|Down Among the Z Men|
|Directed by||Maclean Rogers|
|Written by||Francis Charles|
|Produced by|| E. J. Fancey |
|Starring|| Peter Sellers |
|Edited by||Peter Mayhew|
|Music by||Jack Jordan|
E.J. Fancey Productions
|Distributed by||New Realm Pictures|
Down Among the Z Men is a 1952 black-and-white British comedy film starring the Goons: Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers, Michael Bentine and Harry Secombe. The movie was filmed early in the Goons' career before many of the show's recurring characters were created, and the stars only play one character each: Eccles (Milligan), Colonel Bloodnok (Sellers), Osric Pureheart (Bentine) and Harry Jones (Secombe).
Harry Jones (Secombe) is a clerk in Mr Crab's general mercantile store and an amateur actor in community theatre, where he is currently playing a Scotland Yard inspector, "Batts of the Yard". When the absentminded Professor Osrick Pureheart (Bentine) leaves a secret military formula in the store, mayhem ensues as two suspicious secret agents (actually enemy spies), who have been shadowing the professor, question Harry regarding the professor, none of them realising that Harry now has the formula in his possession.
Convinced by the two spies to follow the professor, Harry goes to an Army post, Camp Warwell, where he is mistakenly enlisted in the Z Men, ostensibly an elite unit guarding atomic secrets but in reality a ragtag group of reservists, retreads, and others of marginal (at best) competence. The spies kidnap an adjutant newly assigned to the camp and one of them then impersonates him to gain entry to Camp Warwell.
The post's commander, Colonel Bloodnok (Sellers), has been assigned for security purposes a supposed "daughter" (Carole Carr) who is actually a female MI5 operative. Harry soon becomes smitten with the "daughter", and they work together to foil an attempt by the secret agents to purloin Pureheart's formula. 
National Service in Britain in the 1950s obliged all fit British men to serve in the military for two years, and thereafter three and a half years in the reserves. "Category Z" was one of the classes of reserve organization. During the Korean War there was much apprehension that, in order to supply enough troops, the government might remobilize "Z-men" who had been released after their two years in uniform. 
As the letter "Z" is pronounced as "Zed" in Queen's English, the title is also a pun on a traditional drinking song, "Down Among the Dead Men".
Down Among the Z Men is the only film starring all four Goons; Bentine was absent from the 1951 Penny Points to Paradise . In the film, Bentine, Milligan and Sellers repeated their radio characters, whereas Secombe's Neddy Seagoon was replaced with a less-raucous Harry Jones. 
The film was shot at the Maida Vale Studios in London, with sets designed by the art director Don Russell. The production was shot over a two-week shooting schedule. Milligan, who wrote most of the radio scripts for the Goons, had no role creating in the film's screenplay. Bentine would later tell an interviewer that the film's lack of financing required director Maclean Rogers to only permit one take per scene. Rogers, however, incorporated two dance numbers into the film featuring showgirls as female soldiers practising for a talent show. 
Down Among the Z Men was not a commercial success in Great Britain. Since the Goons were unknown in the United States at the time, there was no theatrical release to the American market. Years later, after Sellers became a major film star, bootleg 16mm prints of the film began to turn up in the US, sometimes under the new title The Goon Show Movie. 
Sir Harold Donald Secombe was a Welsh comedian, actor, singer and television presenter. Secombe was a member of the British radio comedy programme The Goon Show (1951–1960), playing many characters, most notably Neddie Seagoon. An accomplished tenor, he also appeared in musicals and films – notably as Mr Bumble in Oliver! (1968) – and, in his later years, was a presenter of television shows incorporating hymns and other devotional songs.
Michael Bentine, was a British comedian, comic actor and founding member of the Goons. His father was a Peruvian Briton.
Peter Sellers was an English actor and comedian. He first came to prominence performing in the BBC Radio comedy series The Goon Show, featured on a number of hit comic songs and became known to a worldwide audience through his many film roles, among them Chief Inspector Clouseau in The Pink Panther series.
Terence Alan "Spike" Milligan was an Irish actor, comedian, writer, musician, poet, and playwright. The son of an English mother and Irish father, he was born in British Colonial India, where he spent his childhood before relocating in 1931 to England, where he lived and worked for the majority of his life. Disliking his first name, he began to call himself "Spike" after hearing the band Spike Jones and his City Slickers on Radio Luxembourg.
The Goon Show is a British radio comedy programme, originally produced and broadcast by the BBC Home Service from 1951 to 1960, with occasional repeats on the BBC Light Programme. The first series, broadcast from 28 May to 20 September 1951, was titled Crazy People; subsequent series had the title The Goon Show.
Eric Sykes was an English radio, stage, television and film writer, comedian, actor, and director whose performing career spanned more than 50 years. He frequently wrote for and performed with many other leading comedy performers and writers of the period, including Tony Hancock, Spike Milligan, Tommy Cooper, Peter Sellers, John Antrobus, and Johnny Speight. Sykes first came to prominence through his many radio credits as a writer and actor in the 1950s, most notably through his collaboration on The Goon Show scripts. He became a TV star in his own right in the early 1960s when he appeared with Hattie Jacques in several popular BBC comedy television series.
Neddie Seagoon was a character in the 1950s British radio comedy show The Goon Show. He was created and performed by Welsh comedian Harry Secombe. Seagoon was usually the central character of a Goon Show episode, with most plots involving or revolving around him.
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This is a list of running jokes and catchphrases in the 1950s British radio programme The Goon Show.
The Case of the Mukkinese Battle-Horn is a 30-minute comedy film starring Peter Sellers, Spike Milligan and Dick Emery. The film was made in November 1955, and released in 1956.
Penny Points to Paradise is a 1951 comedy feature film. The film was the feature film debut of the stars of The Goon Show, Spike Milligan, Harry Secombe and Peter Sellers.
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The Last Goon Show of All is a special edition of the BBC Radio comedy programme The Goon Show commissioned as part of the celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the BBC. Simulcast on radio and television on 5 October 1972, the performance reunited Spike Milligan, Peter Sellers and Harry Secombe as well as other contributors to the programme's original run. It was later released as a long-playing record and on compact disc. The video recording of the television broadcast was also released on VHS and later on DVD, although with some omissions. In early October 2007, 35 years after the original broadcast, a full unedited version was broadcast on BBC 7, the digital radio channel dedicated to re-runs of classic shows.
The "Ying Tong Song" is a novelty song written by Spike Milligan and performed by the Goons, usually led by Harry Secombe. It is a nonsense song, consisting of small verses interspersed by a completely nonsensical chorus. The origin of the title is said to have come from Harry Secombe's mispronunciation of the name of Milligan's war-time friend and fellow jazz musician, Harry Edgington. When Secombe repeatedly called him "Edgerton", Milligan replied, "it's Edgington, Edgington" and emphasized the point by saying "Yington, Yington".
Derek Roy was an English comedian, whose public profile was at its greatest in the late 1940s and early 1950s.
James Douglas Grafton, was a producer, writer and theatrical agent. He served in World War II as an officer in the Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Regiment and was awarded the Military Cross for his actions during Operation Market Garden.
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