The Benny Hill Show Wikia
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Nor Iron Bars A Cage...! is a short film/sketch that appeared on the "The Benny Hill Show" on January 26, 1977. It appears as a stand-alone short film rather as a parody of another film or a regular sketch in the series.
The film covers the lives of three incarcerated criminals named Benny (Benny Hill), Jackie (Jackie Wright) and Eddie (Eddie Connor). Among them, Benny is living in partial luxury with three lady friends (Jenny Lee-Wright, Jenny Westbrook and Sue Upton) while reading about overcrowding in the prison system. A female guard (probably Suzy Mandel) comes in, drags the girls away from him and takes him out to the exercize while slapping him on the head, but once outside, Benny and Jackie use a board to escape. Catapulting Jackie over the wall, he then tries to climb over on a rope ladder, which Jackie neglects to secure and Benny instead pulls it over the wall. Eddie meanwhile escapes after meeting and exchanging places with his girlfriend (Suzy Mandel) in the visitors room. While being taken back to maximum security, Benny escapes while obscured behind a Madame Ada's deliver van and handcuffing his guard (Eddie Buchanan) to a naked female mannequin. When the guard trips and struggles to get up, a lady (Jenny Westbrook?) starts hitting him with her purse because it looks like he's performing a lewd act. Beyond the prison, Benny, Eddie and Jackie catch up with each other at an old shed and hide inside, but the guard (Eddie?) catches up with them. They still manage to escape dressed like Oliver Hardy, Stan Laurel and Charlie Chaplin.
A short time ever, the three catch up with each other at a hotel and pick each others pockets. Benny teaches them how to steal a drink by asking the time from a by-stander (Eddie) and getting him to pour his beer into his glass as he twists his wrist to check his watch. When Jackie attempts the same trick with a lady (Suzy Mandel), she turns her wrist in the other direction and pours her drink over his suit.
Out on the street, the three escapees hide their faces from a police woman (Jenny Lee-Wright) arresting a bill poster (Eddie Buchanan) as they start their spree of robbing banks. When they attempt to rob the Barcland Bank, a violinist (Sue) accidentally intercepts Jackie's violin case with their tommy gun. Left with just the violin, they masquerade as street performers. (Jenny Westbrook drops coins into Benny's cap.) When the lady officer recognizes them, they have to split up with Benny heading to Biggin Hill, Eddie off to Short House and Jackie sent to Littlehampton.
On his own, Benny manages to elude the police and is almost caught after ripping down one of his police posters. (Jenny Lee-Wright is the police officer again.) Working as a street performer, he sets himself up scouting the Midlays Bank in Cockfosters, London in order to commit one juge haul. To pull it off, they check into the Knuckle's Boarding House and tunnel through a wall into the safe. Unfortunately, their measurements are off and they end up tunneling into a bathroom. The police meanwhile spring on them and arrest them coming out of the boarding house.
Herded into a police van, the three escapees are taken back to prison, but on the way, they pass three sexy lady hitch-hikers (Sue Upton, Jenny Westbrook and Suzy Mandel). The male driver (Eddie Buchanan) stops quickly to pick them up, and Benny, Jackie and Eddie slam into the inside front wall of the van. When the back doors open, they try to escape, but looking back, they see the girls enticing them back. Unsure where to go, the three go back to the prison with the girls, Benny pulling his partners back in order to help the girls into the back.

Trivia[]

  • The names Benny, Jackie and Eddie aren't used in the sketch but are used here for identification purposes.
  • The exterior of the prison at the start of the sketch is HMS Lincoln in Lincolnshire, England.
  • This sketch marks the first appearance of Sue Upton in the series.
  • The female guard (possibly Suzy Mandel) slaps Benny on the head exactly like how Benny slaps Jackie on the head in numerous sketches.
  • The guard passing Benny and Jackie in the prison yard is possibly Eddie Buchanan.
  • Parts of the sketch are filmed in a studio, but the exterior sites of the sketch appear as if they were filmed at the old hospital Benny used to do rehearsals (the exterior of which is seen in Hill Department Store} as well as at the Foothills Mansion seen in other episodes.
  • The other characters in the visiting room are probably Jenny Lee Wright (as a male convict), Sue Upton (face obscured by wig), Benny Hill (on the inmate's side), Jenny Westbrook (as Benny's girlfriend) and Suzy Mandel (as Eddie's girlfriend). Eddie Buchanan is the guard hitting Benny.
  • The other hotel patrons for the "beer prank" looking like Jenny Lee Wright (sitting in the background) and Sue Upton(?) (man in mustache walking out).
  • The Barcland Bank also appears in a series of quickies in 1983 and 1984.
  • The other by-standers in the street might be Suzy Mandel and Jenny Lee-Wright. They might also be other members of Sue's sumphony (along with Diana Darvey).
  • The pedestrian tipping and watching Benny as a street performer are Rita Webb and an as yet unidentified actress.
  • "Tunneling into a bathroom" also occurs in the Coalpits sketch on March 13, 1974.
  • The arresting officers include Eddie Buchanan, Jenny Lee-Wright and possibly Sue Upton and Suzy Mandel playing police men. The tall willowy brunette from the tipping scene returns in a white sweater and red skirt.

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