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Dear Mr. Prohack (1949)

Arthur Prohack is an official in the Treasury Department with a reputation for fiscal efficiency and running a tight ship. One day he finds out that a struggling businessman to whom he once... See full summary »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cecil Parker ...
...
...
...
Sheila Sim ...
...
Lady Maslam
Frances Waring ...
Nursie
Charles Goldner ...
Polish Man Servant
Campbell Cotts ...
Sir Paul Spinner
...
Oswald Morfrey
Russell Waters ...
Cartwright
...
Sir Digby Bunce
Frederick Valk ...
Dr. Viega
...
Carrell Quire
Bryan Forbes ...
Tony
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Storyline

Arthur Prohack is an official in the Treasury Department with a reputation for fiscal efficiency and running a tight ship. One day he finds out that a struggling businessman to whom he once loaned money used that money to amass a fortune, and after his death he left much of it to Prohack. Despite his reputation for his adept handling of money at his job, he seems to be much less adept at handling his newfound riches. Written by frankfob2@yahoo.com

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Swept off his feet by a fortune

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Comedy | Romance

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Release Date:

14 July 1950 (USA)  »

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1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Final film of director Thornton Freeland. See more »

Soundtracks

Jeannie
(uncredited)
Music by Mischa Spoliansky
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User Reviews

 
Satire of the British Civil Service circa 1949
26 November 2014 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Cecil Parker (Mr. Prohack) gives a polished performance and comic portrayal of a stuffy post war civil servant who is involved with red tape & protocol while controlling the impecunious nation's purse strings through his job at the British Treasury during a time of acute post WW11 shortages, rationing & austerity.In this endeavour, he is ably supported by Mrs Prohack (Hermione Baddeley) with his son & daughter in tow.

For someone like me who was born in 1946, these early post war films have a certain resonance while I remember that the nation was on food rationing until 1955.So the references to privation,(harder for the working class family) for the middle class family, involved high taxation and no proper domestic help.In one scene Cecil Parker rolls up his sleeves & helps with the washing up, (dishwashers were far into the future).Seasoned viewers of British actors will spot little cameo performances by Michael Pertwee (Dr Who no:3) who had a comically babbling voice ("The Navy Lark") , Ian Carmichael, and later film producer Brian Forbes.The love interest is provided by Glynis Johns romanced by a young Dirk Bogarde.

What throws the characters into a "tizz" is to be informed by Mr Prohack that he has been left in the will of a colleague £250,000 (more like £2,500,000 in 2014 money adding 65 years inflation).This is like giving a drunkard the keys to a brewery and of course provides the humour as all the Prohack family decide to spend Dad's newly inherited wealth in a bizarre fashion.There is an unexpected superimposed dream sequence for Mr.Prohack who is in bed while "under the weather", which involves medieval knights and various surreal images.

I was confused what the moral of the film was or what message for the viewer the producer intended to convey but soon after Mr Prohack's ill advised investments go under, a colleague who invests on the stock market, informs him he has made another profit of £250,000.When he is on a private aeroplane heading to Paris with his lady friend, Mr Prohack speaks the most appalling French to the French pilot.I feel sure a senior British civil servant would have done better but it is all done for comic effect.The end of the screen play quotes an extract towards the end of Hamlet's Soliloquay: "Thus conscience doth make cowards of us all", referring to the suitcase full of banknotes deposited on his civil servant's desk.I rated this film 6/10.


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