Sooty and Sweep (1963)

Sooty and Sweep star in ‘We Dispense With Accuracy’ on BFI Mediatheque.

For those of us of ‘a certain age’ Sooty and Sweep were stalwarts of our childhood, along with Andy Pandy and Captain Scarlett. This 10 minute gem from 1963 gives us the opportunity to revisit those more innocent times.

Set in a pharmacy, chaos and hilarity ensue as Sooty and Sweep try to find a suitable wedding anniversary gift for Harry Corbett’s wife.

Sooty is the ever helpful assistant while Sweep is his willing stooge. The visual gags come thick and fast and the slapstick nature of the action is reminiscent of Laurel and Hardy at their very best.

Sooty suggests everything from lipstick to a perfume called ‘Pong’, all demonstrated on Sweep, for Harry’s wife. Sooty then advises a thinning Harry to try out some hair restorer and uses Sweep as his guinea pig (or should that be guinea dog?) with some ‘hair-raising’ results.

There is a very believable relationship between Harry, Sooty and Sweep, and Harry seems genuinely amused by what’s happening. It’s amazing how much emotion is conveyed through the mute bear and the squeaky dog through the genius of Harry and the unseen puppeteer of Sweep.

Sooty and Sweep are a great double act in the same vein as Ant and Dec – and about the same size. This is a wonderful trip down memory lane for older viewers and a fresh delight for a younger generation more accustomed to finding their entertainment through ‘shoot ‘em up’ computer games. Sometimes you just can’t beat the adventures of a bear and a dog in a pharmacy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.