Set just after the end of WWII (but filmed in the middle of it) in a time of general euphoria at having won the war, with full employment and general happiness for all (or nearly all). ... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview:
...
Vic Oliver ...
Peter Graves ...
Peter Pyke
Roland Culver ...
Ferdinand
Max Bacon ...
Jacobus
Frank Cellier ...
Pyke
...
Heidi
Eliot Makeham ...
Dumka
Iris Lang ...
Tania
George Relph ...
Otto
Gibb McLaughlin ...
Marcel
Irene Handl ...
Miss Haddock
Henry Hewitt ...
Announcer
Alan Keith ...
Raphael
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Storyline

Set just after the end of WWII (but filmed in the middle of it) in a time of general euphoria at having won the war, with full employment and general happiness for all (or nearly all). Peter, the young wastrel son of a hard working hotel owner doesn't like the idea of having to work for a living. He discovers a society of "White Elephants" who are quite willing to be poor as long as they don't have to work. They are protected and guided by Nina (Margaret Lockwood) and her precocious sister Heidi ('Jean Simmons'. Written by Steve Crook <steve@brainstorm.co.uk>

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based on novel | See All (1) »

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Comedy

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Release Date:

18 September 1944 (UK)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Jean Simmons's first movie, See more »

Soundtracks

Two Guitars
(uncredited)
Traditional
Arranged by Bob Busby
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User Reviews

 
Not quite
28 April 2010 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

A group of layabouts who refuse to do any work get an opportunity to lord it up when Peter Pyke (Peter Graves), the son of a hotel magnate, joins their group.

This film has a great idea about a group who call themselves "White Elephants" and who refuse to do anything useful for society, especially work. It has the potential to be a commendable blueprint for life, but unfortunately, it is played out by a weak cast who are all ultimately irritating characters. From Margaret Lockwood's "Nina" with her irritating fake Russian accent to Jean Simmons' unconvincing streetwise "Heidi", through to Peter Graves' arrogantly slimy "Peter Pyke", they are all unfunny. The dialogue is delivered at a quick pace as if to impress the viewer with it's cleverness. It is indeed funny in parts but it is not consistent.

A memorably bad part of the film involves a duel sequence which is not at all funny. Why did British films think that audiences wanted to watch this sort of claptrap? However, the film does contain some funny moments, eg, the theory behind going to school to become stupid; and the attempts by a couple of the "Elephants" to serve food at a restaurant. Sadly, the film never quite gets going and just ends up as a boring noise. Shame.


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