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VHS FORMAT. 1997, WinStar / Fox / Lorber, 50 minutes, color, golf comedy. Item WHE71027. We lost one of our best comedians when Leslie Nielsen left the scene. He's terrific with his wonderful takes and gestures. Here he tells the bad golfer how to be just as bad, if not worse.
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Veteran actor Leslie Nielsen perfected his devastatingly deadpan comic delivery in the supremely goofy Naked Gun films. Teaming up with humorist Henry Beard, he also collaborated on a parody of Harvey Penick's Little Red Book entitled Leslie Nielsen's Stupid Little Golf Book. And so while it would seem that Beard's writing and Nielsen's straight-faced delivery would combine beautifully on film, their Stupid Little Golf Video veers perilously close to having a title that is all too accurate. There are some promising sight gags and some potentially great slapstick moments, but the pace of the video is slow and the individual gags don't build on each other to achieve any sustained payoff. Nielsen engages in a series of bizarre parodies of golf instructions, from whacking (and splattering) a baked potato off his tee to showing how he can psyche out his opponent by turning his golf cart so sharply that his passenger flies out and rolls down a hill. Some of Nielsen's instructional monologues are quirkily funny, such as his mention of how he keeps his head still during his swing: "I imagine I have shampooed my head with a product containing nitroglycerin." But for every bright moment, there are lengthy interludes where nothing much happens, and Nielsen's priceless mock seriousness is ultimately wasted. --Robert J. McNamara
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