However neither want to lose their places in society or their status as gentlemen. This is mediocre.

Best Lines:
"What is this?"
"It is a sponge bag. So called because it is meant for carrying sponges."

A Costume Piece
Raffles and Bunny's club holds a dinner for a rich blighter named Mr Rosenthall and his heavy Mr Purvis. Bunny and Raffles who seem to spend every waking moment together plot to steal the blighter's diamonds. Bunny helps Raffles dress and Raffles reads a 'Sherlock Holmes' book.

I won't dwell on the fact that Rosenthall's household is made up of two blowsy women and African servants whose only lines are: "Ya boss." Anyway Raffles and Bunny get to stealing while wearing only tiny domino masks. However Raffles hasn't been as clever as he thought and Bunny is menaced and shots are fired.

This is okay. Raffles is clever and intermittently likable and charming but he is also selfish. Bunny is far more devoted to him than Raffles deserves, also Bunny is not very bright where Raffles is concerned.

Best Lines:
"Here am I, trying all kinds of dodges, beggng at the door, hiding in the shrubbery."

"Read your paper and look disgusted."

"Right then Mr Burglar, off to the station with you."
Tags: raffles

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