Mutiny on the Buses (1972)

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Released 27-Sep-2004

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Comedy None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1972
Running Time 84:40
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 4 Directed By Harry Booth

Universal Pictures Home Video
Starring Reg Varney
Doris Hare
Michael Robbins
Anna Karen
Stephen Lewis
Bob Grant
Janet Mahoney
Pat Ashton
Kevin Brennan
Bob Todd
David Lodge
Tex Fuller
Caroline Dowdeswell
Case ?
RPI ? Music Ron Grainer

Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 1.78:1
16x9 Enhancement
Not 16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.85:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    On The Buses was a long running, much loved British sitcom made between 1969 and 1973, which spanned some seventy four half-hour episodes. The series was created by Ronald Wolfe and Ronald Chesney, who had previous success with The Rag Trade and Meet The Wife.

    On The Buses was initially rejected by the BBC, but was swiftly picked up by ITV, where it became a huge hit with television audiences. Coming from a time prior to the age of political correctness, the brand of humour is typical of so many UK sitcoms from the era and is still delightfully funny by today's standards.

    The basic premise of the series centred on the day-to-day activities of the Luxton and District Traction Company, in particular one of their bus drivers, Stan Butler (Reg Varney) and his conductor mate, Jack (Bob Grant). Stan and Jack are easy going bachelors with a passion for the ladies and for slacking off on the job as much as possible. This is a constant source of anguish for their work supervisor, Inspector Blake or Blakey (Stephen Lewis). Stan and Jack are always scheming ways to outsmart Blakey and he is always scheming ways for retribution.

    Stan's working class family also played a major part in the sitcom. Stan lives in a small house with his mum (Doris Hare), his frumpy sister Olive (Anna Karen) and his brother in-law Arthur (Michael Robbins). Living in the confined space of their small abode also created many of the amusing situations in the series.

    With the huge success of On The Buses on television, Hammer Productions made three feature films based on the sitcom in the early seventies. In fact, all three films, On The Buses (1971), Mutiny On The Buses (1972) and Holiday On The Buses (1973) made decent financial profits for Hammer. Two of these films, Mutiny On The Buses and Holiday On The Buses are presented as a double feature on this DVD.

    Mutiny On The Buses (1972)

    Stan gets engaged to Suzy (Janet Mahoney) and they plan to move into a flat together. However, Arthur loses his job, which puts an additional financial burden on the household. This in turn puts Stan's plan of moving out on hold until Arthur can find himself a new job. Stan is now the only significant means of support to Mum, Arthur, Olive and the baby.

    Stan and Jack concoct a plan to teach Arthur how to drive a bus so he might get a job with the company. Without the knowledge or consent of Blakey they teach Arthur to drive during working hours and much to their surprise, he eventually gets a driver's job.

    A new Depot Manager, Mr Jenkinson (Kevin Breenan), arrives to return some order to the running of the depot. At first he appears to be the saviour Blakey has been long hoping for, as he demands the highest possible standards from his staff. Unfortunately though, all the plans for an efficient and disciplined change in staff attitude goes by the wayside as the tables are again turned on the hapless Blakey.

    With Arthur now finding employment, Stan and Suzy's plan to move in together is back on. But this is delayed a second time when the flat's rental price has been dramatically inflated.

    Stan and Jack manage to cleverly persuade Mr Jenkinson that Stan should drive the bus for the company's newly created  Safari Tour, which also attracts a higher wage. All seems to be going to plan until Stan discovers just who has been given the job of bus conductor on the tour.

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Transfer Quality


    The video transfer for Mutiny On The Buses  is really quite good.

    Mutiny On The Buses is presented in an aspect ratio of 1.78:1, which is not 16x9 enhanced. This is not far from the correct ratio of 1.85:1.

    Sharpness and clarity was generally very good, with just the occasional glimpse of grain. Blacks were clean, deep and free from low-level-noise. Shadow detail was also of very good quality.

    Colours were nicely rendered on the disc and appeared very well balanced.

    There were no MPEG artefacts evident on the disc. Film-to video artefacts were generally well controlled. To my surprise, film artefacts were very minor, with the most obvious example occurring for a few seconds at 33:40.

    There are no subtitles available on this DVD.

    This is a single sided, dual layered disc, with one movie per layer. I could not locate any evidence of a layer change either when viewing the disc or with the use of software.

Video Ratings Summary
Shadow Detail
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts


    The audio transfer is also very good.

    There is one audio track available on the DVD, English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s). This audio track is the original mono track.

    I had no problems hearing and comprehending the dialogue during the film. Audio sync was also very good in general.

    The music score is provided by Ron Grainer.The score is quite jovial in style and sets the mood for the film very well.

    The surround channels and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Audio Sync
Surround Channel Use


    There are no extras on this DVD.


    The menu is very basic, static and silent. It only gives you the option of selecting either film.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

   In the absence of a R1 version to compare with, I will compare this R4 double feature with an R2 triple feature.

    This R2 triple feature has all three On The Buses films spread over two DVDs. The first disc features On The Buses, while the second disc contains Mutiny On The Buses and Holiday On The Buses.

    The R2 triple feature has the same mono audio track and also has no extras.

    If your a big fan of the films and the series of On The Buses, you might want to track down the R2 triple feature simply for the added bonus of the inclusion of the first film in the set.


     I shamelessly enjoyed the chance to view this film again after so many years. Mutiny On The Buses  provided a nostalgic return to my younger days, watching  On The Buses on television.

    The video and audio transfers are quite good.

    Unfortunately though, there are no extras on the DVD.

Ratings (out of 5)


© Steve Crawford (Tip toe through my bio)
Wednesday, July 19, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDJVC XV-N412, using Component output
DisplayHitachi 106cm Plasma Display 42PD5000MA (1024x1024). Calibrated with THX Optimizer. This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 1080i.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with THX Optimizer.
AmplificationPanasonic SA-HE70 80W Dolby Digital and DTS
SpeakersFronts: Jensen SPX7 Rears: Jensen SPX4 Centre: Jensen SPX13 Subwoofer: Jensen SPX17

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