This concoction, very much of its time, was a comedic account of some ne'er do wells at large at Nice in the south of France, put together by a team of men who worked together for years, Tom Walls who both directed and starred, Ralph Lynn, Ben Travers the writer, and several others in the cast who were part of the same bunch of chums. They used to stage farces at London's Aldwych Theatre in the 1920s, and in the 1930s they made several films like this. The acting and the approach are very theatrical and somewhat stiff for the screen. But they mean well, and they pull off a passably entertaining yarn, even though the humour is rather arch, not to say 'proscenium arch'. Robertson Hare and Norma Varden are superb at playing an absolutely ghastly couple, and the tiny Ivor Barnard makes one uneasy as 'the Count', since one believes he may really be that creepy and sinister. Cecil Parker is a classic bombast as a self-satisfied and pompous landed peer. These are stock characters, and very much a glimpse at 1930s Britain, with its types and its fantasies. How 'in' grand gambling casinos were then! How black were the black ties and how white were the white ties! As one looks at these old films, one appreciates more and more how much 'dressing for dinner' and all that it represented were as much a uniform as Army fatigues, and as earnest a recipe for exclusivity as the hijab.
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