On The Buses was a bawdy long-running ITV sitcom popular on the channel during the late 60s and early 70s. It was about a chirpy cockney bus driver, his family and his colleagues at work. It starred Reg Varney together with Bob Grant as his clippy, Doris Hare as his mum, Stephen Lewis as his fatalistic Inspector, Michael Robbins as his brother-in-law and Anna Karen (still appearing semi-regularly in EastEnders as the wheelchair bound Aunt Sal) as his sister Olive. The success of the show lead quickly to three feature films being made.
There are two infamous pieces of trivia about the 'On The Buses' movies - well-known to movie buffs but sure to raise an eyebrow from those with only a passing interest in the medium.
1. The first 'On The Buses' movie was the biggest box office earner in the UK in 1971. It beat Get Carter and Diamonds Are Forever - both also released the same year (though the latter was only released in December. OTB was released in the summer).
2. They were made by Hammer Films - a UK studio more synonomous with the production of stylish horror films. As if to differentiate the films from their horror counterparts, each of the On The Buses films opens with a large caption "A Hammer Comedy Special Presentation" - just so's you know.
Here's a selection of cinema posters based on 70s sitcoms that are more suited to Hammer's traditional output.
A further selection can be found by clicking here.
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