In 1949, during the Chinese Civil War, British warship H.M.S. Amethyst sails up the Yangtse river but on the return trip finds its way blocked by a barrage fire from the Communist Chinese shore batteries.
Sergeant Grimshaw wants to retire in the flush of success by winning the Star Squad prize with his very last platoon of newly called-up National Servicemen. But what a motley bunch they ... See full summary »
Jim Ackland, who suffers from a head injury sustained in a bus crash, is the chief suspect in a murder hunt, when a girl that he has just met is found dead on the local common, and he has ... See full summary »
An English scientist runs away from a research center with an atomic bomb. In a letter sent to the British Prime Minister he threatens to blow up the center of London if the Government ... See full summary »
Pinkie Brown is a small-town hoodlum whose gang runs a protection racket based at Brighton race course. When Pinkie orders the murder of a rival, Fred, the police believe it to be suicide. ... See full summary »
The minister of the town has died and his son Chad has no tears for him. Sarah, who now calls herself Salome, is pregnant with Chad's baby, but Chad has no future, no job and no money. ... See full summary »
While this film version of a then popular stage show never quite gathers the momentum to be a full success, it's likable and fitfully amusing.
The biggest weakness is how the key plot function of George Cole's character turns from a meek bank clerk to an unstoppable force of nature in an instant. There's no trigger for this to occur so it seems like it only exists when it's convenient for the plot and therefore feels contrived and forced. As a lot of humour and narrative is reliant on this, it's a significant problem for the film.
Still, after a slow start the film becomes increasingly fun. This is mainly due to an excellent cast. Cole is good, but some of the supporting performances are even better. Joan Sims is a delight as Cole's maid and Alan Badel - completely unrecognisable from his usual upper- class persona - is a delight as the hypnotist who begins all of Cole's problems.
Worth a look.
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