I've had this film to watch for years now always liked the stars but the story unfortunately never really inspired me enough; seeing it today was a pleasant surprise. Sure, the humour is on the tiresome side at times, but the plot and often opulent production values managed to hold my attention. I told myself I always liked Carry On Jack so I should like this too.
Cicely Courtneidge is a boisterous inn-keeper about to be married when her future husband Barry Mackay is pressganged off to the Wars in Flanders she enlists in the British Army as a man to try and rescue him. And also gets involved in thwarting the machinations of some dirty traitors. It's dizzying keeping up with her fluctuating fortunes she/he gets promoted, demoted, praised, ridiculed, condemned to death for deserting and even becoming a confidante of Marlborough himself you can easily lose track. The sight of the top brass in the shape of Tom Walls, Peter Gawthorne and Cecil Parker together in their full bewigged feathered finery is a sight to see too although Walls being basically serious takes some getting down even when he's in drag. Bulldog Alfred Drayton although in his finery too was reassuringly down to Earth as usual. Was that Finlay Currie with a couple of lines at the wedding? The ever-vivacious Cicely continually proves she's brainier than all of the men put together Walls even tells her at one point to use her wits, after all she is a woman, full stop. The background music is fine but the one Noel Gay song is utterly forgettable, at least I think it is. But overall I'm glad I made the effort because it's been an interesting eighty minutes spent in the company of a lot of old friends who for once weren't playing the fool.
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