Number 96 is a film version of a very popular Australian adult
evening soap of the same name which ran from 1972 to 1977. Both the series and film trace the
adventures of the residents of an apartment block address. The film plays like several episodes of
the TV series tied together, but each subplot is resolved before the
film is over.
Because this is not the sort of linear plot that allows a
simple plot outline, I will briefly describe some of what goes on.
One couple is about to celebrate their ruby wedding anniversary.
Several different residents take charge of arranging and catering a
party, and then the happy couple look at their wedding certificate
and find the bride may have married the best man. A playboy sort is
romancing a stewardess, while an old friend who spent time in a
mental hospital has moved back into the building with her new
husband. She seems to be going off the deep end again. An old Jewish
man and his wife own a deli on the ground floor. He has been hiding
money from the tax man in his mattress, and accidentally starts it on
fire. With the money gone, he decides to take extra jobs to replace
it. Two residents decide to build a sauna in the basement and charge
for its use. Also, the film opens with what was evidently a running
theme in the series, where Vera Collins (played by Elaine Lee) is
Although the video quality is less than ideal because the
original negatives could not be located, and the material was
mastered from several work prints which show signs of projector
abuse, fans of the series will like the fact that former cast
members whose characters had been written out of the series returned
in the film, and will truly enjoy this excellent two disk special
edition. The movie itself provides the same energy as the soap,
which soap fans must find a good thing.
Alas, I am not a genre fan although I must admit that I became
interested in some of the characters.
If you are not familiar with our grading system, you need to
explanation, because the grading is not linear. For example, by
our definition, a
C is solid and a C+ is a VERY good movie. There are very few Bs
and As. Based on our descriptive system, this film is a: