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It is easy to be view Ealing comedies as some kind of comedy gold if you just watch the best of their output.
However films like these give a more rounded view of Ealing Films a satirical misfire that misses its target by a mile.
Stanley Holloway plays a departed drunken actor who takes a knock and meets Lucifer (also Stanley Holloway) down below and he gets send back to earth to spread the marvels of the television set which in time only causes misery.
Television ownership took off with the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Rising television viewers also had an impact on cinema audiences and the theatre as well with variety taking a big hit.
We see old Mr Pedelty who is given a television set as a retirement present from his firm. He enjoys watching television and soon invites friends and neighbours round, throwing parties which soon gets out of hand and leaving him in debt for all the drinks and food he bought. Even the friendship he has made are shallow, people only wanted to know him because he had a TV set.
He sells the TV set it to a newly married couple, the Norton's in the upstairs flat and pretty soon they have the same problems especially as he needs to study for his pharmacy exams and gets no peace and quiet. As Lucifer remarks, that TV is 'so much more effective than the old fashioned lodger' in splitting up relationships.
Knowing the television set causes trouble he then gives it to his envious and petty former colleague, Hector at the pharmacy who becomes obsessed with the singer who performs a nightly show on television. The effect is to actually make him happier and better to go along with until her show gets cancelled.
The episodic film starts of wickedly enough but becomes mundane and tedious very quickly. After all it seems to be a film more afraid of new technology which was to become a rival. Ealing Films eventually sold its studio to the BBC.
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