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17 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Whilst being a good comedy........

9/10
Author: john-locke from United Kingdom
14 April 2006

The Intelligence Corps Field Security Police would have in a field day writing out the report of the whole proceedings of the Brians Trust set-up for the troops camp concert entertainment. Sim plays his beleagued camp padre role beautifully well, with his typist WRAC girl, persisting in asking the crucial question about marriage to its very extreme detail answer. She typed out the suitable questions for the BT, so in practice, had editorial control of the proceedings & the direction the show took.

For those that do not remember or never heard of the Brians Trust, it was a development from a WW II BBC radio programme, which had wide audience appeal.

George Cole who plays the soldier nervously offering his "vote of thanks" to the padre for his efforts in organising the show, at the end of the film, was by this time, the adopted Barnado boy son of Sim.

For some good innocent Ealing comedy of the era, then this will kill 90 mins for you.

John Locke

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13 out of 19 people found the following review useful:

Alastair Sim compensates for a weak film.....

Author: (walmington@yahoo.com) from Bristol, England
29 March 2001

On hearing of this film I was looking forward to watching it. It's the typical 1950's British film, with the added bonus of Alastair Sim. He is brilliant, but the plot is weak. Social matters are highlighted that were common in Britain then, such as the Labour party versus the Tories etc. But the plot doesn't hold together well. Over all a good enough film, but no where near the St. Trinian's series or The Green Man. Watch out for a young George Cole as a soldier as well.

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5 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Slight Comedy.

Author: Robert J. Maxwell (rmax304823@yahoo.com) from Deming, New Mexico, USA
13 October 2011

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alistair Sim is a recently arrived Army chaplain in charge of providing the troops at a receiving center with counseling and entertainment. He walks into a situation that is a natural disaster. The soldiers are constantly leaving the base to patronize downtown pubs because that's where the action is. Sim's introduction to base entertainment is a string quartet -- four sweet old ladies sawing away at their instruments and producing a sound known to no human ear.

So, to keep the soldiers on the base, Sims arranges for a panel of smart people to provide the audience with a "Brain Trust." They'll answer any questions submitted by the soldiers and the female personnel of the base. "How is the house?" he asks. Half empty. "Ah, good -- half full!", exclaims Sim. That's the kind of guy he is.

The Brain Trust program takes up about half the film's running time. It consists of half a dozen people, mostly reluctant, who have problems of their own. The doctor is deaf. The society lady is giddy and out of it. The MP is a truculent Marxist. The artist is a drunk and his wife is having an affair with a mathematician, all of them on the panel. Sim is the "Question Master." The questions aren't the sort that "Mister Memory" answered in "The 39 Steps." They're more general. "Is there any evidence of life on the moon?" The surly mathematician replies, "No", period, and a long awkward silence follows while Sim fidgets, waiting desperately for expatiation.

The artist gets drunker, the politician more arrogant, the mathematician growlier, and a fight almost breaks out when one of the questions turns out to be, "Is marriage a good idea?" It ought to be funnier than it is. Granted that a chaplain on an army base isn't necessarily the most promising material yet more has been done with less. (What's funny about a guy who invents an indestructible thread in a textile plant?) Maybe it would have been more amusing if set in Victorian England instead of the 1950s. Sim is so rattled he almost falls to pieces while trying to field that question about whether marriage is a good idea, because marriage isn't a fit subject to discuss in front of young people. I've always admired Alistair Sim with his indecent smile and he does what he can with this role, but the lamentable fact is that there's not much to be done with it. He plays the chaplain as a well-intentioned nervous wreck. He's done better.

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1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:

Boring, slow moving and predictable.

3/10
Author: parcdelagrange from United Kingdom
3 July 2017

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

Alistair Sim was one of Britains finest comedy character actors, however even his talent could not raise this abysmal piece of cinema above the level of boring and tedious.There were some great British films made in the post war years, unfortunately this was not one of them, the story line was flimsy and predictable, the acting was wooden and the characters were stereotypes of middle class 50's middle England (with a stereotype labour politician thrown in for good measure).

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5 out of 12 people found the following review useful:

Competently filmed and performed, but essentially a light stage play which seems very dated now

3/10
Author: BOUF
15 May 2011

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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3 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

Slow, tedious and not funny.

2/10
Author: juliusdownes from United Kingdom
7 June 2009

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I absolutely love a lot of old British comedies, including earlier black and white ones. For example School for Scoundrels, Green Man, St Trinians, early Carry Ons, Norman Wisdom, Make Mine Mink, etc. Some of them aren't as funny as we would expect nowadays but still have a certain charm. I found this movie "Folly to be Wise" the absolutely dreadful as far as film making or comedy goes. The whole affair was akin to pulling teeth and it took me three sitting to get through the movie. The plot comes from nowhere and goes nowhere, the are characterless characters and the whole affair is underpinned by an absence of comedy. Alistair Sim is a good actor, even if not a favourite of mine, and George Cole makes an early appearance.

Spoiler - Basically the premise of the movie is - Sims set up a panel of people who do a show for the local troops whereby the audience members who have previously sent in questions get them answered by the menagerie of semi-intelligent people before the audience. A lady, who is getting to thinking she is too clever to marry a "dumb" soldier asks whether it's worth getting married. This causes a bit of a fracas between the panels members and is a bit of sore point as there is an affair going on (although it doesn't imply it's being consummated) and the people are often unpleasant to each other. At the end, following a speech by the "dumb" soldier - they decide that you learn about life by living it and not reading books and - happy ending alert - she decides to marry the "dumb" soldier.

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