Based on the Stephen Potter "One Upmanship" and "Lifemanship" books, Henry Palfrey tries hard to impress but always loses out to the rotter Delauney. Then he discovers the Lifeman college ... See full summary »
When a young girl is found dead an inspector is sent to investigate a prosperous Yorkshire household. It emerges that each member of the family has a guilty secret - each one is partly responsible for her death.
Rodney Playfair is persuaded, by a promise to meet his gambling debts, to impersonate a manservant named Chapman at his fiancée's house, in order to enable his friend Carmichael to use the ... See full summary »
Leslie S. Hiscott
Francis L. Sullivan,
I was pleasantly surprised to see this film; I'm a Priestly fan and this is one of his lesser-known novels. For such a sprawling story with so many interweaving elements, and considering that there is no central character in the cinematic sense, it's a good adaptation, and several good long chunks of dialogue manage to make their way straight from the pages of the book to the screen. Alastair Sim is excellent as the Professor, fleshing out the character beautifully and giving his wise speeches wonderful depth and humour. Edward Rigby is exactly as I imagined Timmy Tiverton, though without his terribly sad and pathetic back-story, provided at some length in the novel, he is less of a pivotal character and more of a commentator. As in the book, it is Sir George Denberry-Baxter who steals the thing, a gift of a role and appreciated as such by the great Fred Emney. He's just what we want our aged aristocrats to be: drunken, anarchic, artistic, irascible, eccentric and barmy. The central character really is the cause: fighting against corporations and the general apathy of a people controlled by big business and passive entertainment. If only we had films like this now, urging people to get up and get involved, gather in our local town halls and make our own entertainment, using their own talents and brains and energies.
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