The film opens at the end of his life, as Hill (Toby Jones) lies alone dying in his London flat. The rest of the film is a flashback…we see his brutal childhood, his painfully shy schooldays, his struggle for recognition, his celebrity during the show’s golden years, and his slow decline as his addictions and fame alienate those around him. (No idea if any of this was actually true for Benny Hill, but it’s a biopic so it’s gotta be in there.)
The last scene of the movie is also the first: Benny wheezing for breath, alone, at the end of his life. (Hill really did die alone, sitting in front of his television.) He looks up and sees the Spectre Of Death enter the room. Hill weakly protests that he deserves more time, that there are so many more things he wants to do, but the Reaper draws ever closer. Mozart’s Requiem is playing, and the screen is growing dark.
BUT! With the last bit of strength the old man has in his body, he leaps from the chair and begins running away from the Reaper in double time. They run down the stairs and into the London streets as “Yackety Sax” begins playing for the first time in the film, and it’s glorious: Hill’s final defiant action in the face of death. I want to see people laughing and crying from cathartic joy when the sax starts up.
The credits for the film scroll horizontally at the bottom, like all the old Thames shows, as Benny is chased around London accompanied by sight gags and slapstick. About 3/4 of the way through, the Reaper’s robes get caught on a tree limb and are pulled off, revealing…a buxom Page Three girl in a bikini! Now the chase reverses, and Benny attempts to catch her as she runs away.
The credits over, the camera pans up and back as the scene fades out, and the last we see of Hill is him excitedly chasing the top-heavy Grim Reaper out of frame.
I find it weird that every time people personify the Seven Deadly Sins, they’ll make six of them portray the doer (someone who IS angry, someone who IS slothful, etc), but then they go to Lust and portray them as object being acted upon (someone OTHER PEOPLE would lust after).
Like honestly it would be more accurate to make them some scruffy white dude with a fedora than a sexy girl with curves.