1971 On the Buses

On the Buses - 1971

A Hammer Special Comedy Presentation presented by EMI film Productiom Limited and released through MGM-EMI Film Distributors Limited 

Copyright MCMLXXl Hammer Film Productions limited - All rights reserved

MPAA Approved Certificate 

The characters and incidents portrayed and the names used herein are fictitious and any similarity to the name, character, or history of any person is entirely accidental and unintentional 

RCA Sound System 

Made at EMI-MGM Elstree Studios, Hertfordshire, England 

Technicolor 88 mins 


Reacting to a staff shortage at the Town and District Bus Company, Inspector Blake comes up with the novel idea of recruiting women drivers. Stan Butler and his conductor, Jack, are, like the rest of the male crews, horrified, not least because there is not a single attractive female among the new arrivals! Determined to be rid of this menace to their overtime earnings, they plot all manner of schemes to get their way. Meanwhile, on the home front, Stan's ghastly sister, Olive, announces that she is going to have a baby.....


Production Supervisor Roy Skeggs
Production Designer Scott MacGregor
Film Editor Archie Ludski, GBFE
Production Manager Christopher Neame
Assistant Director Derek Whitehurst
Sound Recordist John Purchese
Sound Editor Peter Keen
Continuity Doreen Dearnaley
Make-up Supervisor Eddie Knight
Hairdressing Supervisor Ivy Emmerton
Wardrobe Supervisor Rosemary Burrows
Wardrobe Mistress June Kirby
Assistant Art Director Ron Benton
Construction Manager Bill Greene
Dubbing Mixer Billy Rowe
Recording Director Tony Lumkin
Camera Operator Neil Binney
Director of Photography Mark McDonald
Music Composed by Max Harris
"It's a Great Life on the Buses"
Music by
Geoff Unwin
Lyrics by Roger Ferris
Sung by Quince Harmon
Musical Supervisor Philip Martell
Written and Produced by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney
Directed by Harry Booth


Stan Butler Reg Varney
Stan's Mum Doris Hare
Arthur, his Brother-in-Law Michael Robbins
Olive, his Sister Anna Karen
Blakey, his Inspector Stephen Lewis
Jack, his Conductor Bob Grant
Betty Andrea Lawrence
Sally Pat Ashton
Manager Brian Oulton
Ruby Pamela Cundell
Vera Pat Coombs
Housewife Wendy Richard
Mr Brooks Peter Madden
Busman David Lodge
Bridget Brenda Gogan
Sandra Caroline Dowdeswell
Ada Eunice Black
Peggy Claire Davenport
Gladys Maggie McGrath
Mavis Jeanne Varney
Betty's Husband Nosher Powell
Harry Tex Fuller
Nobby Terry Duggan
Eileen Anna Michaels
London Transport Official Norman Mitchell
1st Policeman Ivor Slater
2nd Policeman George Roderick
Motor Cycle Cop Gavin Campbell
Parson David Rowlands
Old Woman Hilda Barry
Suzy Jeanette Wild
Katy Moira Foot
Medical Orderly Reginald Peters


Hammer already knew from their experience in the early years that there were rich pickings to be had from converting popular radio and television programmes into films and the making of this film was prompted by the return to the Company full-time of Michael Carreras. It was based on the London Weekend Television sitcom which had been drawing large audiences since 1969 and turned out to be Hammer's biggest money-spinner of all time. Its success ensured two sequels, "Mutiny on the Buses" (1972) and "Holiday on the Buses" (1973).

 Roy Skeggs, who later took over the Company after its near collapse in 1979, receives his first credit on film here, although he had been working for Hammer as a production accountant since 1963. 

Reg Varney was already a well-known face on British television before "On the Buses!', having appeared in comedy series such as BBC TV's "The Rag Trade".
 Anna Karen appears in several "Carry On" films round this time, although she is virtually unrecognisable without her 'Olive' make-up.

 Further down the cast list, Wendy Richard had been in many episodes of popular TV comedy series, including "Steptoe and Son" and "Dad's Army". She later became more famous as Miss Brahms in BBC TV's "Are You Being Served?" and then as  Pauline Fowler in the soap opera "Eastenders". Moira Foot went on to play Denise Laroque of the Communist Resistance in BBC's TV comedy "'Allo 'Allo" (1988).

Details were complied viewing the actual film. 
Source of viewing copy - The Hammer Graveyard Collection