The press book was released by Rank, distributors of The Boys in Blue. It contains a number of resources for cinemas, local press and businesses to promote the film.
Lack of crime in the dozy English village of Dorminster is due entirely to the unceasing money-making efforts of the two local policemen, Sergeant Tommy Cannon and Constable Bobby Ball. Typically, Bobby is the prime mover in the carefully organised private enterprise set-up the boys operate at their police sub-station. Bobby’s adjoining super supermarket flourishes not only because he is charm personified but because he happily makes emergency grocery deliveries in the police car. And an inter-connecting door between shop and station allows him to devote equal time to serving and taking bets on the police phone.
Tommy benefits from the set-up and worries for the two of them about their ten-year undetected crime record. It is a situation that does not escape the eagle eye of the County’s Chief Constable, Eric Sykes. Having personally suffered the idiot behaviour of Tommy and Bobby when they try to drive a herd of cows down a village high street blocked by a truck, towing a river cruiser, Eric issue Dorminster sub-station closure notices.
The boys in blue rise to the occasion by planning a crime that they can subsequently solve to prevent their redundancy. Since they have been notified of a major art theft, recovering paintings from a local smuggler’s cove suggests itself as the perfect way to keep their jobs.
They look for likely suspects and fatefully settle on Edward Judd, and turn to the accommodating cockney lord of the manor, Roy Kinnear, for assistance. They even offer aid to the crafty coastguard, Jon Pertwee, who attaches a smuggler’s guide-light to the police station roof.
Their increasingly insane attempts to save the station and their jobs inevitably involve them with the actual art robbers who have devised an updated legend of the headless horseman – a prowling UFO – to keeplocals indoors while the art treasures are smuggled out.
The concluding chase sequence has the boys commandeering a pig farmer’s motor-cycle and side-car, plus pig, and a double decker bus – plus terrified passengers.
The hilarious ending is tempered by several surprises as goodies turn out to be baddies and vice versa.
The Boys in Blue disappear in the distance to an age-old refrain with an ironically up-to-date lyric:-
“I break the law and you will pay,
We’re gonna nick ya anyway, ‘
You would do anythin’ if we let cha, let cha,
You get in trouble, we don’t mind,
We like to see you pay your fines,
Come back another day, we’d like to see ya, see ya.
We’re the boys in blue, woo-wa-woo-woo,
We’re the boys in blue, woo-wa-woo-woo,
And we like it helpin’ you,
We’re the boys in blue.
CANNON & BALL are a comedy double-act with a difference. Their act blends comedy with pathos, and hinges on the constant conflict between the suave Tommy Cannon and the scruffy-suited, leg shaking character of Bobby Ball. Their ‘Rock on, Tommy’ catchphrase is perhaps the most repeated in the country.
Tommy and Bobby don’t go in for self analysis. Their present day act has evolved from an initial friendship between two Oldham welders, who got together to form a singing act and their genuine friendship and total respect for each other ultimately led to the formation of Cannon & Ball. The act began in the early sixties, on a semi-professional basis with Tommy and Bobby supplementing their incomes as welders by entertaining in local clubs.
By the time they turned professional they were already established in their native North of England, but their ambition was to achieve stardom – and no one can doubt that they have now realised this ambition.
The over-riding factor during all their years together has been their unique friendship. They don’t try to kid anyone that they never argue. But their friendship – both on and off stage – is there for all to see. They were mates during their factory-floor days, and today, as TV, cabaret and theatre stars, the only way to describe them is as mates.
Indeed, when they are introduced as ‘a couple of the lads,’ Cannon & Ball are delighted.
“We have no pretensions,” says Tommy Cannon, “we’re a couple of ordinary fellas enjoying what we do best of all – entertaining people and making them laugh. Bobby and I can talk for hours about showbiz and our own act. We have never been the types to sit still. Even today we are constantly changing our act and looking for new and fresh TV ideas.
“I suppose it’s taken us a long time to make a major breakthrough, but we’re now glad that we have so much experience behind us. Our television shows have made an enormous difference. Suddenly we are known to millions of viewers, yet we still find it hard to come to terms with being recognised by the general public.
“We’re not knocking that – we love it. The important thing to us, as people, is that we haven’t changed in our attitudes. We’re still Tommy and Bobby to everyone, and get a kick when someone shouts: ‘Rock on, Tommy’ in the street.”
The Cannon & Ball story is based on hard work, determination and talent. Their regular TV series for LWT have opened the doors to national stardom, but they are by no means the proverbial ‘overnight stars.’
Indeed, Cannon & Ball have long been established as one of clubland’s funniest double acts, and are the only entertainers to have won three separate National Club awards.
The first time they won the award it led to several TV guest spots, but real television success continued to elude them until London Weekend Television signed them for their first ever series.
Prior to this major breakthrough, Tommy and Bobby appeared to have been dogged by bad-luck when it came to TV exposure. And their debut series proved no exception. After just two shows had been screened ITV was hit by a long running dispute, and it wasn’t until the end of 1979 that Cannon & Ball were able to prove their popularity as TV entertainers.
“We’re a couple of worriers by nature,” says Tommy, “and it was a terrific disappointment to see our series interrupted in that way. We also came in for a lot of leg-pulling from within show business, where we were affectionately nicknamed ‘Cannon & Blackout.’ “
But they managed to have the last laugh, because when the series was finally screened it proved to be a great success.
“We were delighted with the response from the public,” says Bobby, “because our type of humour is not easy to portray on television. We also had good reson for being more worried than usual. Up to that point things hadn’t exactly gone smoothly with our TV work, and even today we still shudder when we look back to our TV debut in the now defunct ‘Opportunity knocks.’ “
That came several years ago, and Tommy and Bobby were still in the transitional stage with their act. Few people can recall the appearance today, but Cannon & Ball realise that it was a turning point for them. Their lack of success actually helped them!
“It was an absolute disaster at the time,” recalls Tommy. “We went on full of confidence, but our impact was such that we failed to budge the studio clapometer! We were the proverbial ‘Opportunity Flops,’and yet through our disappointment we were able to view our future with far more honesty.
“At that time singing was our forte, so we set about re-structuring the act. Bobby leaned more on his comedy attributes, and his ‘scruffy’ stage image was mirrored by my suave appearance. Since them we’ve built-up the act through our experience as live entertainers, but there is no way in which we could be described as a conventional comedy double act.
“We try to combine all elements, including cross-talk patter, knockabout comedy, pathos and of course singing. In truth we are comedy entertainers, and our No. 1 priority is to make the biggest possible impact through our TV shows and now of course films, with “THE BOYS IN BLUE”.”
Illustrated are THE BOYS IN BLUE with their Mini-Metro Police car. Use this still in car showrooms, car accessories shop windows – also try to arrange promotional sales test drives with theatre patrons and car dealers in your local area. Slipping the car with THE BOYS IN BLUE Logo, Theatre and playdate.
11 x 14 Still Ref: BB2 £1.55 each
In this hilarious comedy scene a public bus is commandeered for a crazy chase by THE BOYS IN BLUE. On the side can clearly be seen reference to Rothmans Kingsize (cigarettes). Arrange window or counter displays in supermarkets, tobacco kiosks, newsagents, pubs and clubs using this key still.
11 x 14 Still Ref: BB1 £1.55 each
Your key still
A real attention-getter, it will prove really eyecatching as a photographic blow-up, lifesize or even larger.
We suggest you make full use of this key accessory for: lobby – front-of-house – canopy – store windows – promotions – tie-ups – exhibitions – composite advertising – away-from-theatre – carnival floats – marquee – standee cut-outs
– street stunts – outdoor advertising – record tie-ups – railway stations – bus depots – sportsgrounds.
Be really daring! Mount on hardboard for F.O.H. and store window displays to promote “THE BOYS IN BLUE” you’ll be on to a BIG WINNER
BEAT THE BURGLAR CAMPAIGN
A big ‘Beat the Burglar’ theme can be the basis of a huge local campaign that would include the press, local police, leaflet distribution scheme etc. The promotion could centre around a theatre foyer ‘Beat The Burglar’ display in conjunction with your local Police Station.
A ‘Beat The Burglar’ leaflet and poster campaign plugging the film and listing several ideas on how to ‘beat the burglar’ could be organised in conjunction with the Police – using local youth club members to distribute the leaflets door-to-door.
All vehicles used in this could carry film publicity to plug the theme ‘BEAT THE BURGLAR WITH “THE BOYS IN BLUE” ‘.
Invite letters from members of the public on the theme of ‘MY FUNNIEST POLICE STORY’. This could be arranged to tie-in with the theatre campaign to promote the image of good relations with the Police.
Publish the winning letters in the press, or display them on a board in your foyer. As prizes offer them guest tickets to see “THE BOYS IN BLUE” at your theatre.
WE ARE “THE BOYS IN BLUE”
There are many football teams around the country who play in blue strip – here’s an ideal opportunity to plug “THE BOYS IN BLUE”. Get “THE BOYS IN BLUE” record played over the Public Address system at every home match; arrange for team members to visit the theatre for photographs in your local newspaper with the heading ‘ “THE BOYS IN BLUE” MEET THE BOYS IN BLUE’. Arrange for the teams who play in a blue strip to play special charity matches locally with cinema tickets as prizes.
REACHING THE FAMILY
Mothers as well as children of all ages are likely to be among your best ambassadors for a comedy of this kind…so a special campaign-within-a-campaign, aimed at reaching as many mothers and youngsters as possible, would be particularly advantageous.
You can reach the youngsters by…Leaflets, distributed with comics and junior newspapers. Keep them simple and direct in their message.
Mothers can be reached through Mothers Unions, Women’s Institute, Keep Fit classes etc.
Generate interest by emphasising the enormous success of their stage shows, together with their nationally rated TV series.
Write a Caption Contest
Win press space with this eye-catching newspaper competition block!
WHAT DO YOU THINK TOMMY CANNON AND BOBBY BALL ARE SAYING IN THIS SCENE FROM “THE BOYS IN BLUE”?
Ask entrants to fill in the blank spaces in both the balloon captions, in 15 words or less. The winners are the senders of the funniest, most witty or descriptive captions. Offer prizes of double guest tickets to see “THE BOYS IN BLUE”.
This competition block is ideal for Local Newspapers, Composite Pages, House Magazines or Leaflet Promotions to publicise “THE BOYS IN BLUE”.
Illustrated above is the single FP908 available on the Music For Pleasure label. …Don’t forget to play THE BOYS IN BLUE music over your theatre’s non synch. …Make sure that your local Radio Stations receive free copies of the Single from the film to play on their programme.
Single available from: RANK FILM DISTRIBUTORS PRESS OFFICE. Special promotional hanging cards for this record are available direct from Music for Pleasure Tel: 01-561 3125
10″ x 8″ Coloured Stills. Hire Fee £1.75 per set of 8.
The charge for 10″ x 8″ Stills is based upon prompt return after playdate. Failure to return may incur additional charges and ultimately a considerable increase in the hire fees.
SPECIAL “TEASER” TRAILERS, RUNNING TIME APPROXIMATELY 1 MIN
ARE AVAILABLE FREE OF CHARGE FROM SCREEN SERVICE USE THEM WELL IN ADVANCE OF YOUR NORMAL TRAILER
Our intrepid guardians of the law, Sgt. Cannon and Constable Ball discuss Kim’s (Suzanne Danielle) grocery order, which they deliver in the Police Car from their own secret privately owned supermarket and betting shop.
BLOCK No: 9
TV’s Cannon and Ball make their movie debut in the riotous comedy THE BOYS IN BLUE and get hot on the crime trail by motorbike and sidecar.
BLOCK No: 11
Constable Ball, camouflaged in S.A.S. undercover combat disguise misjudges his direction and lands in the pig swill tank during the Police raid on the Gang’s hideout.
BLOCK No: 12
Panic sets in as Sgt. Cannon informs Constable Ball that the Chief Constable intends to close their Station and make them redundant from the Force due to their ten year undetected crime record.
BLOCK No: 10
Our BOYS IN BLUE Sgt. Cannon and Constable Ball are arrested mistakenly as thieves during a confused and hectic Police chase, when they drive off with a public bus full of passengers after their car has crashed.
BLOCK No: 13
Editorial Blocks are FREE of charge and should be ordered from: Ad. Sales Dept., IM.S.S. Ltd., 15 Wadsworth Road, Greenford, Middlesex, UB6 7JIM.