Saturday, 4 November 2017

50s Dad - Percy Herbert

There's a very funny routine in one of Ricky Gervais' stand up shows where 'the chubby funster' likens the Old Testament depiction of God to '50s Dad' someone with little patience and who is quick to use his belt.

I wonder if Gervais was thinking of Percy Herbert's role as the father of Andrew Ray and Cliff Richard (in his debut film role) in the 1959 film Serious Charge



I've previously blogged about this curio here and it's recently popped up on (where else but) Talking Pictures. It's a strange little offering that still feels pretty daring with its accusation of child molestation against an innocent clergyman, yet is somewhat uneven in tone whenever it attempts to showcase Cliff's singing talents. But Herbert is very striking in his supporting role and the character truly is 50s Dad; a man who believes every situation is to be resolved with a flogging from his belt. He removes it threateningly twice in the film, uttering the immortal line "You know the taste of this, boy"

In a fortnight in which there have been calls for a UK wide ban on smacking children, following Scotland's pioneering ban, it's good to think that '50s Dad is really becoming a thing of the past.

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