This film features a racy plot and crackling dialogue. The two principal characters, Sir Duncan Craggs and his Franco-Russian wife Louise, have a free-wheeling morality in respect of extra-marital affairs, each fully cognisant of the other's infidelities, but tempering reproach with civilised restraint, in a manner somewhat reminiscent of a Lubitsch sex comedy.
Their upper-class hijinks spill over from the West End of town houses and night clubs to a Limehouse Chinese laundry which acts as a front for a disreputable doss-house, with suggestions that it might be an opium den and a haunt of prostitutes. The film neatly contrasts the two milieus by a change of visual style, with the seedy locales shot in murky soft focus.
Yvonne Arnaud is delicious as Craggs' wife Louise, fracturing the English language with every sentence she utters. Stella Moya, as a beautiful Chinese girl, has little to do, but is suitably alluring. Robertson Hare's role is smaller than those of the other three leads, and he is well matched by Norma Varden as his domineering wife. (He does, however, get to lose his trousers at one point, a trademark feature of his.) A young Graham Moffatt, in an early role before joining the Will Hay team, makes the most of his single scene. The actresses playing the shop girls and secretaries in the early part of the film are all unbilled, undeservedly so.
The adaptation of the Aldwych farces to the screen was not always successful, but it is hard to fault this one.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?