Spanish Fly (1975 film)

Spanish Fly is a 1976 British-Spanish comedy film directed by Bob Kellett and starring Terry-Thomas, Leslie Phillips, Graham Armitage, Sue Lloyd and Nadiuska.[2] [3]

An impotent British fashion designer heads out to Spain for a photo shoot and encounters an old school rival who has inadvertently added an aphrodisiac to the local wine.

Impact-Quadrant Films was a company run by Peter James and Kent Walwin which specialised in financing and distributing horror films. They wanted to move into the British domestic sex comedy market, having noticed that there were no challengers to the Carry On Films. They made a small investment in Can You Keep It Up for a Week? which was successful and they began to look at making a whole feature.[1]

A Canadian distributor had success with a Leslie Phillips film and asked if they could have another. Phillips was about to go to Australia for a year so they had a script written quickly, about an escort agency. Nobody liked it so James and Walwin wrote a 110 page treatment over "a long weekend" which was turned into a script by a writer.[1]

EMI Films provided 40% of the £250,000 budget. A Spanish company provided 8% and the rest came from James, his associate and four English backers, one of them a lawyer.[1]

The film was part of a six-picture slate from EMI Films, which also included Evil Under the Sun, Aces High and big screen adaptations of The Likely Lads and Sweeney.[4]

It was filmed in Menorca. Terry-Thomas was suffering from the effects of Parkinson's Disease at the time.[5]

The film was released with a heavy advertising campaign, including a novelisation of the script, a song "Fly Me" (because the BBC would not play a song called "Spanish Fly").[1]

The film sold to 25 countries, something James attributed to the fact that unlike many British sex comedies it featured foreign locations.[1]

Barry Norman called it the least funny British funny film ever made.[1]