Folly to Be Wise (1952)

Approved  |   |  Comedy  |  6 December 1953 (USA)
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Ratings: 6.6/10 from 138 users  
Reviews: 5 user | 1 critic

Army chaplin Captain Paris attempts to book various acts for the entertainment of a troop of soldiers.



(play), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Complete credited cast:
Capt. William Paris
Elizabeth Allan ...
Angela Prout
Roland Culver ...
George Prout
Colin Gordon ...
Prof. James Mutch
Martita Hunt ...
Lady Dodds
Janet Brown ...
Jessie Killegrew
Peter Martyn ...
Miles Malleson ...
Dr. Hector McAdam
Edward Chapman ...
Joseph Byres M.P.
Cyril Chamberlain ...
Drill Sergeant
Michael Ripper ...
Drill Corporal
Robin Bailey ...
Intellectual Corporal
Michael Kelly ...
Staff Sergeant
George Cole ...
Soldier in Brains Trust audience


A newly-arrived army padre is put in charge of camp entertainment and has the idea of putting on a Brains Trust with local notables. Unfortunately for him, it emerges from a question on the rights and wrongs of marriage that there is more going on between three of the panellists than he wants to know about - though the audience obviously thinks differently. Written by Jeremy Perkins {J-26}

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Release Date:

6 December 1953 (USA)  »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

(Western Electric Recording)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
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Did You Know?


The film was screened for the British trade on November 26th, 1952 and was press screened for Variety at the Odeon, Marble Arch in London on December 1st. See more »


Just before Walter gives Captain Paris a message for the Doctor, Captain Paris bangs the gavel on the table and then places the gavel next to his glasses. He then receives the message with his left hand. Next shot he is holding his glasses with his left hand and holding the message with his right hand. See more »


The Whelk Song
Written by John Temple West, Johnny Johnston and Louise Kulma
See more »

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User Reviews

Competently filmed and performed, but essentially a light stage play which seems very dated now
15 May 2011 | by See all my reviews

Alistair Sim is the stand-out in this rather claustrophobic adaptation of a slight stage play. Mr Sim is commendably restrained, more so than in some other Launder & Gilliat comedies, but he has so little to do, and so little happens that nowadays, one wonders why the whole thing was mounted anyway. The relationship between the aspirational secretary and her 'dumb' boyfriend is nicely constructed, and he, Peter Martyn, plays his part very nicely. Otherwise all the focus is on the more upper-middle class characters, who nowadays seem like caricatures. There was a tendency in most British cinema of the 50s to adapt stage plays, but very non-cinematically; this is a typical example. In terms of film study or of entertainment, this doesn't have a lot more than competence to commend it.

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