It would be interesting to see how the original stage version of this farce came across in terms of timing; as a screenplay, this does seem to have a few problems in that respect. Somehow it managed to be both over-burdened with plot (the whole point of the story is to find the protagonist a wife, which is achieved by about the two-thirds mark via the central bedroom scene -- but then it starts branching off into yet further paper-thin complications) and yet to feel rather stretched, as every situation is milked for the maximum possible number of laughs that can be theoretically obtained from the same material. The story does require, for example, that Peter come home too drunk to notice that his usual bed is already inhabited... but there's an awfully extended 'drunk' sequence inserted before he gets that far. Some of it is funny, but as a whole it goes on too long; and this applies to rather a lot of the film. At the beginning it felt promising, but it started to get a bit tedious.
That said, there are some laugh-out-loud funny lines (and some that are only funny if you get the contemporary references) and some deft situations. Another scene where contemporary knowledge really helps to get the effect is the central, largely silent, going-to-bed scene, where popular song tunes are quoted on the soundtrack at appropriate moments (i.e. "Where did you get that hat?" as the hero takes off his topper...) Characterisation is paper-thin, and it remains a complete mystery just why Rita is so set on maintaining her extra-marital relationship with Aubrey, who appears to lack any money, looks, charm or intelligence. Tommy Trinder as Dibley is quite winning (the famous grin and jaw much in evidence) although the actual character is an opportunistic sponger.
I'm afraid some of the contrivances really did start to strain my credulity, though, especially those when Dibley comes home drunk and noisy and his tenant, preparing for bed, somehow fails even to suspect the presence of two loud intruders in her 'empty' flat: the timing could have been more neatly arranged to cover the slips, and on stage possibly was. Here it just comes across as improbability dictated by the needs of the plot rather than by a pleasing set of coincidences.
Entertainment to be had, but not really worth the effort of seeking out. For a better 'wedding farce' of this period based on a stage play, I would recommend "Quiet Wedding" (1941).
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?