Wednesday, December 28, 2005

On the Buses

One of the low points of the Christmas TV schedules was the appearance of two of the On the Buses films. has some interesting observations on what the awfulness of these films reveals about the 1970s:
It was quite a shock watching the film. It was a reminder of how greatly Britain has changed since the early 70s. For starters, the constant leeriness towards women, the assumption that any vaguely attractive woman was nothing more than mattress-fodder, makes even yours truly - no fan of political correctness - feel uneasy. One of the main themes of the story is how the manager, in a drive to improve the efficiency of the layabout male staff, decides to hire a group of women drivers. The men regard this move as a disaster and a threat to "their" jobs (probably correctly). What is particularly striking is how the shop steward of the bus-drivers' union makes it clear that as far as his union is concerned, women have no place in a bus, except either as a customer or as someone he can molest.
Quite right, and it is worth pausing a moment to reflect that the first of these films was the top British box-office film in 1971, surpassing even the James Bond movie Diamonds Are Forever.

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